K-pop mega-band BTS reunited on Saturday for a free concert in Busan to support South Korea’s bid to host the World Expo, four months after the musicians announced they were taking a break from group activities.
Some 52,000 excited fans, many dressed in purple – the band’s official color – gathered in the Busan Asiad Main Stadium on Saturday evening, with local reports saying hotels near the venue were fully booked.
The night before the concert, major roads as well as a number of tourist spots in the port city, including the Gwangan Bridge, were lit in purple in honor of the septet.
BTS is credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy, and its label enjoyed a surge in profits despite holding fewer concerts during the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, the band, who are known to be extremely hard-working and maintained a relentless pace of new releases in its nine years atop the charts, said they were “exhausted” as they announced their break. The septet dropped the bombshell announcement that they were taking a break as a group to pursue solo projects.
But just about a month after that announcement, the government appointed them official ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030.
Aside from music, the band has championed global progressive causes, from the Black Lives Matter protests to raising awareness on mental health to battling anti-Asian racism in the United States.