BTS Hiatus: Why Are Band Separations So Heartbreaking?

BTS, in a move that seems to be following other popular global bands, announced a hiatus earlier this week.

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BTS Hiatus: Why Are Band Separations So Heartbreaking?

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“I felt hollow,” said Shivangi Tiwari, a content creator from Mumbai, while reacting to BTS’ recent announcement of taking a ‘hiatus’. The band, through this announcement, has shocked the ARMY, and sent many fan groups into a spiral. Although, BTS has clarified that they are not separating per se, and are just trying to pursue solo careers. They have also expressed hope to "return someday", thus providing a some relief to fans hopeful of the future.

While many are holding on to the band’s ‘Promise’ that the separation is in fact, temporary, the history of band separations says otherwise.


Even though BTS just has a musical separation and are not "disbanding", this type of arrangement does seem to be inevitable when it comes to bands such as these, be it groups of yore such as The Beatles, Queen, and Spice Girls to more recent cases of One Direction and BTS.

However, Shivangi strongly believes that BTS will, in fact, return, and explains how their hiatus is different by giving the example of One Direction, who split in 2016. “In the case of One Direction, the optics looked real, but behind the scenes, we all knew that the members hated each other. Even from the events that are unfolding right now, you can decipher that they despise each other. BTS has its own reality show, footage from trips, and they even live together! You see them bonding behind the scenes and they are all over each other’s social media– their stories, posts, and everything else. It’s hard for fake so much love!”

BTS in a photo from its dorm room in South Korea.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

While these separations have a financial cost, it is safe to assume that one group of people that carries the emotional brunt of such breakups are fans and fan clubs. So, why is it so heartbreaking when your favourite band splits up, almost as if it’s a personal loss?


Bands Help Develop a Sense of Self-Worth

“I know you've never loved// The crinkles by your eyes when you smile// You've never loved your stomach or your thighs// The dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine// But I'll love them endlessly.” These lyrics are from One Direction’s song ‘Little Things’, and just like this one, many of their songs focused on making young people feel worthy, special, and beautiful in their own way.

BTS too is hailed for its strong propagation of self-love, and Shivangi claims to be a fan of the band exactly for this reason.

Sasha, a 21-year-old MA student from Mumbai affirms this and says, “I first came across BTS in 2020. We were in the middle of dealing with a global pandemic. A lockdown had just been announced in India and I was suddenly experiencing emotions that I didn’t know how to deal with. Suddenly, I came across this music from this band that talked about self-love, about accepting oneself as one is. That really resonated with me at that time. It wasn't the dancing or the visuals that attracted me– it was the music, the lyrics, the message that the band delivered.”

One of BTS' most enderaing qualities is the importance they give to self-love.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Is It the Lack of Closure?

Most announcements follow a textbook method where the band first praises its members, the time and growth they've had, and how they are "excited to see what the future holds" for them individually. While the message is packed with positivity, fans are left out of the specifics of the split, and rumours about possible rifts and the ugly side of things that start pouring in after the announcement fuel the heartbreak even further.

While this might be general reasoning, Sasha believes BTS’ case is different and that they have explained themselves adequately. “They have spoken about finding it difficult to seek inspiration to write lyrics and (compose) music, and find a message for the band as a whole. Also, I think as fans or audiences, we need to understand that they don’t owe us complete explanations about what went down regarding any decision that they made. We need to accept the fact that they need to rest, recalibrate and then move forward as a band in the future.”


The Loss of A Community

People who are part of "stans" or online fan clubs form a community of sorts where they indulge in their mutual love of the band. Finding this space in an online community is more important than it seems because chances are, people in these fans' real lives are mostly poking fun at their fandom and ridiculing their obsession.

The end of the band also means the end of these communities. While some communities might continue to exist, the end of the phenomenon that created them in the first place might render them with a lack of new things to discuss and bond over, leading them to an inevitable end too.

BTS' ARMY is considered as one of the strongest pop-culture fandoms.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Following Their Growth and Journey Becomes an Obsession

Most fans follow the journey of bands right from their inception. Others who join later make sure they are well-versed with the band's history and everything else that they have missed out on over the years. Seeing a band you followed from the beginning grow into a global phenomenon is nothing short of a feeling of pride. The end of this means no celebration of new milestones and nothing new to look forward to in terms of their music. All you can do is bid goodbye and only hope that it’s not permanent.

Despite all the uncertainty that looms over the band's future, Shivangi ends on an optimistic note and says, “I am almost certain that they will return. The fact that they have emphasized so much and so many times that this is a temporary hiatus makes me believe they have a plan in store.”

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Topics:  One Direction   BTS   BTS Army 

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