See More on Facebook

Culture and society

BTS performs at historic sold-out Wembley concert

The performance is a first by a Korean band.


Written by

Updated: June 3, 2019

BTS on Saturday (local time) made history as the first Korean band to perform at the iconic Wembley Stadium, the largest concert stage in the UK, where legendary acts like Queen, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Adele have headlined.

The first of two sold-out concerts was attended by 60,000 fans, who sang-along, chanted, screamed and danced throughout the performance that lasted for 150 minutes. The group performed 24 tunes, including those from its “Love Yourself” series and latest chart-topping album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.”

Calling the venue a “dream stage,” the septet expressed excitement, joy and gratitude at being able to perform at Wembley as part of its ongoing world tour, “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself.”

BTS had initially planned to perform just one night in the British capital, but tickets had sold out within 90 minutes, prompting the band to add the second concert on June 2. In total, 120,000 fans will watch the two concerts.

“Wembley holds huge significance,” Suga told reporters at a press conference before the first show. “As a singer, there are some dream stages. Since I was young, when I watched Queen at Live Aid, I have dreamed of performing here. I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking that I am performing at Wembley.”

“Finally, we’ve made it to Wembley Stadium, where everyone has been waiting with anticipation,” said J-Hope. “We are truly honored, and thankful to our fans. Our hearts haven’t changed much. As artists who love performing, we will enjoy it and do our best. We will make BTS history in this historic place.”

“We had originally planned one concert in London. But thanks to Armys and your support, we have added one more date. We will try our best on the stage in return,” said Jungkook.

“Thank you for coming all the way to the UK,” said Jin. “Many popular musicians are from the UK and it’s an honor to perform in this country.”

Dubbed the “21st-century Beatles,” BTS commented on the comparison to the legendary British band.

“It’s a great honored to be called ‘The Beatles of the 21st century,’” said Suga. “At the same time, it’s a bit pressuring to be called that. We are BTS, and we want to be the BTS of the 21st century.”

“All popular boy bands in the history of music have always been compared to The Beatles. I think it’s fair to say a lot of musicians have been influenced by The Beatles,” said RM, adding the bandmates were wearing Thom Browne, referring to grey suits that reminded reporters of The Beatles’ fashion.

“In the US we were lucky to do an homage to The Beatles during ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.’ We were very grateful to be called that, and it makes us feel that we are doing good. It’s an honor.”

Asked about hopes for collaborating with UK bands in the future, V expressed his love for Coldplay, while RM said it would be an honor to work with Paul McCartney.

The band’s first concert at Wembley was livestreamed globally via Naver’s V Live platform, with more than 140,000 watching simultaneously, including those from the US, Japan, Taiwan, China and Korea.

“We are live-broadcasting a concert for the first time, so we want to deliver the excitement of Wembley as much as possible so that more members of our Army (BTS fandom), can enjoy the concert,” said J-Hope.

Wrapping up the first night, the bandmates expressed their gratitude to concertgoers, who held up the glowing “Army Bomb” — the band’s official light sticks connected via Bluetooth — and turned on the lights on their phones.

“You guys always had the greatest artists, historically, in the music industry — The Beatles, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Adele. We don’t even have to make a list,” said RM. “So the UK was like the big, big wall to me. But tonight, we and you guys broke the wall.”

“We love you Army, so much from the bottom of my heart,” said Jimin.

More than 100 reporters had attended the press conference, including those from the UK press and more than 30 media outlets from Korea.

“It’s massive, because no Korean group has ever done it before,” said Mark Savage, a BBC music reporter. “The leap in their popularity over the last 12 months has been just incredible.”

“It’s a huge achievement, not only that and to sell-it out, because most bands who perform (at Wembley) don’t sell-out.”

Leading up to the concert, BTS fever descended on London, building up anticipation for the weekend. An official pop-up store for the concert opened in the Shoreditch district from Tuesday to Monday, with fans lining up around the block from early in the morning and waiting in line for more than two hours during peak periods.

The band also rocked the stage for the first time on “Britain’s Got Talent,” performing “Boy With Luv” during the program’s semifinal week Thursday.

On Friday, the eve of the concert, fans gathered at Piccadilly Circus from 6 to 7 p.m. to see Hyundai Motor’s advertisement campaign featuring BTS on the iconic giant screen.

Even without the seven members, there was a festive atmosphere at the event, with fans dressed in BTS gear singing-along to the band’s hit tunes, chanting each member’s name and dancing the night away.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: ANN’s Board member Mr Zaffar Abbas, Editor of Pakistan’s Dawn has won the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protest Journalists.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked


By The Statesman
December 23, 2019

Culture and society

The Chinese version

Muhammad Amir Rana asks what is the Chinese version of Islam.  TENSIONS between China and the US have escalated after the House of Representative’s Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, 2019. The move is of a piece with the allegations of many international media and human rights organisations that China is persecuting the Uighur community and violating their rights — allegations that Beijing has denied. Calling the US action a political move aimed at damaging its international image, China says it is running a deradicalisation programme to mainstream its communities. Read: Amid global outcry, China defends internment camps of minorities in Xinjiang The Chinese claim has not been verified by independent sources and mystery shrouds its deradicalisation or re-education programme. China needs to demonstra


By Asia News Network
December 16, 2019

Culture and society

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Asia News Network
December 13, 2019

Culture and society

Nepal moves up in Human Development Index but still lags behind in South Asia

Nepal’s human development index of 0,579 indicates that people are living longer, are more educated and have greater incomes, according to the Human Development Report. Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a ‘new generation of inequalities’ indicates that many societies are not working as they should and Nepal is not an exception, according to a new human development report released on Tuesday. The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the new generation of inequalities is based on technology, education and the climate, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. “Previously, we talked about wealth as a major driver for inequality. Now, countries like Nepal are in another inequality trap and that concerns


By The Kathmandu Post
December 12, 2019

Culture and society

Taiwan among top 10 study destinations for U.S. students

Thailand and Singapore among other Asian destinations. China welcomed the highest number of U.S. students last year, followed by Japan and India in second and third places, respectively, according to a recent survey about exchange students in Asia. South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia rounded up the top 10 list of the most popular Asian countries among U.S. students. According to AsiaExchange, “The high level of education, low exposure to crime, economic freedom and good healthcare system are a few examples of why Taiwan is ranked 2nd on the annual Global Peace Index.” It’s also very safe to live in Taiwan, as crime rates are low, the Website stressed, noting that Taiwan’s focus on human rights, gender equality and freedom of speech has made it a top destination for education. Taiwan, whose institutions are strong and reliable, has remained la


By Warren Fernandez
December 12, 2019

Culture and society

Relentless against child marriage

Farida Yesmin wins an award for her work to prevent child marriage. It was a rainy day in July 2018. As the evening fell, someone called Farida Yesmin, upazila nirbahi officer of Netrakona’s Barhatta, over her phone and informed her that a child marriage was about to take place in Kawrashi, a remote village in the upazila near the Bangladesh-India border. Farida immediately called the police and left for the village in the dark of the night amid rain and thunderstorms. The road was so bad that at one point, the UNO and her team had to leave their vehicles. They walked about two kilometres to find the girl’s home. “As we reached the spot, a local leader tried to stop us. But despite all these hurdles, we were able to prevent the marriage,” Farida said while recalling how she and her team stopped a staggering 59 child marriages after she joined as the Barhatta UNO on May 9, 2017. She


By Daily Star
December 2, 2019