More than 300,000 fans of K-pop group BTS are expected in Seoul this weekend.
They meet at Han River Park in Yeouido to celebrate the 10th anniversary of BTS. After last year’s mass influx, Seoul city authorities are on high alert to implement security measures. The BTS Festa @ Yeouido is expected to draw crowds as the main event of a two-week festival.
“There are concerns about possible mass casualties as the events would end late at night and large numbers of people are expected to move together across bridges and roads in a short period of time,” Premier Han Duck-soo said called in a statement to the authorities on management measures. Agencies on alert include the Department of Home Affairs and Security, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Department of Land, Infrastructure and Support and the National Police Agency.
City officials will deploy around 630 officers and city employees to maintain crowd control measures. Crowd control measures came under intense scrutiny in South Korea following last year’s Halloween tragedy.
Police will block the road from the southern end of the Mapo Bridge to Building #63 from 2:00 p.m. Depending on local traffic, other roads near Han River Park will also be closed. The festival continues various events for visitors, including the BTS History Wall, an exhibition of the group’s various costumes, and a sculpture created to commemorate the anniversary.
Group leader RM will personally meet with the fans at 5:00 p.m. in the “ARMY Lounge”. At around 8:30 p.m. there will be a big fireworks display. Officers will be on hand to control the flow of traffic while the large crowd exits the park after the show ends.
A Investigation The 2022 Seoul Halloween crowd investigation found that police and other government agencies failed to take proper precautions. Almost 160 people died in one of the worst peacetime disasters in the country’s history.