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Music & Entertainment

BTS heads to LA for first live concert since COVID-19

South Korea's entertainment shares are projected to rise further with expectations of more live concerts held globally

By Sep 28, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

BTS heads to LA for first live concert since COVID-19   

BTS will travel to Los Angeles in November for its first live concert since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BTS said on Sept. 28 on its official social media accounts and the online fan platform Weverse that BTS Permission to Dance on Stage will be held in LA Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 1-2. The city’s SoFi Stadium, which can hold an audience of more than 70,000 people, will host all four nights of the concert.

In preparation for the first live concert in two years, sources said that the BTS agency HYBE Co. has vaccinated more than 100 relevant employees in advance. The last time BTS opened a live concert was in October of 2019, prior to the spread of the pandemic, in Seoul.

BTS in April 2020 had planned to kick off a major world tour starting with Seoul and moving to the US, Canada, Germany, Spain as well as the UK. With the tour canceled altogether given the pandemic, HYBE instead held an online concert last year titled BTS Map of the Soul ON:E (Online Edition) in October that drew an audience of more than 1 million people worldwide.

BTS heads to LA for first live concert since COVID-19   

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT SHARES SET TO SOAR IN 2022

Following the concert announcement, share prices of HYBE and other major South Korean entertainment companies moved up despite Kospi’s 1.14% drop on Tuesday.

HYBE rose by 1.98% to 283,500 won ($239.30) a share, whereas YG Entertainment Inc. was the biggest gainer among the major entertainment firms by moving up 5.83% to 56,300 won ($47.51). Experts noted that YG’s shares rose the most as its girl group Blackpink is expected to be the next in line to resume live concerts globally.

Blackpink’s global fan base has significantly widened during the pandemic, as seen by its recent achievement on Sept. 10 surpassing Justin Bieber as the music artist with the highest number of subscribers on YouTube. Blackpink has 67.4 million subscribers on YouTube as of Sept. 28.

JYP Entertainment Inc. gained 1.01% to reach 40,100 won ($33.85) on the same day, whereas SM Entertainment Co. closed flat at 63,600 won ($53.67) despite having reached 68,300 won ($57.64) during the trading session.

Analysts highlight that the revival of live concerts will help South Korean entertainment firms make significant rebounds in earnings next year.

“Even with the pandemic, these entertainment firms with a wide global fan base were able to ramp up music streaming and album sales. The resumption of live concerts will bring new growth momentum to the industry,” said Hana Financial Investment Co.  

“The number of the global audience that HYBE estimated in February last year in preparing for the global tour was 2.2 million. Now the audience figure for the world tour is projected at 3 million people, meaning that HYBE can raise about 500 billion won ($421 million) in live concert revenues,” said another securities firm Hyundai Motor Securities Co.

The third-quarter earnings estimates for HYBE and YG Entertainment are also optimistic. The consensus for HYBE’s operating profit is 75.4 billion won ($63.6 million), the highest figure in the company’s history. YG’s earnings for this quarter is projected to surpass its consensus of 10.5 billion won ($8.9 million), thanks largely to successful sales figures of the Blackpink member Lisa’s new solo album, which has sold about 950,000 units already.

VIRTUAL CONCERT FOR FANS WHO CAN'T MAKE IT TO LA

For the global fans who cannot attend this year’s concert in LA, BTS will also hold a virtual concert of BTS Permission to Dance on Stage on Oct. 24.

“After reviewing the COVID situation in multiples countries, we decided to launch the first BTS concert this year in the United States. We will look forward to opening more live concerts in South Korea and other parts of the world,” said HYBE’s music unit BIGHIT Music Co.

The US has also recently hosted the Global Citizen Live concert in New York City on Sept. 26. An audience of over 60,000 people gathered at the city’s Central Park to attend the 24-hour gig featuring over 60 artists to raise awareness of climate change, vaccine inequality and famine globally.

Write to Soo-young Seong at syoung@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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