June 15, 2021
How BTS Managed to Connect With Fans Virtually at 2021 Muster Sowoozoo
Here are some of the highlights from BTS’ online concert and fan meeting hosted on VenewLive and powered by Kiswe.
Celebrating BTS’ 8th anniversary, members RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, took over the massive Seoul Olympic Stadium for their annual fan meeting and concert. This year, the event was titled “2021 Muster Sowoozoo” and featured a galactic-themed set.
While the festivities for this milestone usually take place in person, the ongoing pandemic shifted the event to a two-day, live streamed showcase. The event included both a local and world tour version where the septet used the latter to perform some of their international songs in Japanese. Despite being virtual, BTS managed to utilize creative ways to make their dedicated fanbase, known as ARMY, feel engaged and connected throughout the event. Below are just some of the methods used to deliver an epic online experience that reached over 1.33 million viewers.
Premiering Live Performances for Fans
BTS has delivered some of the most impressive live performances for their title tracks like “Butter,” “Dynamite,” and “Boy With Luv” on major televised shows including The Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, and SNL, among others. However, at concerts, ARMYs also anticipate seeing the first-ever performance of lesser-known tracks from their extensive oeuvre. For Muster Sowoozoo, BTS performed songs off their latest studio album BE including “Fly to My Room,” “Stay” and “Dis-ease.” Two of the most surprising performances came from solo mixtapes by SUGA and j-hope where all seven members gathered to cover “Daechwita,” along with a remake of “Chicken Noodle Soup (featuring Becky-G)”
Fan-Driven Trending Topics
During the first half of the show, the band took the time to reflect on the hardships of not being able to perform in person and see their dedicated fanbase. Despite the dearth of live events, BTS managed to stay connected with fans through impromptu live streams and social media. The segment titled “Signal From Army” featured fan-driven initiatives across social media showing how ARMYs around the world were connecting with each other through music, memes and messages. For instance, the hashtag #SkyforNamjoon became a trending topic where people posted pictures of the sky on Weverse and Twitter from their locations in response to a comment that member RM posted. Another conversation showcased fans predicting which songs the band were going to perform during Muster Sowzoo.
Incorporating Virtual Audiences and Cheers
Similar to “Map of the Soul ON:E,” BTS brought virtual fans into the venue using LED screens with cheering sounds. Due to the unique stage configuration of the Sowzoo stage, the screens were placed between the walkways, akin to floor seats, and in rows facing the stage.
Akin to sporting events, BTS concerts also include their own fan chants for certain songs. Using audio crowd-sourced by fans, songs like Dis-ease, Fire and So What were able to mix fans’ voices into the performances, making them seem more lively and energetic.
Unique Set Design
The impressive set design for the event could have easily been used for a major music festival. The stage featured massive colorful planets suspended in the air, along with a unique infinity-shaped stage which allowed the band to roam freely during the non-choreographed routines. For the performance of “Chicken Noodle Soup,” the stage was large enough to accommodate a fleet of vintage lowriders and a crew of background dancers. The set also included pyrotechnics for songs like “Fire” and closed out with fireworks that could be seen across the city skyline.
Due to the scale and configuration of the stage, the logistics of showcasing the performances was not an easy feat. Multiple cameras and operators were stationed across various locations to capture the different members--especially during “Dis-ease” where they stepped off stage to “meet” the virtual fans who were singing and cheering with ARMY bombs in tow.
Multiview Angles Using State-of-the-Art Technology
VenewLive included a six-camera multiview option where audiences could choose which camera angle they wanted to watch. With seven members, this feature was especially valuable to capture all of the action that was taking place during the concert.
The production team also made an effort to provide different angles that audiences normally wouldn’t see -- ranging from remote-controlled gimbal cars for close-ups to drones to aerial footage from a drone. BTS also entered and exited the stage through a van, where footage was captured live from six different Samsung phones.
Additionally, the concert featured live 4K quality views with DRM protected video--which becomes complex when taking into account the myriad of devices with a large global audience. These challenges include the interplay and capabilities of various platforms to handle the playback of 4K video properly as well as the bandwidth considerations required for the live streaming to maintain a constant playback. Both of these factors are crucial to the success of enabling this feature so that audiences receive a seamless viewing experience.
Localization Features for Global Fans
The online concert was reported to have over a million viewers tuning in from over 195 countries and regions, breaking the record for “Map of the Soul ON:E’s” viewership. In order to accommodate the vast amount of global fans, subtitles were provided in four languages-- English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The chat feature, which allowed ARMYs to react in real-time to the performances, was also localized so that you would see comments in your language. With popularity as far-reaching as BTS’s, these subtle yet important features can improve accessibility and help fans around the world feel a bit more connected to each other.
As more in-person events and concerts begin to return, adopting a hybrid model and providing both virtual and physical shows can benefit both fans and artists. By incorporating a livestreaming option, fans who can’t attend shows can still participate in real-time while artists can scale their performances without the cost of touring and travel.
To learn more about how Kiswe is powering world-class virtual concerts and events, contact us for a free live demo!
The livestreaming platform powered by Kiswe will host the two-day online concert leveraging multiview and 4K resolution
Leveraging Kiswe’s state-of-the-art live-streaming technology, “MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E” marks the world’s first streaming concert to employ both multi-view and 4K/HD