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(3rd LD) BTS cancels Seoul leg of new world tour in April over coronavirus

All Headlines 17:19 February 28, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with latest info in 8th para)

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- K-pop super band BTS on Friday canceled the inaugural Seoul leg of its new world tour set to kick off in April as its home country is struggling to contain mass outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

The band's management agency broke the news through its mobile fan platform, Weverse.

"We regret to announce that the BTS 'Map of the Soul Tour - Seoul Concert,' originally scheduled to be held on April 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Olympic Stadium, has been canceled," Big Hit Entertainment announced.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS posing for a photo during a global news conference on its new album, "Map of the Soul: 7," at COEX in Seoul on Feb. 24, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Plans for 'Map of the Soul Tour-Seoul' included the involvement of a number of global production companies and a large group of expert international crew, with over 200,000 concertgoers expected to attend," according to Big Hit.

But the current global coronavirus outbreak made it "impossible" at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April, the company said of its decision to call off the four days of concerts.

"While we hope that the situation will improve, we must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests as well as our artists and the dire impact as last-minute cancellations may have on guests from overseas, production companies and staff."

Tickets for the events will be fully refunded, Big Hit said, apologizing for the decision.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, South Korea had confirmed 2,337 coronavirus infections, with 571 new cases reported during the day. The death toll remained unchanged at 13.

Many fans reportedly joined a move to donate the refunds of their tickets for the canceled concerts to help fight coronavirus.

A local relief group, Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association, said it had received nearly 20 million won (US$16,481) in donations as of early Friday afternoon under the names of BTS and Army, the name of the BTS fan base.

A day earlier, BTS member Suga donated 100 million won to the association.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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