It was one of the most anticipated musical events but nearly a year after it was supposed to have ended, K-pop boy band BTS have officially announced the cancellation of their 2020 Map of the Soul world tour.
The tour was originally postponed because of the pandemic but after more delays and rising cases owing to the Delta variant, the group’s label, Big Hit Music, announced the cancellation.
“Our company has worked hard to resume preparations for the BTS Map of the Soul tour, knowing that all fans have been waiting eagerly and long for the tour,” said the agency.
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“However, due to changing circumstances beyond our control, it has become difficult to resume performances at the same scale and timeline as previously planned. Therefore we must announce the cancellation of the BTS Map of the Soul tour.”
The 39-date tour was originally planned to begin in Seoul in April 2020 and continue until September, with stops in Asia, Europe and North America. There were no dates announced for the Middle East.
However, Covid cases are on the rise again in South Korea. BTS live in Seoul where social distancing rules are at a Level 4, the highest possible level, which limits gatherings of more than two people after 6pm.
Although the group has not been able to leave the country, they’ve still found ways to stay connected to their fans through online interactions. In addition to web series In the Soop and Run BTS!, they’ve still been able to perform for award shows from the South Korean capital and have also hosted live events online.
The first was a concert called Bang Bang Con: the Live in June 2020, followed by another live-streamed concert called Map of the Soul ON:E in October. Then in June 2021, to celebrate their eighth anniversary, the group hosted BTS 2021 Muster Sowoozoo, a two-day event that featured performances and live interactions.
Presumably, BTS will continue to fill the void left by the cancelled tour in other ways. Big Hit said: “We are working to prepare a viable schedule and performance format that can meet your expectations, and we will provide updated notices as soon as possible.”