Last week BTS, the phenomenal seven-member South Korean boy band, went to London to perform two sold-out shows at the O2 Arena. Known for their large social media presence and a loyal fanbase called Army, BTS certainly has an influence on young audiences.
Recently, the BBC did a feature write-up where its writers Marie Jackson and Kesewaa Browne interviewed BTS fans waiting in line outside the O2 Arena. They intended to find out “what makes the perfect K-pop fan”. A few of the fans interviewed, mostly 20-somethings, said that “it’s not enough to just watch and listen, you’ve got to get involved”.
Some BTS fans say that the band spend days learning dance steps, which fans then follow and practice in their bedrooms. A few also revealed how other fans can get overexcited to see BTS perform. They would often throw teddy bears and pictures of themselves at the boys onstage. Some fans say that these types of people should always be reminded to “be kind, be respectful, love yourself and one another”.
BBC writers Jackson and Browne compared the fans’ obsession with BTS to Beatlemania of the early 1960’s. They concluded that BTS, just like The Beatles, are “a global pop sensation that generates mania and devotion in equal measure”. They boldly declared that BTS is the “Beatles for the 21st Century”.