Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

BTS on performing in Saudi Arabia: 'If there’s a place where people want to see us, we’ll go'

The K-pop stars open up about performing in the kingdom later this week

BTS will perform in Saudi Arabia this weekend. AFP
BTS will perform in Saudi Arabia this weekend. AFP

They're set to make a much-touted return to the stage this month after taking a brief hiatus, and BTS's comeback gig will also mark their Saudi Arabia debut.

The seven-piece K-pop band will perform at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Friday, October 11.

The gig follows the band's "extended break", first announced in August, and BTS have revealed why they're coming to the kingdom in a new interview.

"We were officially invited," band member RM told The Hollywood Reporter of the decision to play in Saudi Arabia. "It's been a while since we've performed in the Middle East – I guess the last time was 2015 in Dubai."

"If there's a place where people want to see us, we'll go there," added Jimin. "That's really how we feel."

The band – made up of Jimin, J-Hope, Jungkook, Jin, V, Suga and RM – will resume their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour in Riyadh at the sold-out concert.

BTS first formed in Seoul in 2013 and broke through into the US pop market in 2017, becoming the first K-pop group to win a Billboard music award. They're behind hits singles such as Idol, while albums Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer both debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart at No 1 in 2018.

The band also addressed break-up rumours, with Suga telling the publication the break "is not a big deal". "It's literally a vacation."

"We're not really compelling each other to keep this going," added Jimin. "It's nothing like that. We just have so much fun together singing and dancing that we want it to continue."

They're not the only big names coming to Saudi Arabia, with Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart and Enrique Iglesias set to perform in the kingdom next year.

From left: Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie and Enrique Iglesias have all been confirmed for the Winter at Tantora festival line up in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia. AP, Getty Images
From left: Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie and Enrique Iglesias have all been confirmed for the Winter at Tantora festival line up in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia. AP, Getty Images

Maggie May crooner Stewart will perform at the Winter at Tantora festival in January, with Richie and Iglesias joining the bill in February.

Earlier this year, Saudi hosted the Jeddah Season, a cultural festival that attracted international acts to perform in the kingdom.

Everyone from Janet Jackson and 50 Cent to Liam Payne, DJs Martin Garrix and Marshmellow and K-pop boy band Super Junior performed in Jeddah this summer.

Updated: October 9, 2019 10:43 AM

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