BTS just had their second iteration of Bang Bang Con. The first edition of Bang Bang Con aired in 2020 when the band’s “Map of the Soul” worldwide tour suddenly had to be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. BTS Army got to enjoy their performance dating back to as early as 2015 over the two-day virtual event. Last year, the online concert managed to garner 50 million views over the weekend and unify armies all over the world.

This year’s Bang Bang Con was no different. Big Hit Entertainment put out an announcement for this year’s event with a Twitter post just last week. Despite the short notice, Armies all over the world tuned in to watch the event, which had an incredible response. Fans lit up their purple light stick from the comfort of their rooms and a staggering 22, 248, 241 million people tuned in to watch their favorite band perform. According to the World Music Awards, #BangBangCon21 has been trending #1 worldwide with over 3 million tweets.

The international fans tuned it to watch the event in the early hours as replays were unlikely to be made available. The online concert was streamed for free on their official YouTube channel BangtanTV. This year, we can only hope that Big Hit will make the concert available to watch for later, but no announcement has been made yet.

Yesterday, fans tuned in for the 8-hour free online concert, streamed non-stop on YouTube. Like last year’s, the show included sensational footage from their previous concerts. Fans of the k-pop group went wild on social media platforms and flooded Twitter with the #BangBangCon21. 

Fans took to Twitter to convey their emotions, artworks and reactions to show appreciation for their favorite band. The fans then set another hashtag #ThankYouBTS in motion and took Twitter by storm post-event. 

These tweets truly capture the value of Bang Bang Con during a pandemic that’s keeping everyone apart. 

The virtual concert ended with a hopeful message for the Army by BTS. The message said “Special Thank To Our Biggest Voice: Army”. The Korean septet’s action truly reflects how much they care for their fanbase and they are by their side even in such stressful times. No wonder why they have the most loyal fanbase in the world!

"Special Thanks to Our Biggest Voice: Army"
{Image Description: BTS thank their fans: “special thanks to our biggest voice, Army”] Via BangtanTV.

This pandemic has seen an influx of online events. Although the concept of online concerts is old, the biggest online boy-band in the world BTS made it the next big then. They showed that raw concert footage can be turned into a full-length concert and could unite millions worldwide. The fans are also picking up on this trend of online concerts. A lot of the fans – over 700k – even paid to watch their exclusive content online. The massive viewership only indicates that fans are eager to watch their favorite bands on any streaming platform at any cost. This makes online concerts the future of band performance. 

There will definitely be more online concerts in the future making live streaming a lucrative business, but also hopefully making concerts more accessible. Other companies and popular bands like Mamamoo, Blackpink have picked up on the trend of live streaming performances during the pandemic.

If one thing is clear, it’s that virtual concerts with 3D modeled background, flashy lights and augmented stage are the next big thing.

The pandemic might have stopped the fans from seeing their favorite band perform live but this online concert brought them closer together than ever.

BTS came in and truly saved 2021 for their fans. 

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  • Usraat Fahmidah

    Usraat Fahmidah is a freelance writer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her prose and fiction have been published in several anthologies and publications like WIRED. She has done extensive research in the field of development economics and policy research encompassing education. Her interests include South Asian politics, inclusive education, philosophy, civics media, feminism and AI ethics. Her journalistic work can be seen in VICE, Dhaka Tribune and Youth Journalism International. When she's not juggling all these work, you can find her ranting about books on her blog and finding muse for her next poetry piece.