bts american music awardsKevin Winter/Getty Images

  • Hailing from South Korea, BTS is one of the biggest bands in the world.
  • Their latest single “IDOL” had the biggest YouTube 24-hour debut of all time.
  • I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the opening concert of the group’s “Love Yourself’ world tour, which kicked off in Seoul, and it was truly crazy.
  • Getting a ticket itself was a scary experience: I was scammed and even blackmailed by fans into trying to give up my ticket.
  • Outside the stadium, many had been camping for days to get hold of merchandise. And inside, I was booted out for snapping several photos.
  • The overall experience made me realize how protective and obsessive fans can be about their favorite K-pop idols.


Forget “Gangnam Style” and PSY: the boys from BTS are the undisputed kings of K-pop.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Bangtan Sonyeondan, also known as the Bangtan Boys or BTS. Debuting in 2013, the South Korean group has been all over the internet in recent years, breaking record after record in the global music industry.

Anything they touch goes viral — including appearances on The Ellen Show.

Their latest single “IDOL” raked over 45 million views on YouTube in its first 24 hours of release, earning the largest first-day debut in YouTube’s history by knocking off Taylor Swift’s 2017 single “Look What You Made Me Do,” which earned 43.2 million views in 24 hours. “IDOL” also has an alternative version that features Nicki Minaj.

The group’s album “Love Yourself: Tear” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart in May, making it the highest-charting album in US history for a K-pop act.

BTS owes their success to their die-hard fan base, dubbed the “Army,” which stays busy on social media, spreading the BTS message around the world and generating  millions of clicks, views, and BTS-related retweets.

The group’s “Love Yourself” world tour kicked off in Seoul in August and will pass through the US, Europe, and Japan through February. All of the tour dates are currently sold out.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the opening night on August 25 in Seoul. But as I found out, BTS fans will employ whatever means possible to get their hands on tickets — including blackmail.

Here’s how I got a ticket, the scene outside the stadium, and how my experience of the concert unfortunately lasted for less than 20 minutes.