‘Ar-JIN-tina’ – The K-pop star sparks excitement among fans in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has been gripped by “Jin” fever, with fans flocking to catch a glimpse of the K-pop superstar making what may be his last public appearance in a while.
Before enlisting for military service in South Korea, 29-year-old BTS singer-songwriter Jin is set to make an appearance with Coldplay on the British rock band’s Argentina tour on Saturday.
He’s plugged in to appear on just one track – the first-ever live performance of “The Astronaut” co-written with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
The promise of a song was enough to spark a craze, and since news of Jin’s one-time appearance broke, hundreds of fans have set up camp outside the River Plate Stadium hosting 10 Coldplay concerts, who tweeted on Thursday, “Jin is here!”
More than a thousand worshipers flocked to the airport in the vain hope of catching a glimpse of Jin’s arrival on Tuesday, but he escaped through a rear exit.
“It means a lot now that he’s going to do his military service,” university student Agustina Jenzi told AFP outside the stadium, among those who came with tents, yoga mats, food and drinks for the long wait.
“It’s good for him to experience this. I don’t know if he’s been here and seen us… he should know there are a lot of people here.”
The local branch of “BTS World Army” hopes to get as close to the stage as possible when the doors open for Saturday’s concert.
Ten days ago, the agency representing BTS said the group’s seven members would enlist in the military, ending a debate over whether they should be exempted from mandatory service of around two year.
The group, credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy, is due to sign by December. They said they hoped to reunite by 2025.
Outside the stadium, the makeshift tent camp is decorated with shrine-like tributes to Jin, with photos of the singer on homemade signs, decorated phone covers, blankets and scarves.
Finding a room to rent in Buenos Aires, a city of three million people, has become a challenge in recent days.
And social media has exploded, with Jin occupying six of the top ten trends on Argentinian Twitter with more than half a million tweets on Tuesday alone.
Popular hashtags include “#Welcome to Arjintina”.
“When they announced he was coming, we came here and started camping,” 23-year-old Rocio Vega told AFP.
“We’re tent one. And then other girls joined us. So far there are 18 tents” with around 40 ticket holders sleeping in and around each.
Vega et al don’t care that the concert hits the screens of 3,500 theaters in more than 75 countries.
Jin must be seen in the flesh.
“It will be her real departure,” said Vega, who had bought tickets to see Coldplay on October 25 and 29, and another for Saturday when she learned that Jin would be there.
Sumilda Garcia, an 18-year-old student who smiles at the mere mention of Jin’s name, said sleeping in intermittent rain was a small price to pay for a chance to see her idol in real life.
“At night, we sit and talk about the possibility of seeing it… It’s a mixture of emotions, between happiness, a lot of adrenaline, the anguish of being able to see it, of having it near.”