K-pop superstars BTS cancelled April concerts in South Korea, in a Feb. 28, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

K-pop superstars BTS cancelled April concerts in South Korea, in a Feb. 28, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Virus fears lead K-pop superstars BTS to cancel Seoul shows

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — K-pop superstars BTS cancelled an upcoming concert series in South Korea’s capital as the country that exports entertainment worldwide tries to contain a soaring virus outbreak.

It follows a near-shutdown of entertainment in hard-hit parts of China, the world’s second-biggest economy and second-biggest box-office market.

BTS, which performed at the Grammys and at New York’s Grand Central Terminal for “The Tonight Show” in recent weeks, is seen as an emblem of South Korea’s cultural and economic power. Local media said the cancelled concerts were the inaugural leg of the band’s new world tour.

“We regret to announce that the BTS MAP OF THE SOUL TOUR … has been cancelled,” the band’s agency Big Hit Entertainment said in a statement.

The management agency said the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea, which has more than 2,000 cases so far, made it impossible to predict the scale of the outbreak by April.

The seven-member boy band was scheduled to perform April 11-12 and April 18-19 at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. The agency said it had to consider the health and safety of the artists, the production crews and the more than 200,000 concertgoers expected.

The South Korean government and others affected by the epidemic have pushed to restrict massive public events to try to avoid situations where the virus might spread.

Disney said Friday its parks in Tokyo would close for two weeks, adding to closures of its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Cinemas in China already were shuttered, which affected the Chinese release of “Sonic the Hedgehog” and the Beijing premiere and a promotional tour of the James Bond film “No Time to Die” among other impacts.

The Walt Disney Co.’s anticipated live-action “Mulan” remake is due to open in China on March 27.

The U.S.’s National Symphony Orchestra cancelled performances in Japan, after earlier cancelling concerts in Beijing and Shanghai. That followed cancellations by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

South Korean agencies have been cancelling K-pop events at home and abroad in response to requests from fans about artists’ safety.

Artists such as Taeyeon and boy bands WINNER and NCT Dream had previously cancelled shows in Singapore and Macao, and GOT7 postponed concerts in Bangkok and Singapore.

U.S. band Green Day postponed upcoming Asia shows as well, citing health and travel concerns in its announcement on Twitter.

BTS has a large international following and was the first K-pop act to debut atop the Billboard Album chart in 2018 with “Love Yourself: Tear.”

By The Associated Press

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer city council gave initial approval for more mixed-use developments in Riverside Light Industrial Park. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More industrial landowners in Red Deer are pursuing mixed-use zoning

A third of Riverside Light could become a commercial/industrial district

Central Alberta man facing second-degree murder in connection with December death.
Advocate file photo
Central Alberta man facing second-degree murder in connection with December death

Maskwacis RCMP said female found dead in Ermineskin Cree Nation residence last December

Red Deer College has been working towards obtaining university status for a couple of years. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer College can offer degrees without becoming a university: Alberta government

Red Deer College should be worried that its university dreams could be… Continue reading

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Vandals strike: Artifacts worth $1M gone from central Alberta museum

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said there are 739 people in hospital across Alberta, including 120 in ICU. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Updated: Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after fire in homeless camp

Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after fire in homeless camp

Honduran migrants show their route on a map of Mexico and Central America to reporters, as they sit near a police roadblock at a highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Guatemalan police and soldiers used tear gas and wielded batons and shields against a group of Honduran migrants that tried to push through their roadblock. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)
Guatemala troops, police break up caravan of weary migrants

Guatemala troops, police break up caravan of weary migrants

FIL - In this Nov. 7, 2020, file photo Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks in Wilmington, Del. Harris will make history Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, when she becomes the nation’s first Black, South Asian and female vice president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Harris prepares for central role in Biden’s White House

Harris prepares for central role in Biden’s White House

Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2017, file photo, a comfort woman statue is placed on a chair of a bus to mark the 5th International Memorial Day for Comfort Women, in Seoul, South Korea. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, in his diplomatic speech on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 said a recent South Korean court ruling ordering Japan's government to pay compensation to 12 South Korean former “comfort women” over World War II-era sexual abuses by Japanese troops was "an abnormal development absolutely unthinkable under international law and bilateral relations.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-Joon, File)
Japan urges South Korea to drop wartime compensation demands

Japan urges South Korea to drop wartime compensation demands

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2021 photo provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, National Guard members assisting with processing COVID-19 deaths, placing them into temporary storage at the medical examiner-coroner's office in Los Angeles. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths is rising in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and on Monday, Jan 18, 2021, the U.S. was approaching 398,000, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, by far the highest of any country in the world. (Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner via AP, File)
Coronavirus deaths rising in 30 US states amid winter surge

Coronavirus deaths rising in 30 US states amid winter surge

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Blanchet’s choice to block critics on Twitter limits free speech: experts

Blanchet’s choice to block critics on Twitter limits free speech: experts

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative policy convention may put O’Toole’s pledge of moderation to the test

Conservative policy convention may put O’Toole’s pledge of moderation to the test

Most Read