BTS fans, largely known as ARMYs, have expressed their outrage and utter anger towards organizers after they were mistreated due to an oversold concert and more.
The popular Korean boy group recently kick-started their second tour with TGM Events around North America called Highlight, which began in San Francisco, California on September 22nd, followed by Houston, Texas on the 24th, Atlanta, Georgia on the 26th, and finally, Toronto, Canada on the 27th.
What made this tour oddly unique was that no formal tickets were sold for the concert and instead, fans looking to attend the BTS concerts needed to purchase a promotional t-shirt through TicTail as this was a fashion collaboration between Community54 and the boy group.
T-shirts were initially sold for $70 USD and gave each purchaser an entry into the event in the city selected as well as a hi-touch with the group. Due to popular demand, a $50 t-shirt was then added with the same options though no hi-touch was included.
Additionally, fans who were interested in photo, autograph, and VIP passes were allowed to purchase passes separately.
- $150 VIP Pass: Group Photograph Pass + Autograph Session Pass + Early Entrance (300 passes available)
- $100 Autograph Session Pass Only (100 passes available)
- $50 Group Photograph Pass Only (100 passes available)
After the Atlanta stop which was just recently completed, BTS fans who attended the concert expressed their outrage at TGM.
According to several fan accounts, due to the Atlanta concert being oversold and the small size of the venue, many fans (said to be approximately 100 or more) were left out in the rain and unable to watch their favorite idols perform. Instead, notes were handed out explaining the situation which read, “We’re sorry the venue is at capacity, we will give you a full refund as well as a group photo and hi-touch with BTS after the show. Please write your name and e-mail address and we will give you a full refund.”
With the promise of compensation, fans unable to enter the venue waited outside until the concert ended (two and a half hours) when they were ushered inside for their hi-touch and group photo. However, after a long wait, it was finally announced that BTS had already left the venue.
“So right now, the situation is that due to our own mistake, we oversold you guys tickets. We sincerely apologize for that, it was definitely our fault. In this respect, we don’t have a solution for you right now, but we are trying to come up with one right now. Everyone in here, we will definitely refund you […] we will do our best to reimburse you any expenses you may have incurred coming over here,” said one of the staff.
In various fan videos, Atlanta ARMYs were heard shouting their anger at the unfulfilled promise. Another TGM staff member was heard apologizing to the crowd, saying, “We made a bad mistake. We can’t say that everyone makes mistakes. We made a bad mistake. […] We wanted to, we thought we could, we can’t […] We wanted to make you all happy.”
One fan’s recording revealed that another female fan stepped up and volunteered to keep in and be the main contact with TGM after getting everyone’s information to make sure they are given what they deserve (see video above). Unfortunately, fans were ushered out of the venue due to it being past its hours of operation.
Another fan uncovered a post allegedly tweeted by a TGM staff member revealing that the company had known for over two months that the Atlanta stop was oversold.
Unfortunately, this is not the only Highlight stop that received complaints, with the very first one in San Francisco garnering major criticism. Fans reported that VIPs were given entrance at an arbitrary time with General Admission allowed in afterward in which non-VIP holders were able to fill in seats “reserved” for VIPs. Because the seating was considered “free seating,” security was unable to get VIPs who came in later their to their designated seats.
Additionally, fan accounts also stated that those who did not pay for hi-touch were given hi-touch, causing many VIP pass holders had to wait to go after those who did not pay for it in the first place.
In Houston, the second stop, fan accounts revealed that the hi-touch was disorganized. It was also noted that posters for BTS to sign ran out, so sheets of paper were given to the group to sign for fans instead.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that TGM has been under fire for their management. In the past, the company was said to be blacklisted after what happened with Korean group B1A4 in Malaysia. Additionally, they are known for the cancelled concerts of Kim Tae Woo and more in North America.
EDIT: Statement by KPOPUNITIED
[STATEMENT ON TGM EVENTS]
KPOP UNITED has been, and always will be, by the fans and for the fans.
As a company built upon the foundation of fan empowerment and respect for fa
ns and artists alike, we are dismayed and saddened to learn about the current situation caused by the actions of TGM Events. We want to express our deep sympathy and support for the thousands of fans whose dreams of a concert were shattered at great personal expense.
For entertainment companies that seek to bring Korean music and culture to fans all over the world, the trust of fans is integral and paramount. Incidents that take advantage of that trust put the integrity of the industry in jeopardy and cause unthinkable harm to the fans.
It also must be said that Nadia Leong was released from KPOP UNITED in April 2014 and we have had no contact or collaborations with her since that time. KPOP UNITED is a Korean government-certified global entertainment company, and is required to adhere to strict standards of ethics and financial responsibility in order to retain the certification.
With regards to any further questions, please contact our Product Manager, Gabe Salgado, at email@example.com.
We look forward to working with global K-pop communities to move forward and quickly find healing.
We are united.
what the fuck is going on? this whole thing has been a bad from day 1. i feel so ridiculously bad for the fans. especially for those that didn't get to go inside even though they had tickets! they were promised they would get a meet and greet/high touch at the end of the show as a compensation and they didn't get that. they really have been screwed over.
apparently bangtan weren't told either that there were still 100+ fans waiting outside the venue in the rain. it has been said that bangtan are not happy with the situation either. they were getting yelled at by tgm staff for trying to talk to their fans and giving them an enjoyable experience. namjoon also apologized yesterday because they only got to perform 4 songs and they themselves didn't know about that (they were cut short basically). to think that they could have been home spending chuseok with their families but instead they took the time to see their fans and this is how everything goes. MESS tbh.
Sources: koreaboo, ontaekey_, Brttnymchlle, wotemmie (1) & (2), Emily Pafoua, DarkendDawn, jagiyummy, MK ER, kpopuntited facebook