BTS the South Korean band that is taking over the entire world, or at least most of it, is currently engaged with their Love Yourself World Tour.
There are still a few places left in the tour and already Big Hit, the agency managing the band came out with news of a brand new tour called Love Yourself: Speak Yourself, that will start from May 2019.
The difference being that it seems to be more of a stadium tour, with the announcement on February 19th detailing 10 places in their tour list.
The tour will start from the Rose Bowl Stadium (Los Angeles) with a seating capacity of +92,000, Chicago, Rutherford, Brazil, UK, France and 2 stops in Japan with each stadium having a seating of over 50,000 people.
#LOVE_YOURSELF #SPEAK_YOURSELF Stadiums' Capacities:— Wandering Shadow (@shadow_twts) February 19, 2019
Rose Bowl (92,542)
Soldier Field (61,500)
MetLife Stadium (82,500)
Allianz Parque (55,000)
Wembley Stadium (90,000)
Stade De France (80,000)@BTS_twt is coming for blood. Antis should run & hide!
However, while Big Hit has stated that more dates will be added, it did touch the nerve of the Indian fanbase or ARMY of BTS who have never held much hope of their concert happening in the country.
Considering the extreme toxic masculinity, stereotypes against Asians and men in general who wear make-up and fancy clothes, along with other practical reasons like not having sufficient space, sponsors, a guaranteed audience, the probability of a BTS concert in India still seems some way off.
However, it certainly prompted the admins of BANGTAN INDIA going on Twitter as @BANGTANINDIA to form a hashtag project.
On February 20th, in the morning, the page posted on their Twitter page, of how they were organising to trend the hashtag, #BTSTourInIndia, from 7 pm that day.
However, no one could have predicted the kind of avalanche it would result in, with the hashtag coming under the #1 Indian trend within just 20 minutes of the project starting with almost 7k tweets and counting.
It didn’t stop there though, in the next hour it almost touched +50,000 tweets and by 12 midnight, the hashtag was still trending in the top 5 with almost 1,00,000 tweets.
A Big Achievement
This was a big achievement for the desi ARMYs who had till yet not really gotten as much recognition on such a big place.
In order to understand more about the project and what it meant, we reached out to one of the admins of BANGTAN INDIA.
They said that the idea of the project came from how the Brazil ARMY had been trending the day before the new world tour was announced and the next day Brazil was among one of the stops.
Admin Nidhi commented on how the team themselves were surprised by the reach of the project, saying that, “I think this was one of the most successful hashtag projects we did ever. We somehow used to enter Indian trends, first of all entering the top 10 used to be big feat, but once in a while… whenever something would enter Worldwide trends then we’d enter. Where other international ARMYs would also be tweeting and retweeting. But this was solely Indian, with very few international ARMYs joining in.”
The various regional pages of desi ARMYs joined in and even the Nepal fanbase sweetly offered their help out.
What Was The Aim Behind It?
She further said that, “We know that trending a hashtag won’t get BTS to India, but the aim was to just garner some attention towards us.”
Till now, there have only been 2 official things related to BTS and they were the two movies that released in 2018 (Burn The Stage: The Movie) and this year (BTS concert movie). However, as such, there is not much idea of how widespread the Indian fanbase of BTS is in countable numbers.
Even the admins of Bangtan India were slightly surprised since generally, it doesn’t happen. Apparently, they’ve planned many other projects, but none of them ever really took off like this one.
Nidhi explained how they came up with the project and that it was the Indian BTS ARMYs themselves, who were asking to do a hashtag trend, seeing the Brazilian fanbase, but “generally we’d tried and were quite skeptical since mostly it used to flop, but that day at 12 midnight, we just created a poster and were like, okay, let’s do this. “
The final poster to the project was posted the next morning on 20th February and as per Nidhi, “it was the people who were really excited for this. It was them which really boosted us forward. At sharp 7 pm, we posted, which was anyway peak hours, since everybody is getting out of office etc, and usually it’s quite difficult to trend. But then suddenly it happened and it was like, everybody just woke up and it pumped us so much and we were like let’s do this. “
Another aim and perhaps the best part of the project “was that desi ARMYs get to interact with each other. We try to make it fun with memes, jokes and question, etc so that they will start talking to each other.”
I myself saw people sharing things about their hometowns, little places around different areas in India which are good for tourism etc, which makes us more knowledgable about our own country.
It was a great way for the Indian community to come together and see that India also has a good fanbase for BTS. It makes them feel not so alone.
The estimated final count was somewhere around 1,11,000 tweets for the hashtag sometime around 12 am or 1 am on 21st February.
There was some hesitation on part of the page whether to do this project or not, considering the current volatile situation, but it was not meant to harm anyone or bring down the seriousness of the current events.
However, seeing how it only brought together the fanbase of the country together in a unifying force, it was more of a positive project.
“Considering we generated almost 1 lakh tweets in a matter of 5 hours added with the whole Geo-tagging which made sure that people knew it was from India, gave them an idea what kind of audience we have here.”
The entire thing was organised on WhatsApp chat with Twinkle, Nidhi, Bhavya, Maitreyee, Lalruatkimi and others on 19th February night with T, N and M being the mastermind behind it all and the next day it was all in action.
It was mostly just to bring attention to the Indian BTS ARMYs and it was a proud moment to see them all come together to make sure that they let themselves be heard.
The end result was a massive success and it certainly brought the desi ARMYs together with each other.
It also brought the attention of other parties such as those who keep and sell physical albums, such as Crossword.
Because there are so many ARMYs in India who want to buy BTS albums but considering there is no official distributor and the Bangtan India pages can also do so much, it was quite difficult.
Thanks for writing to us. We shall see the feasibility and get back to you at the earliest.— Crossword Bookstores (@crossword_book) February 20, 2019
After this, increasing album sales both online and offline would be the next feat to cover, now that we’ve shown our presence on social media.
And it will only be with these numbers and avenues that Big Hit will know, that yes, there is potential in India.
Some people were skeptical over what exactly was the meaning of this project in the first place, and as stated earlier, we all know that merely trending a hashtag does not mean that automatically BTS will hold a concert in India the next day.
We all are aware of the many practical issues that need to be sorted out first, however, instead of a demand, this project was just an attempt by the Indian fanbase to come onto the radar of BTS and Big Hit itself.
An attempt to show that we exist, that India also has a sizable audience for the band and to essentially make our presence known.
And in that, I believe us desi ARMYs were certainly successful in.
Image Credits: Google and Twitter
Sources: Rolling Stone, Twitter
Find the blogger @chirali_08