BTS returned to the live stage on Saturday (Oct. 14) in an effort to help South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
The superstar K-pop group — Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — partnered with Weverse to livestream the festival-style show at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
BTS’ free event, titled <Yet to Come in Busan>, marked the the boy band’s first live performance since announcing in June that its seven members would take a break from active group duties to pursue solo projects.
The massive concert, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. KST (5 a.m. ET) got off to a slightly late start as a sea of fans headed into the venue. Those who couldn’t score a ticket camped outside and braved the chilly weather with blankets while watching the live coverage from their phones and feeling the energy from within the stadium.
Inside the venue, long lines formed for merchandise booths and raffle events, while stands from Hyundai, Weverse and ARMY Membership grabbed attention outside the stadium gates.
During the approximately two-hour show, which drew about 55,000 concert-goers, BTS delivered a total of 20 songs, including popular tracks “Dynamite,” “Fire,” “Spring Day,” “Save ME” and “Yet to Come.” Toward the end of the concert, fans couldn’t seem to sit down as BTS made their last remarks, particularly when J-Hope dished on the group’s future.
“I think we’re in a phase where we need your trust,” J-Hope told the crowd as they waved their light sticks.
“Although it’s so sad that the concert is ending already, it’s not like we only have today,” Jimin added. “We will continue for 30 years … and even perform when we are 70 years old.”
RM noted, “All seven members have the same thoughts. We will continue to make and perform music if you give us your trust like Jimin said.”
As soon as the show ended, fans who were standing outside the stadium rushed inside the opened gates to take photos of the venue. Some screamed while there was a general mix of excitement to see the concert grounds themselves. Many fans also stayed to take photos with large lighted signs displayed on the grounds.
Busan is one of four cities in the running to host the World Expo, a world’s fair proposed to take place in 2030. Other cities being considered are Rome; Odesa, Ukraine; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Bureau International des Expositions will vote on the winning host country next year.
In July, BTS were appointed honorary ambassadors for Busan’s World Expo 2030 bid. The band was chosen “because they understand the importance of the World Expo and share the same values,” according to a statement from BTS’ record label Big Hit.
Additional reporting by David Da Yeol Lee in South Korea.