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BTS are set to return to the stage and perform four live shows, in Los Angeles, the US, during the last week of November and first week of December. Photo: GC Images

BTS fans frustrated over ticketing issues as live US concerts sell out

  • BTS are set to perform four shows in Los Angeles during the last week of November and first week of December, kicking off their return to live touring
  • But issues ranging from Ticketmaster’s site crashing to the fan verification programme not being validated have left Army fans disappointed
BTS
Tamar Hermanin United States

“Due to overwhelming past purchaser & Verified Fan presale demand for BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – LA, all shows are sold out & tickets are not available for the public on sale.”

So tweeted the official Twitter account of US-based event ticketing platform Ticketmaster on Sunday morning regarding the superstar South Korean septet’s first live-audience concerts since the global Covid-19 pandemic began last year.

BTS are set to perform four shows in Los Angeles during the last week of November and first week of December, kicking off their return to live touring. The “On Stage” event is bolstered by an online event, also titled “Permission to Dance”, sharing the same name with the act’s recent summertime single.

The Los Angeles dates will be held at the SoFi Stadium, which can house between 70,000 and 100,000 people.

Despite the four shows being able to host between 280,000 and 400,000 people in all, fans, known collectively as Army, expressed frustration on social media following the announcement due to a variety of ticketing issues.

As Lucy Ford, a UK-based multimedia journalist and K-pop and BTS aficionado tweeted: “real question have you ever sold tickets before”? The question was being asked by those who had been hoping to join BTS at the return of their live events.

K-pop stars BTS to hold in-person concerts in US, first in two years

The tickets went on sale last week through staggered sales times for various groups depending on their status with Ticketmaster, including BTS’s official fan club members. Those who had held onto Ticketmaster-bought tickets from BTS’s planned, but cancelled, “Map of the Soul” 2020 tour – rather than receive a refund from the ticketing app – had also expected to receive preferential treatment as past purchasers, but to some fans’ outrage, this didn’t happen.

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Ranging from technical errors crashing the site to Ticketmaster’s fan verification programme not being validated, fans who had been eagerly anticipating the sale expressed disappointment that they wouldn’t be able to attend BTS’s first live-audience show since 2019.

The ticketing could be considered as a win of sorts in that it shows the immense size of BTS’s Army – it was official fans and previous concert attendee-hopefuls who bought the entire ticket roster. But the technical difficulties and price gouging seen during and after the ticketing process also left fans frustrated.

BTS will perform at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which holds between 70,000 and 100,000 people. Photo: Instagram

After nearly two years of no live concerts, the group’s Army, by and large, were frustrated by Ticketmaster’s flaws and inability to improve the ticketing process after eagerly waiting to see BTS in-person again.

As of Monday, popular ticket resales outlet Stubhub featured tickets for the four concerts available ranging from around US$400 to nearly US$15,000, while fans on social media shared screenshots of prices over US$20,000.

Originally, the most expensive tickets sold by Ticketmaster were priced around US$500. Ticketmaster’s resale programme, which is supposed to sell tickets directly between individuals in an attempt to avoid scalpers, has yet to open.

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