Fans at the first show for K-pop sensation BTS in South Korea since the COVID pandemic started were not allowed to sing along or cheer due to strict coronavirus rules.
Over 10,000 fans turned up to The Olympic Stadium in the capital Seoul for the performance on Thursday but could only show their support for the band with glow sticks and clapping.
The K-pop group’s management company, Big Hit Music, reminded supporters on Instagram that cheering, yelling and standing up was strictly prohibited due to government guidelines.
South Korea is facing a spike in Omicron cases and recorded a new daily high of 342,446 of coronavirus infections on Wednesday, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Masks are compulsory in public places and on public transport in South Korea.
The band’s last concert for South Korean fans was held in October 2019 before the pandemic began. During the show, the band’s supporters, who are known as the ARMY, wore masks and waved glow sticks.
One band member said he was delighted to see fans again. “ARMY are here standing in front of us,” he said, “it is so touching and I’m so excited.”
One fan, Kim Jeoung-Eun, 42, said: “If I can exaggerate, today is the best and most anticipated day of my life. It’s a day that I can relive for another three years by watching today’s [concert].”
The show was one of three performances of the band’s ‘Permission to Dance on Stage’ tour. BTS has more than 60.7 million followers on Instagram and 42.7 million followers on TikTok. They held their first in-person concert since the pandemic in Los Angeles in November 2021.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: VARIETY.COM