An artist spray paints a mural of K-pop megastars BTS in Seoul on June 12, 2023, on the occasion of the supergroup's 10-year anniversary.
Image: Anthony Wallace / AFP
Fans of K-pop megastars BTS flocked to hotspots around Seoul on Monday to mark the supergroup's 10-year anniversary, with South Korea unveiling a special commemorative stamp series to celebrate.
The group's fans—known collectively as ARMY—gathered outside the offices of its agency HYBE to take selfies and record TikTok videos in front of a huge mural of the stars being painted on a wall.
Korea Post unveiled a special edition series of stamps in BTS's honour set to go on sale at post offices Tuesday—the official anniversary of the septet's debut -- having already sold out almost instantly online.
A special map released by the city government for fans visiting from abroad features 13 locations across the South Korean capital.
It includes agency HYBE's office in Yongsan and the historic Gyeongbok Palace, where BTS filmed a special edition of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Fans said it was worth travelling so far to honour their favourite band.
BTS "really saved my life", Claudia Agustin, 23, a fan from Indonesia who works in accounting, told AFP in Seoul, adding that their lyrics had spoken to her during difficult periods of her life.
She said she was "really, really proud" of the group's 10-year anniversary.
"I know how they've been struggling from back in their debut days and then they really make it big. Now everyone really knows them," she added.
Starting Monday, important tourist spots across Seoul, including the Namsan Seoul Tower and Dongdaemun Design Plaza, will be lit up in purple—ARMY's colour—in celebration of the anniversary.
BTS members who are not doing their military service yet have been busy with their solo careers—with Jimin releasing his six-track solo album "Face" in March.
It is likely part of a carefully planned strategy, experts said.
"The most significant part of BTS' 10th anniversary is that they're still here and together as BTS," Jeff Benjamin, Billboard's K-pop columnist, told AFP.
"Every male K-pop group will need to pause or transition due to South Korea's mandatory military service but not every group is adequately prepared as BTS has with preplanned music and content that holds significant meaning.
"Even the new song itself 'Take Two' speaks specifically to this new chapter of BTS with their fans," Benjamin added.