BTS has rescheduled its Map of the Soul world tour amid the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe, Billboard has learned.
The tour was originally slated to begin on April 11 in Seoul, South Korea, though those dates were canceled in late February. A month later, the band announced that its North American tour dates, which were scheduled to kick off April 25 in Santa Clara, Calif., would be postponed as the coronavirus shut down large swaths of the United States.
Today, Big Hit, the company behind the South Korean megastars, announced that the entirety of the world tour would now be put on hold, as the global concert industry braces for an extended break from business as usual and just before European and Japanese dates were set to go on sale.
“This tour involves the participation of staff and crew from around the world as well as global logistics systems,” Big Hit said, in part, in a statement provided to Billboard. “While there are certain countries, regions and cities where conditions have improved, including Korea, it is difficult to make the decision to begin the tour based on these recent developments. Due to the nature of BTS concerts involving travel by thousands of international fans no matter where the performances are held, it is also difficult to resume the tour with the current strict restrictions on cross-border movement still in place. Moreover, it is impossible at this time to predict when the first performance marking the start of the tour will be able to begin.
“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the previously-announced tour schedule and develop a new schedule.”
The statement says that a new touring schedule may “require considerable time” to put together as so many factors involving the virus remain unclear. It continues by promising that “we will also create new ways for our artists to engage with their fans and respond to the ‘New normal'” until the pandemic calms.
“The decision to reschedule the tour was made with the health and safety of our artists and fans in foremost consideration,” Big Hit added. “With sincerity and commitment to transparency, we will inform you of any and all further changes and continue to provide updates.”