“BTS 10th Anniversary Fiesta Draws 400,000 People. The Island and the Sky Turn Purple.”
“It’s not hot at all. After enjoying the fiesta today, I’m already excited to visit Seoul next week.”
At 12 p.m. on the 17th, in front of the ‘Seoul in Purple’ booth at Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul, a global supergroup, BTS, held the ‘BTS 10th Anniversary Fiesta @Yeouido’ (2023 BTS Fiesta) as part of their 10th debut anniversary celebration. The city of Seoul distributed maps of Seoul’s seven famous landmarks along with cards at the booth.
Despite the scorching weather reaching nearly 30 degrees, Erika, a Japanese woman in her 30s, smiled brightly. She started learning Korean thanks to BTS.
Although she admitted that she doesn’t speak Korean well yet, Erika spoke fluently with the help of a smartphone translation application. The purple shirt she was wearing sparkled in the sunlight. Purple is the symbolic color of BTS and their fandom, ARMY.
To secure the best spots to watch the BTS 10th anniversary commemorative fireworks show that would start at 8:30 p.m., fans had been reserving places since the morning. Apart from the designated areas assigned through a lottery, fans were already claiming spots in prime locations near Wonhyo Bridge, resembling famous tourist spots. Some fans gathered in groups of three or five, playing BTS songs like “Dynamite” and “Butter” loudly while dancing. Despite the beads of sweat on their foreheads, they seemed more excited than bothered by the heat.
Sharon, a woman in her 20s from the United States who was fortunate enough to stay at a hotel in Yeouido, said, “Last year, the BTS concert in Las Vegas was amazing. I was disappointed not being able to see them perform together for a while, so I’m happy that this event is happening for their 10th anniversary.”
In addition to the “BTS Family Photo Exhibition,” the “Tattoo Sticker Experience Booth,” and the “BTS Live Screen,” which were packed with fans from early afternoon, even ordinary citizens enjoyed such scenes. Kim Myung-suk, a woman in her 60s who came to take a walk on the weekend in Yeouido, said, “I’ve never seen such a crowded scene in Yeouido other than the autumn fireworks festival before the pandemic. It’s great to see so many young people. It’s fascinating to see so many foreigners too.”
Not only Yeouido Hangang Park but also Yeouinaru Station and various places in Yeouido were filled with traces of BTS. Convenience stores displayed bottled water with commemorative labels for the BTS 10th Anniversary Fiesta in front of their doors, promoting sales.
Even restaurants near IFC Mall, which is a little away from Yeouido Hangang Park, welcomed guests with BTS songs playing in the background. The roads in Yeouido were dotted with rented express buses, carrying fans from the region to Yeouido.
The main festival began at Yeouido Hangang Park at 2 p.m. on that day. In particular, at 5 p.m., RM (Kim Namjoon), representing the group, met the fans in the corner titled “Connecting with Fans, 5 p.m., This is Kim Namjoon.” Although only RM appeared at the scene, all the BTS members, except for Jin and J-Hope, who are currently serving in the military, indirectly participated in the program. Jungkook and Jin joined through phone calls, while Suga, who is on an Asian tour, handled the narration for “AMI Weather