For BTS fans, collectively known as ARMY, there is never any rest. Even though the band has paused current group activity so that each of its seven members can fulfill their mandatory military service in South Korea, their individual projects have been rolling out on a steady drip – so consistently that it’s been as much work to keep up with their solo efforts as it was when they were releasing content together as a group. And now.. it’s FESTA.
FESTA is known as the anniversary period commemorating BTS’s debut on June 13. Every year, for two weeks starting at the beginning of June, it’s wall-to-wall BTS celebration. This year marks their tenth anniversary, a big one. So last week they released a schedule graphic that serves as a guide to what’s coming up every day.
And indeed, every day there’s been at least one gift to open, from never-before-seen images to livestream events for past concerts on YouTube and Weverse, to dance practice videos from their extensive vault, including one I’ve been waiting on forever: “Anpanman”.
A major anniversary event will take over Seoul on June 17th. And there will also be a new song. “Take Two”, the new BTS digital single, drops this coming Friday, June 9. Since both Jin and j-hope are now serving military duty, obviously this is a track they recorded months ago, ahead of Jin’s enlistment. That, already, is a big f-cking deal considering how well ARMY mobilises in support of their favourites.
But it looks like there’s even more on the way after FESTA. Following the announcement in May that Beyond the Story: 10 Year Record of BTS, the band’s biography written by journalist Kang Myeong-seok, the book went to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list ahead of its release on July 9th, which represents ARMY’s tenth anniversary.
And then, a few days after that…
Jungkook was trending all weekend after Korean media outlet Sports Chosun reported that his long-awaited solo album would drop on July 14th. In response, BTS’s company, HYBE, issued a statement:
“We will make an announcement once the release schedule for Jungkook’s solo album has been confirmed.”
That is not a denial, it’s a word salad. In other words, Jungkook is coming. And it’s not like there haven’t been signs. He was in LA back in April, in studio with Scooter Braun who said he was a “witness [to] history”…
…so whatever’s been in the works is carrying big expectations. JK meanwhile isn’t talking about it. He’s talking about everything BUT this rumoured album. Yesterday, amidst all the speculation, he actually showed up on Weverse for a livestream that drew 16 MILLION viewers.
Looks like Jungkook from BTS pulled in more viewers for his livestream on Weverse (16.3 million) than the BBCâ€™s coverage of Charles IIIâ€™s coronation. https://t.co/x1pNEISOu4 pic.twitter.com/YNenAn4OBo— Hyunsu Yim (@hyunsuinseoul) May 8, 2023
JK and V are the two remaining members of BTS who’ve yet to drop solos. If July 14 is really JK Day, then V presumably will follow at some point in the next quarter, setting up the eventuality that by the end of the year, all seven members of BTS will be enlisted and on track, perhaps, for a reunion by the end of 2025.
Yours in gossip,