BTS‘s upcoming concert in Saudi Arabia has sparked a heated debate within BTS’s fandom, ARMY.
BTS is scheduled to return from their hiatus in October, to complete their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour. On October 11, the group will perform a 1-day concert at King Fahd International Stadium, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Recently, concerned fans trended the hashtag #BTSDontGo. Many are objecting to the stop for socio-political reasons, calling attention to ongoing human rights issues and unrest within the country.
"Artists have been boycotting Saudi Arabia due to flagrant human rights abuses against women activists and the LGBTQ+ community. BTS are U.N. representatives and everyone involved here should have known better. Honestly speaking, BigHit should have known better.” #BTSDontGo https://t.co/8DTsLfrZr1
— Satine (@icysparkle) September 9, 2019
Bang, @BigHitEnt don't be greedy. You'll lose a lot of fans and lengthier income generator compared to one lump sum saudi govt offered u. if u still proceeds bts will be seen as going against what they've campaigned for w un. They will be cancelled by us media outlets #BTSDontGo
— yogurrt 🌱 (@imokay762) September 9, 2019
These fans claim that performing in Saudia Arabia is going against the work BTS does with UNICEF through their #ENDviolence campaign.
We demand a statement regarding @bts_bighit concert in SA, as @UNICEF representatives I think we need to know what does #ENDViolence mean when their concert in Riyadh contradicts their @bts_love_myself campaign message & what the group advocates for @unicefkorea #BTSDontGo
— 💀 (@killuarte) September 8, 2019
Other fans, however, are clapping back at their fellow ARMYs for trying to cancel the concert. Fans in Saudia Arabia are looking forward to finally seeing BTS on stage.
— غَيمَهْ ✿ (@abeer_4r) September 4, 2019
bts are not politicians they sre artists. yes this country has problems. but so does the US and France and everywhere they went. they are there to see army not the prime minister or sum. yall look stupid af trending this #BTSdontGO
— kenza (@yeetawayy) September 8, 2019
Up until this year, K-Pop groups have not performed in Saudi Arabia. The country’s first-ever K-Pop concert, held by Super Junior and featuring Stray Kids, took place in July.
As of now, Big Hit Entertainment has not released a statement about the issue, and BTS’s concert schedule is unchanged.