BTS Cancels Concerts in South Korea Over Coronavirus Fears as Green Day Follows Suit
"We must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests," BTS said in a statement
On Thursday, both bands announced that they would be canceling upcoming shows in parts of Asia, where the virus has spread dramatically. BTS, whose highly anticipated Map of the Soul world tour was set to kick off in Seoul, South Korea, pulled the April 11, 12, 18 and 19 shows in response to the region’s health concerns.
“The current global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has made it impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April, alongside increasing uncertainty about the cross-border movement of concert staff and equipment,” reads a statement from the K-pop boy band, translated from Korean, according to Variety.
The Bangtan Boys added that the decision was made “after extensive and careful consideration” and asked for “understanding” from their loyal fans, who will receive refunds.
“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 a last-minute cancellation may have on guests from overseas, production companies and staff.”
Green Day, led by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, was set to take its Hella Mega tour to Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and elsewhere throughout March. According to the band’s website, the first location listed on the tour — which includes guests Fall Out Boy and Weezer for select shows — now is Moscow on May 24.
Wrote the band on Twitter: “We have unfortunately made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming shows in Asia due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus. We know it sucks, as we were looking forward to seeing you all, but hold on to your tickets we’ll be announcing the new dates very soon.”
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The current coronavirus outbreak, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has prompted world leaders to take drastic measures to crack down on further spread.
On Thursday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that all elementary, middle and high schools be shut down for one month to avoid spread among teachers and students in tight quarters in classrooms. Parts of China implemented disinfectant procedures for cash, having banks clean and quarantine money before recirculating it into the public.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control said that a bigger outbreak in the United States is imminent.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.