It is barely a month before BTS’s free concert in Busan, and still, the show is facing problems. The concert BTS: Yet to Come in Busan will be on Oct. 15 at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium and is part of the city’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030. The concert is free and was expected to draw an estimated 100,000 fans.
However, the concert faces three major hurdles, and it is unclear if they can be overcome.
1. The new venue cannot hold a 100,000 crowd.
The initial venue chosen for the concert was a makeshift seaside stage in the city’s Gijang County. But this venue was too far from the city’s major gateways, such as Busan Station and Gimhae International Airport, and it would take more than eight hours for fans to get to the venue. The venue was changed to the more accessible Busan Asiad Main Stadium, which has 53,769 seats and 72 entry and exit points.
BTS held their 5th Muster Magic Shop concert in this same venue in June 2019, where a crowd of 45,000 people showed up.
The ambition of taking in 100,000 fans is no longer possible with this new venue. At best, it can accommodate 50,000 fans. Of this total, invitees from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) member states which vote for the host countries of World Expos will need to be factored in, which was initially estimated at 3,500, subject to discussions with HYBE.
2. Busan Hotel Accommodations have skyrocketed.
Room rates for a one-night stay in Busan range from ₩300,000 KRW (about $215 USD) to a staggering ₩2.00 million KRW (about $1,440 USD). Normally, they would cost only ₩50,000 KRW (about $35.90 USD) to ₩150,000 KRW (about $108 USD). Fans who wanted to book their accommodations early already complained about this, but the Busan Government could only give guidance in pricing accommodations. At most, this would only be statutory, not enforceable.
3. A COVID-19 resurgence of cases might be possible.
During the four-day Chuseok harvest holiday, the number of new patients in Busan hovered around 1,500 and rose to 3,200. Health authorities must consider if the BTS concert might cause a significant rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We plan to discuss public health measures with HYBE as soon as the number of foreigners, including the number of invited guests, is confirmed,” a city official said. “Once the concert disaster planning is established, we will widely canvass opinions from experts and seek cooperation from related organizations such as airports if necessary,”