K-pop group BTS canceled their upcoming world tour due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The tour was intended to support their album Map of the Soul: 7, which was released back in February 2020. The Map of the Soul tour was first scheduled to start in Seoul in April 2020, with 39 shows in 18 countries. They planned to visit North America, Europe, and Asia during the tour.
“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,” BTS’ label Big Hit Music said in a statement on Friday, reports Billboard. “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.”
Since the coronavirus continues spreading around the world with the Delta variant, BTS has turned to ticketed online concerts. Big Hit Music said some of the canceled dates may be rescheduled for the fall, and more paid virtual converts could be in the band’s future. “Once again, please allow us to offer our sincere apology to all fans who have waited for the BTS Map of the Soul Tour to resume,” the label’s statement continued. “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.”
South Korea is in the middle of its worst wave during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials reported over 2,000 new cases for the second time on Thursday, reports Reuters. On Wednesday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 2,152 cases for Wednesday, the second-most in one day since the start of the pandemic. The country is also facing a shortage of vaccines, as only 21.1% of South Korea’s 52 million people are fully vaccinated. About 47% have received at least one dose. South Korea hopes to have at least 70% of its entire population vaccinated by October.
While the canceled tour is certainly not good news for BTS fans, the group did have something new for fans. Their Japanese-language hits compilation album BTS, The Best finally saw a physical release on Aug. 6. The album came in at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart, with 17,000 units sold. It also topped the World Albums chart. BTS’ latest Korean-language studio album, BE, topped the Billboard 200 chart after its release in November. The group has five chart-toppers on the album chart.