BTS cancels Seoul concerts as coronavirus spreads in South Korea – agency

SEOUL, South Korea – K-pop megastars BTS on Friday canceled 4 concerts they were due to hold in Seoul in April, their agency said, as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in South Korea.

The country has so far confirmed more than 2,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, by far the largest national total outside China, the origin of the disease.

"We regret to announce" that the Seoul concerts have been cancelled, BTS agency Big Hit Entertainment said in a statement.

The 4 concerts, scheduled to take place between April 11 and 19 at Seoul's Olympic Stadium, home to the 1988 Games, were expected to draw "over 200,000" BTS fans.

It was "impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak," it said, creating uncertainty over the movement of staff, equipment and fans, making the cancellation "unavoidable," it said.

The move came after the boy band held a press conference to promote their new album in an empty hall on February 24 because of the virus.

BTS – or Bangtan Sonyeondan, which translates as Bulletproof Boy Scouts – are the first K-pop group to top charts in the United States and Britain.

Their latest album Map of the Soul: 7, released last week, was the most pre-ordered South Korean album of all time, with more than 4 million copies sold before its release. – Rappler.com