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BTS to celebrate New Year with first show since coronavirus shut-down

FILE PHOTO: Members of South Korean boy band BTS pose on the red carpet during the annual MAMA Awards at Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, Japan, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean boyband sensation BTS will welcome in the New Year with their first live concert since they were forced to call off a world tour because of the novel coronavirus, their management company, Bit Hit Entertainment, said on Thursday.

The concert - “2021 New Year’s Eve Live” - will be on Dec. 31 just outside the South Korean capital, Seoul, and will include other groups on the Big Hit label including NU’EST, GFriend and ENHYPEN.

Limited seating will be available, in line with government coronavirus safety guidelines, though Big Hit did not specify numbers. The show will be streamed online.

“It will be the first concert to feature Big Hit artists in one grand event, capped with the countdown to welcome in the New Year,” Big Hit said.

The seven-member BTS had to call off their tour of nearly 40 concerts in Asia, Europe and the United States, which had been due to begin in April, as the coronavirus spread around the world.

They played a virtual concert last month, drawing more than 990,000 viewers from 191 countries, and fetching some 50 billion won ($45 million) in ticket sales.

Since their 2013 debut, the band has ridden a global K-Pop wave with catchy, upbeat music along with lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

Their latest hit was “Dynamite”, their first song entirely in English, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in September.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Robert Birsel

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