These are frightening times. And not just because we watched the first trailer for Jordan Peele’s Candyman sequel. The scale of the Coronavirus pandemic is yet to be fully realised, but it’s already creating chaos for the word’s economy.
Flights are being cancelled, the import and export of goods has stalled and the stock market is plummeting. There’s a suggestion that COVID-19 could inflict a blow equal to the 2008 financial crisis. And we haven’t even mentioned the devastating health ramifications of the virus.
Coronavirus has now also forced South Korean superstars BTS to cancel the opening stand on their Map of the Soul world tour. The tour was due to commence with four consecutive shows in Seoul. All four dates – April 11, 12, 18, and 19 – have now been cancelled.
Watch: BTS – Black Swan
“The current global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has made it impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April,” said the band’s management, Big Hit Entertainment.
The label explained that the Seoul concerts required “a number of global production companies and a large group of expert international crew.” More than 200,000 concertgoers were expected across the four nights.
There have already been more than 2000 reported cases of COVID-19 in South Korea at the time of reporting. It’s the second highest number of cases behind China, which accounts for 94% of total reported cases.
“While we hope that the situation will improve, we must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests as well as our artists,” said Big Hit Entertainment.
Watch: BTS – Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
The tour follows the release of BTS’ fourth album Map of the Soul: 7. Critics adore the album, with some calling it the K-pop stars’ answer to the White Album. It’s a sprawling 20-track affair that combines emo-tinged rap, latin-pop, trap beats and traditional Korean instruments.