BTS Commits to Busan Concert in Favor of World Expo Bid

K-pop superstars BTS have committed to playing a live concert in support of Busan as host city of the 2030 World Expo. The group has also been appointed as ambassadors for the bid.

Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman of BTS’ management agency HYBE, and the company’s CEO Park Jiwon on Friday (local time) signed an agreement with Busan Metropolitan City mayor Park Heong-joon.

The deal commits the band to the concert and a range of related tasks. No date was given for the show.

BTS will hold other activities to appeal to the members of the Bureau International des Expositions, which organizes the international contest to hold the Expo. The group will personally introduce the proposed site for the BIE enquiry missions, serve as the ambassadors at South Korea’s presentation session, be present on the election day to support the bid, provide photos and videos for the city’s digital campaigns and spread promotional videos via official social media channels.

“Given the importance of its bid as a nation to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan, BTS and HYBE will do our best to successfully bring the World Expo to Busan. This will be a great opportunity to contribute to further development of K-Culture as well as its local pop cultures in Busan,” said Bang in a prepared statement.

“The group’s support as ambassadors will be incredibly helpful in stepping up our efforts to bring the World Expo to Busan,” said Park.

Busan is South Korea’s second largest city and the country’s major port. It has featured prominently in films including “Ode to My Father,” “Haeundae” and in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” It is home to Asia’s leading film festival and, in an effort to decentralize government, the Korean authorities have moved several film industry functions to Busan and away from the capital Seoul. These include the Korean Film Council and the Korea Media Rating Board.

The news came just a few days after BTS told the world that they will be taking a break from the band to focus on their solo projects. The news caused a major stir and dented HYBE’s share price. The company subsequently argued that the word hiatus had been mistranslated and said that the band would still be working as a team. On Thursday night, band member Jungkook released a new single in collaboration with Charlie Puth.