The Korea Herald


[BTS' 10th] RM of BTS tunes in live with fans at Yeouido

Fans, RM celebrate BTS' 10th anniversary with live talk show at BTS Festa

By Choi Ji-won

Published : June 17, 2023 - 20:20

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BTS' rapper and leader RM holds a talk show, BTS' rapper and leader RM holds a talk show, "It's 5 PM and this is Kim Namjun," during the band's 10th anniversary festival, "2023 BTS Festa," held in Seoul's Yeouido Hangang Park on Saturday. (Big Hit Music)

Laughter rippled across the grass field in Yeouido Hangang Park on Saturday as RM, the leader of BTS, read out a story from one of the group's 10-year fan who first discovered BTS in her middle school and grew up with the band. She recently landed her first job, RM read from her message.

"I remember training to become a singer as a student with Yoongi (Suga), and it feels strange celebrating our 10th anniversary like this right now," RM said.

"Thank you for being with us as you grew up from a middle school student into an adult. With you guys backing me, I'll also continue to work hard."

The story was introduced during RM's live talk show session, "It's 5 PM and this is Kim Namjun” on Saturday as part of the band's 10th anniversary festival, "2023 BTS Festa," in Seoul's Yeouido. Kim Namjun is the BTS rapper's real name.

Some 3,000 fans filled up the seats of Army Lounge, a closed-off area inside the riverside park, where RM's event was held. Army is the group's official fandom name. The event was simultaneously live-streamed globally via Weverse.

Kicking off his gathering at 5 p.m., RM started the session with stories sent in by fans in celebration of BTS' 10th anniversary. Seven stories from fans, who each found the group in different parts of their lives, talked of how they were comforted and healed by the band's songs and messages.

BTS' rapper and leader RM holds a talk show, BTS' rapper and leader RM holds a talk show, "It's 5 PM and This is Kim Namjun," during the band's 10th anniversary event "2023 BTS Festa" held at Yeouido Hangang Park in Yeouido, Seoul, on Saturday. (Big Hi Music)

A fan reminisced on her first-ever BTS concert in 2019 at Wembley Stadium in London. The Seoul-based fan had impulsively bought the ticket to the London concert after a bad breakup.

"I'll never forget the concert that had pulled me out of the pit and shed a hopeful light on my life," RM read out her message, adding she overcame her emotional breakdown with the concert, met a new partner and is set to get married soon.

Another fan, a Korean teacher, shared how she discovered BTS to get close with her foreign students who were the K-pop act's fans. Spending nights watching BTS' videos, she became an Army herself then, supporting the group for her seventh year now.

After reading the story, RM said, "I'm aware that many fans have studied Korean to understand our messages and our lyrics. I know how difficult it is to learn a new language. I'm so grateful that you guys are doing it out of pure love and passion for us. Thank you."

Bandmates Jungkook and V made surprise phone calls during the event, Jungkook from Los Angeles and V, real name Taehyung, from his home.

"Jungkook has something fun coming up," RM said after ending the call, hinting at Jungkook's possible solo debut which is anticipated for July.

Ending the first part of the event, RM performed his solo song "Persona."

The second part was packed with games about the group held through Weverse.

BTS' rapper and leader RM performs during his talk show BTS' rapper and leader RM performs during his talk show "It's 5 PM and This is Kim Namjun" held amid the band's 10th anniversary event "2023 BTS Festa" held at Yeouido Hangang Park in Yeouido, Seoul, on Saturday. (Big Hi Music)

Near the end of the one-and-half-hour-long event, RM said, "Time has passed and so much has changed. I've also changed much," and added, "I used to come to Yeouido Hangang Park a lot back in my trainee days. Never would I have known back then that I'd hold a Weverse live (event) for our 10th anniversary and meet you guys here."

"Around this time next year, Jin will return (from the military) first among us and, hopefully, he'll be filling in our spaces. I don't know what I'll be doing and what kind of emotions would go through me at our 15th and 20th anniversaries, but the fact that I'll be thanking you guys and loving you guys just like now will be the same for sure. Thank you everyone for making all this possible," he said.

Jin, the eldest of the seven members, is currently serving his mandatory military duty in the South Korean Army. He enlisted the first from the band in December, followed by J-Hope in April. The rest of the members will also get drafted in order.

Reading out a live comment from a global fan in the Vietnamese army, RM said, jokingly, "I'm also set get in the army soon."

Capping off the evening, RM performed his song, "Wild Flower," which led his first solo album, "Indigo," released in December.

Over 300,000 people are estimated to have visited Yeouido Hangang Park on Saturday to enjoy the fete launched in celebration of the band's 10th anniversary, according to the band's agency and the event's organizer Hybe.

Saturday's festival marks the finale of the group's city-wide festivity, "2023 BTS Festa," which have continued over the past two weeks or so, with events and programs held in different parts of Seoul for fans to immerse in and enjoy.

Wrapping up the night and the whole BTS festivity, a firework show will take place at 8:30 p.m. at the Hangang park, which is set to be accompanied by Jungkook's narrations and the septet's hit songs.