BTS’ Busan concert — potentially the last show for years — draws 49 million livestreaming views.
K-pop sensation BTS’ free concert in Busan, Korea, drew upwards of 49 million viewers on Saturday. The “BTS ‘Yet to Come’ in Busan” show was held in support of Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo and represented a move to introduce Korean culture and the city itself to a global audience.
The physical component of the concert was held at the city’s Asiad Main Stadium, attracting around 50,000 in-person guests. Meanwhile, 10,000 people within the town watched a live transmission at the Busan Port. A further 2,000 guests gathered in Haeundae, the tourist region that recently hosted the Busan International Film Festival.
Online livestreaming via Weverse, the fan platform operated by the band’s management group Hybe Entertainment, racked up approximately 49 million views. Local TV broadcast in Korea on JTBC reported a 3.3% rating, which suggests at least another million TV viewers.
The concert featured symbolic elements representing the city of Busan and Korean culture. Hybe explains that “BTS performed ‘Ma City’ showcasing graphic images of Busan’s beautiful landmarks and scenery. The ‘Idol’ stage caught the eyes of the global audience with Korean traditional visuals and performances such as Bukcheong saja noreum (a Korean traditional game that involves dancing with lion masks).”
BTS began the concert with “Mic Drop,” followed by “Run BTS,” with 19 songs performed in total. Other iconic songs performed by the band included “Dynamite,” “Butter,” “Burning Up (Fire),” “Idol,” and “Spring Day.”
“The setlist comprised songs that best represent the band and anyone — beyond ARMY — can easily sing along,” Hybe added.
In addition to drawing attention to Busan and Korea, the concert was significant as perhaps the band’s last performance for years. After reports in June that members of BTS would be focusing on solo projects, fans suspected performances featuring all seven members would be few and far between. Additionally, as the group’s oldest member faces a deadline to begin compulsory military service next year, the band may be unable to reunite again for some time.
“This is the last concert that was planned,” says BTS’ oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, who received a two-year reprieve to carry out his military service. “As I wasn’t sure when we could do a concert again, I tried to keep all my emotions here. But we can always have another one and you will come again, right?”
But the most significant numbers came online and through broadcast TV.