- HYBE issued a statement on Wednesday agreeing to pay for the remaining expenses of the free BTS concert in Busan.
- The concert is part of Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
- HYBE said the group’s members will perform the concert without pay, and that it has been their dream to put on a free concert for fans.
- They recognize that South Korea is an underdog in the competition for the expo bid and wish to help in an important national event.
BTS’ label HYBE issued a statement on Wednesday agreeing to front the bill for the upcoming “Yet To Come” concert in Busan, South Korea.
The concert was already being partly paid for by corporate sponsors and streaming advertisements, but now the Seoul-based label has said they will pay for the concert.
“A significant portion of the cost [of the ‘Yet To Come’ concert] will be covered by corporate sponsorships, online streaming advertisements and THE CITY subsidiary enterprise, among others. In addition, it was also decided that HYBE will personally cover for the remaining expenses that cannot be covered by these measures,” Hybe said in a statement given to NME.
HYBE emphasized that they have participated in national events before without consideration of cost. They added that the BTS members will perform without pay to fulfill their own wishes of performing a free concert for their fans. The label has acknowledged that the government may not have the fiscal means to pay for such a large event, and that the budget would have primarily drawn from taxpayers.
HYBE, however, considers the concert an important opportunity for BTS to represent Busan and South Korea. They said they recognize Busan is an underdog in the competition to host the 2030 World Expo.
“HYBE and BTS are proud to contribute to the country,” the label said. They added, “Through this concert, HYBE and BTS want to make Busan a place that the world puts a spotlight on.”
Initial reports of HYBE paying for the concert was upsetting to BTS fans who thought the city of Busan had pressured the label into doing so. The event also received backlash after its original intended venue was deemed a significant safety hazard and ill-equipped to host such a large-scale event. BTS’ Busan concert was relocated to Asiad Main Stadium, which can accommodate 60,000 attendees.
Additionally, Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon issued a formal proposal last month for BTS to be allowed to fulfill an alternative service instead of their mandatory military duties, imploring that the K-pop act should instead become public relations ambassadors for Busan to promote the expo.
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