BTS‘ scheduled tour dates in their native South Korea have been canceled due to concern over the global coronavirus outbreak, and some of their fans are helping with relief.
Following the news of the cancellation of the April concerts, the BTS A.R.M.Y. fans who had snagged a ticket for the sold-out shows began a movement to use their refunds to instead donate to help with relief and prevention efforts.
Local media in Korea reported that the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association shared that donations saw an uptick in thousands of dollars after the cancellation news broke with some even donating in the name of BTS or the A.R.M.Y. fanbase itself.
A major source of inspiration: one of the members himself. BTS rapper, songwriter and producer Suga reportedly donated 100 million Korean won (about $83,000) to the disaster-relief organization Hope Bridge based in his home city of Daegu. Hope Bridge said they had been receiving donations from A.R.M.Y. fans after news of Suga’s donation surfaced, but there was a notable surge on Feb. 28.
Hope Bridge is the same organization that Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, who is also from Daegu, reportedly supported.
Even among the tough news, in true BTS style, the band made sure to share an uplifting message. “These days, many people are worried due to the coronavirus,” Jin told viewers during the group’s interview on Korea’s chart program show KBS Music Bank. “But it would be good if we could overcome it well by gathering together in strength!”