BTS announces a return to live concerts

Like many artists, globally famous pop band BTS hasn’t performed a live concert in over a year. But this week, the Korean boy band announced it would return to the stage, delighting fans around the world. BTS will kick off its “Permission to Dance” concerts in Los Angeles this November.

The group posted a YouTube video on Monday, where members RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook shared the announcement with their fans – known as the “BTS Army.”

The group said they’ve been “itching” to reveal the concert dates, November 27 and 28, as well as December 1 and 2 at LA’s SoFi Stadium.

The group was set to embark on their “Map of the Soul” tour in 2020, performing in 38 concerts across Asia, North America and Europe, starting in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, that tour was postponed to 2021 and canceled last month, according to Entertainment Tonight.

“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,” Big Hit, the company that manages BTS, said in a statement in August. “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.”

Travel from South Korea, where the band is from, is not restricted by the U.S. but is at a level two – meaning people traveling from the country must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the U.S. And as of this week, the positivity rate in Los Angels is just 1.1% and proof of vaccination is required in many settings, according to the LA County public health department.

SoFi stadium is now holding several events, some with “health checks,” including the Rolling Stones in October. Organizers of those events are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to attend.

Some of the NFL games at the stadiums require health checks, but not all. And it is not yet clear if the BTS concerts will require them.

BTS is one of the few bands hoping to execute live shows, while many others are having to cancel dates as the pandemic rages on. Last week, Dave Matthews Band canceled shows in Durant, Oklahoma set for October. “Unfortunately, it was not possible to implement the band’s Covid-19 policies in this venue,” the band’s website reads.

The band Dispatch also announced this month its entire indoor tour was canceled “given the current state of COVID-19.”

Stevie Nicks also announced last month that she is cancelling her remaining 2021 performance dates due to COVID-19. The singer was set to play at several festivals, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which has been postponed.

Bonnaroo, a Tennessee music festival set for September, was canceled last month, just days before artists like Foo Fighters, Lizzo, Tyler, The Creator and Lana Del Rey were set to perform.

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