Hi! It’s Annie!
The last time I wrote a K-Pop news update wasn’t all that long ago, but there have been so many updates to what I wrote last time. Most are good to an extent, but some of which I really wasn’t expecting at all. I was really waiting to update until we heard anything about the ATEEZ tour, and I think some of the moves regarding that specifically have shocked everyone. But we also have gotten some more confirmation from BTS about exciting things and an update regarding their health that probably everyone knows about right now. This post will most likely mostly be about what I hope for when it comes to the ATEEZ concert that I will be attending in less than two weeks now. Which is absolutely insane. But I know that I missed so much BTS news and that deserves to be talked about as well. So with all that out of the way, I’m just going to get right into it!
First and foremost it is very important to note that BTS is now all clear from Covid. Yoongi, Namjoon, and Jin have all made full recoveries after minimal time quarantining, so it really was just a light case for them thanks to their vaccinations. Since then we’ve had absolute confirmation that BTS will be releasing an album this year. Many of us already figured that it was going to happen, but it’s nice to have more official confirmation. We have already seen both Namjoon and Hobi post photos on their respective Instagram accounts of them back in the studio. Though it seems as though Hobi is working on his own mixtape while Namjoon may or may not be working on the album itself. Namjoon could be working on his own mixtape and I would definitely cry if he surprise-released one. But I’m with most people in thinking that it’s probably more to do with the new album. In addition to all of that, we also got confirmation that BTS is back together after taking their vacation time. It’s unclear if their vacation is over or if they’re just getting together. I hope they still get some time to vacation! But many of them shared similar Instagram posts where they all could be heard in the background, confirming that they were spending some time together after all of the quarantining. It’s nice to know that they’re together again!
Another recent update is that the BTS webtoon, “7FATES: CHAKHO”, has been released. I’ve already read the first part and it’s more than I expected. I didn’t expect it to have a darker twist and I love that each of the members have weapons that match their old microphone colors. But Jungkook’s character has been trending because there was an implication from something, that his character might be gay. I don’t even know what exactly it was because it was so buried on Twitter by the time I got to it that I don’t think that most people knew what it was about. I think it had something to do with his character’s reaction to Namjoon’s character. (Me too, I’m still so happy that they gave Namjoon’s character canonical glasses!) #RESPECTJUNGKOOK started trending, and I, like many other people, thought that it was very stupid. It is not disrespecting Jungkook if you do something different with a character that is based off of him. The character is not him. It has never been implied to be an absolute one hundred percent adaptation of Jungkook. View it like acting. An actor is never completely represented in the character they portray. All of the time, they are absolutely different. This webtoon is set in a fantasy world where the boys are fighting demonic creatures. Do you see them fighting demonic creatures in real life? Exactly. Leave this alone. This isn’t disrespecting anyone. And if his character turns out to be gay, more power to him. Just don’t start assuming things about the real Jungkook if that happens because, once again, he is not his character.
This tour has had my head spinning in so many directions that I have no idea what to make of anything anymore. Before their first few shows in Seoul to kick off the tour, many fans thought that they were going to just cancel because of the Covid spike that we’re seeing internationally right now. The show, however, went on without a hitch. It was a little odd considering that nobody could cheer at the concerts in Seoul, but everyone made the most of it! And it’s good that there were such protective measures in place! The idea before this turned out to be successful, was that if they cancelled the shows in Seoul then they would probably postpone the entire tour. And considering that the next legs of their tour required travel, many still though that this was the end of the tour for now and the rest would be postponed. Not long after the Seoul concerts though, ATEEZ announced the postponement of the European leg of their tour. All of which have dates that span between February and March, and most of them during the time when Covid is expected to see a little bit of a downturn. But the dates for the US tour, which are all in January and still during the spike, were not spoken about for a while. I think I can speak for most US fans when I say that every day I was expecting an announcement that the US tour would also be postponed. But then they made an announcement that they were flying to Chicago and this is the first day of their US tour, which did happen. I’m still not really trusting it. I’m still almost expecting a last minute cancellation, but now that they’re here I really hope they can travel safely and everything goes well without anyone getting sick.
I’m going to be as blunt as possible, for those of us going to the ATEEZ tour in the US, we have to be even more careful than we’ve been before. Possibly even for the BTS ‘Permission To Dance’ concert. Because the PTD concert took place before the spike and, though many fans travelled to see it which probably wasn’t smart then, at least the boys were quarantining and weren’t really traveling. When some of them travelled afterwards is when they got Covid, which was right at the beginning of the spike. I know ATEEZ is hotel quarantining in every location, but they are still traveling. And though there will be less fans traveling, it is more important than ever to keep everyone safe. Including each other. Now is NOT the time to be going to large events, out to big cities, or to any busy places. Now is the time to try and quarantine yourself as much as you possibly can before your concert date. Double mask, keep yourself safe. If you test positive, don’t go to the concert. I was personally hoping that ATEEZ would postpone for the safety of themselves and their fans, but I understand the decision to keep going. I am also very excited and impatient to see them. But it would have been much safer to try and postpone for late Spring or Summer when sicknesses in general are proven to go down. But that’s unfortunately not what’s happening. I’ve seen some people who are going to the concert in LA boast or post about going to giant events. Or some people who are planning to travel to LA from other parts of California or nearby states planning to do a list of things in the city while they’re here. I hate to be that person, but I wouldn’t recommend doing any of those things right now in general, especially not before the concert. It usually makes sense to do some of those things, especially if you’re on a trip. But the placement of this concert in the spike doesn’t really allow you to do any of those things safely. I would even strongly recommend double-masking at the concert itself.
I can’t speak for the venues in different states, but at least the one in LA requires you to be vaccinated and masked the entire time. If you can’t produce a vaccination then you must produce a negative Covid test within 48 hours of the concert. There will be other locations that don’t require some of this and just strongly encourage it. I think to go to this concert unvaccinated and not wearing your mask the entire time would be irresponsible. I wouldn’t even recommend taking your mask down for a picture. Please try and keep yourself and everyone around you as safe as possible. As excited as I am to see ATEEZ, I can’t say that the concert happening right now doesn’t make me a little nervous. I’m going to try and look on the bright side, but that depends on everyone being responsible and respectful of the artists and the people around them. And if the unthinkable happens and there’s some sort of an emergency that causes the concert to be postponed, please do not get angry that you won’t see them so soon. That should not be our first priority, everyone’s safety should be, and that also only means that safety precautions were put in place. Most people say that this spike won’t last very long. So if it gets postponed they will be back soon! Personally, I’m hoping that a decreasing spike might mean another BTS tour this year. But we’ll have to see!
Update: As of today because of the postponement and change of dates for the Monsta X concert, my sister and I will no longer be able to attend due to vacation plans we’ve had for months now. So unfortunately, we’ll have no post about that concert. But we still have the BTS concert post and, if everything goes to plan, we will have an ATEEZ concert post soon!
All I’m trying to say here is that we really need to keep our boys and each other safe! The concerts have already started and that’s an accomplishment in itself! But just because the US leg of the tour has started, doesn’t mean that the people hoping to attend their concert should drop their guard. We need to be vigilant. Let’s have fun but also keep each other safe at the same time. But seriously, all the worries and my general anxiety aside, I still have not registered the fact that Yunho is going to be in front of me. My brain is short-circuiting with this information.
See you across the pond!