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(LEAD) BTS puts off N. American leg of world tour over COVID-19

All Headlines 10:19 March 27, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 5th para)

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- K-pop boy band BTS put off the American leg of its upcoming world tour, "Map of the Soul Tour," Friday over the global spread of COVID-19.

"The 'BTS Map of the Soul Tour - North America,' originally scheduled to take place from April 25 to June 6, will be rescheduled to a later date," the band's management agency, Big Hit Entertainment, said on the Weverse mobile app.

"We are closely monitoring and following the guidance of all local governments regarding public events to ensure we are providing a safe environment for everyone involved," Big Hit said.

It said that all tickets for the North American leg will be honored for the new dates, without specifying the new schedule.

An image of BTS, provided by Big Hit Entertainment (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The decision came as the U.S. surpassed China in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, with more than 83,800 positive tests, according to the latest figure collected by Johns Hopkins University.

BTS has also canceled the world tour's inaugural Seoul leg, previously set for mid-April, due to local outbreaks of the pandemic. Big Hit has said it is working to reschedule the Seoul edition.

The relentless global virus infection is feared to impact additional legs of the BTS world tour.

Following a one-day concert in Japan's Fukuoka in late June, the septet is scheduled to start the European leg of the tour from July 3 before moving to Japan for more concerts in late July.

Meanwhile, the organizer of KCON, the biggest K-pop festival series outside South Korea, also canceled the festival's New York event, originally set for June, due to the pandemic.

"KCON 2020 New York, planned for June 12-14 at New York City's Javits Center, has been canceled," CJ ENM said, citing COVID-19.

CJ ENM said it is closely watching the pandemic situation for its hosting of the Los Angeles edition of the festival, set for August, after delaying the Japanese and Russian legs of this year's festival.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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