South Korean broadcast network KBS reported yesterday (September 21) claiming that the Busan government had sent out sponsorship request emails to the 10 biggest corporations in Korea as a means of funding BTS’ ‘Yet To Come’ Busan concert on October 15. The concert has been touted as free-of-charge for audiences, in order to support Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
KBS also reported that the Busan government had done so while attaching a contact for HYBE in their correspondence, claiming the request was passed down from the entertainment company. When HYBE was contacted directly to verify their request, a representative was said to have had no knowledge of the request.
하이브도 모르는 공연 지원비 요청메일을 지들 맘대로 보내고 하이브에서 보냈다고⁉️미친‼️
– (부산콘공연 지원비)정부 엑스포 유치위원회측은 지난달 대기업들에 메일을 보냈습니다
– 협찬 금액별로 기업 홍보를 약속하는 자료를 첨부했고,하이브 담당자와 통화하라며 이름과 연락처도 적어뒀습니다 pic.twitter.com/inD3HPVOwA
— 꾹이모나97.🐰(slow~) (@JJUNGKOOK_mona4) September 21, 2022
On September 22, HYBE issued an official statement to Newsen clarifying the controversy regarding the sourcing of funds and allocation of expenses for the forthcoming BTS concert, which is expected to be held at the 60,000-capacity Busan Asiad Main Stadium and livestreamed worldwide at zero cost to international viewers.
“A significant portion of the cost [of the ‘Yet To Come’ concert] will be covered by corporate sponsorships, online streaming advertisements and THE CITY subsidiary enterprise, among others,” HYBE wrote. “In addition, it was also decided that HYBE will personally cover for the remaining expenses that cannot be covered by these measures.”
The label also reiterated that BTS have agreed to perform for the city of Busan without remuneration, in an effort to realise the band’s longstanding hopes of staging a concert for fans free-of-charge.
“In the past, HYBE and BTS have focused on the valuable outcomes of participating in national events rather than their cost,” HYBE’s statement continued, before it added that they have always been “cautiously considering [financial] support from the government, given that its primary source is taxpayers’ money”. “The same is true for the cost of the Busan concert,” the company said. “The expo’s committee are doing their best to provide a concert venue and finance the concert within a limited budget.”
“HYBE and BTS are proud to contribute to the country,” it wrote, before going on to express their desire to not forgo the quality of the concert. The company also emphasised the importance of BTS’ representation of Busan and South Korea as some of the world’s biggest stars. “Through this concert, HYBE and BTS want to make Busan a place that the world puts a spotlight on.”
Rounding off their statement, HYBE concluded: “HYBE and BTS will do our best until the end so that the Busan concert will become a cornerstone for the bid to host the 2030 Busan World Expo.”
This isn’t the first time the forthcoming ‘Yet To Come’ concert has drawn public criticism over its organisation – the original venue for the gig, Ilgwang Special Stage, was flagged by both fans and Busan residents earlier this month for its alleged safety hazards and inability to host large crowds of concertgoers as a makeshift concert venue. A change in venue for ‘Yet To Come’ in Busan has since been announced to the Busan Asiad Main Stadium.