Seoul attracts international enthusiasts to commemorate BTS anniversary

On Thursday, the Seoul Sports Complex in southern Seoul was enveloped in a sea of purple, as fans gathered to commemorate the 11th anniversary of K-pop sensation, BTS. Despite the scorching heat, the atmosphere was electric as admirers of the beloved megastars came together to celebrate.

Just moments before the 2024 Festa, an eagerly anticipated annual event organized by BTS’ agency, BigHit Music, countless fans were already gathering at a subway exit leading to the venue. The diverse sea of fans conversed in a variety of languages, including Korean, Japanese, English, and French, all united by their shared love and admiration for the celebrated band. It was a clear testament to BTS’ immense global popularity and the unwavering loyalty of their fans from all corners of the world.

Since their debut on June 13, 2013, the K-pop septet has made it a tradition to celebrate their anniversary with the “BTS Festa” festival for their loving fans.

Fans were particularly thrilled during this year’s event, as Jin, the eldest member of BTS, made a special appearance fresh from completing his mandatory military service on Wednesday.

Fans were filled with excitement upon his arrival, eagerly anticipating the reunion of the full group in 2025, after all members have completed their military service.

Every able-bodied man in South Korea must serve a minimum of 18 months in the military.

On Thursday afternoon, Jin has a raffle event scheduled where he will be giving hugs to 1,000 lucky fans. Additionally, he will also host a meet-and-greet session which will be live-streamed on Weverse.

Doria, a 34-year-old ARMY from France, expressed her excitement about Jin’s return after a year and a half. She mentioned that they had missed him very much and that his return felt like the beginning of them getting back together. Doria visited the ground event with two of her friends, and she is one of the many members of BTS’ famous global fandom, ARMY.

In addition to the main events, fans were able to engage in a variety of activities at the complex. These included a capsule toy machine that dispensed BTS song lyrics, an upcycling booth that used plastic bottle caps, and a designated area where fans could create and showcase their diary entries.

The merchandise stalls that sold commemorative key rings, T-shirts, and hoodies were a big hit among the fans. Moreover, the giant electronic display located at the front of the venue provided comfort to the fans with handwritten letters from the BTS members who are currently serving in the military. This display attracted a large crowd and garnered significant attention.

Donna Kim, a South Korean fan, exclaimed, “Although the weather is scorching, it’s still enjoyable!” as she patiently queued up to collect her online-ordered merchandise.

Excited about winning a lottery spot, she took a leave from work to attend the festival and was determined to stay until night for Jin’s “fan meeting” event.

“My friend was actually chosen for the hugging event! Can you believe how lucky she is?” exclaimed the BTS fan. “Time flies so fast, another year will be over soon. I just can’t get enough of BTS!”

As a math teacher working in South Korea, Rachal Moon had a blast engaging in interactive activities with her mother during her visit. One of her favorite moments was throwing plastic balls at a photo zone, creating fun memories they both cherish.

She expressed her excitement for Jin’s successful completion of his military service, stating, “It’s exciting that Jin did well in his military service and finished it up.” Furthermore, she anticipates that by next year’s Festa, the majority of the members will have also completed their military service.

Instructing BTS to relish their moment in the spotlight without any concerns, she offered her advice.

“Wow, congratulations on reaching the milestone of 11 years! Eleven is a fantastic prime number, and it feels amazing to be in your prime. Enjoy this special moment,” she exclaimed with excitement.

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MBS Staff
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