Send to

[From the scene] BTS' Jin returns, fans erupt with joy

Jin hosts annual BTS fan-meeting event 2024 Festa after finishing military service

June 14, 2024 - 18:20 By Kim Jae-heun
Jin of BTS greets fans during a fan meeting event at Jamsil Arena in Seoul on Thursday. (Big Hit Music)

K-pop sensation BTS' oldest member, Jin, returned to his role as a singer just a day after he finished his mandatory military service on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Jin showed up at 2024 Festa, an annual fan-meeting event celebrating the anniversary of BTS' debut on June 13, held at Jamsil Arena in Seoul.

"I told my company that I will perform at 2024 Festa even if I have less than a day to practice. I had to do it myself since the other members are all away. I forgot how to sing, and I am still nervous. But seeing you enjoy the stage and support me makes me feel grateful. I will always be by your side. Thank you for coming," Jin told some 4,000 fans who erupted in ecstatic joy after he finished the opening song, "The Astronaut."

Jin's eyes welled up with tears, overwhelmed as he stood on stage and looked at the seats fully packed with fans.

"I am back home. I feel like I have debuted again. Just watching Army is enough to energize me," said Jin, who was discharged from his 18 months of military service just a day earlier. "I was curious if all of you Army were doing well and what was happening outside."

Fans cheer for Jin at his fan-meeting event at Jamsil Arena in Seoul, Thursday. (Big Hit Music)

The event consisted of two parts: a hug session with 1,000 fans and a fan meeting with 4,000 Army members. During the fan meeting, he performed three songs: "The Astronaut," "Super Tuna" and "Moon." He also did some activities with fans.

The other BTS members, who are currently fulfilling their compulsory military service, also sent handwritten letters to celebrate the annual event and share their updates.

In their letters, Suga expressed his anticipation for meeting fans again, while RM apologized to Jin for making him host the show alone. V mentioned some advantages of military life, while J-Hope said he was making preparations for his return by focusing on exercise and studying English. Jungkook expressed his eagerness to perform again.

Jin also participated in activities such as a dance challenge to Jungkook's hit song, "Seven (feat. Latto)," and a mukbang session under his alter ego, "Eat Jin," adding a delightful touch to the event.

In his farewell address, he said he "will always strive to be the light for Army, hovering around you." He concluded the event by presenting purple bouquets to fans as they departed, ensuring a memorable finale.

Jin speaks during the mukbang session at his fan-meeting event at Jamsil Arena, Seoul, Thursday. (Big Hit Music)

The entire event was livestreamed on Weverse for fans who were unable to attend in person. The stream was exclusively available for Army membership subscribers, and viewers from 177 countries worldwide tuned in to enjoy the event together.

Vicki Tingley, a BTS fan from Michigan, was among the fans who watched the show on Weverse but was just outside the venue because she did not win the raffle.

"I just found out Saturday (about the Festa event). My friend won the raffle, and Tuesday we were on our plane here," Tingley told The Korea Herald outside the fan-meeting venue.

"BTS comes into your life when you need them most. I lost my husband in 2020 to COVID, and I was so depressed. I just needed one friend. I went to watch the Busan concert movie and I handed out (my) Instagram saying, 'I want to talk BTS, please be my friend.' And one person called, and she's my best friend, and she's in there (concert venue) right now," she added.

Scotty Kobby, another BTS fan from San Francisco, expressed excitement about Jin's comeback and anticipation for the reunion of all seven members next year.

"Everyone I met today has been incredible. Armys are all friends. Even the two friends here, I met today. This is what Army can do," Kobby said.

Aside from the fan meeting, the 2024 Festa featured an event called a "Play Zone," with booths where fans could make crafts by "upcycling" pieces of plastic and a vending machine filled with pieces of paper that had BTS song lyrics written on them.

An "Army Zone" offered commemorative gifts exclusively for Army membership subscribers. Additionally, photo zones and sponsored booths provided various entertainment options.