FESTA 2019 is full of the jokes, laughter and heartfelt honesty that BTS is known for. (Illustration by Eunhye Cho, Laguna College)

BTS’s FESTA 2019 Is a Celebration of Who They Are and How Far They’ve Come

K-pop’s biggest stars sit down with each other to remind everyone that they’re still normal people.

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K-pop’s biggest stars sit down with each other to remind everyone that they’re still normal people.

Fans of BTS, K-pop’s most successful act, anticipate a special, annually-released video known as FESTA. FESTA is an opportunity for the group to reflect on what has happened throughout the year and reminisce on their careers as a whole. For 2019’s version of FESTA, things are no different.

The seven members of BTS sit around a table filled with snacks answering questions that guide their conversation through the ups and downs of the year. FESTA is teeming with feelings of familial love, friendship, nostalgia, growth and gratitude.

They begin by answering questions about their childhoods, talking about things like secret hideaways, favorite Christmas presents and reliving their past with each other.

As they try and answer the questions, they often find themselves quickly getting off topic, laughing and sharing stories with each other and their fans.

During their first question, while they were supposed to be talking about childhood hideaways, they instead find themselves talking about crayfish. The loving and playful group dynamic quickly shines through in their discourse and interactions; their closeness is made abundantly clear.

The boys seem to enjoy joking around and teasing one another throughout the special, firing off quick quips and smart-a— comments whenever they can. But all the comments are very clearly playful and well-meaning, none are actually hurtful or harsh, and the rounds of laughter make that clear enough. There is definitely something very brotherly about the way they joke around with each other.

However, the real heart of the interview is how they talk about their growth and their feelings. The first question that really encourages the group to dive into these feelings was simply asking about what emotions they’ve been personally feeling as of late.

This really opens BTS up to talk about something much deeper than just living life as superstar musicians. The band has never been one to shy away from talking about heavier emotional subjects in their songs and this questionnaire is no different.

One of the boys, Suga, who is known for a harsher style in his solo music begins by talking about how he wants to be less emotional and find balance in his life. Meanwhile, V talks about how he has been feeling extremely intense emotions, even saying how the other members have taught him to be more open with how he is feeling.

As each of the members takes their turn, they open up about their desires for the future, learning genuine happiness and being in the moment. There is a very apparent openness and vulnerability to it. No judgment, only encouragement.

Next, BTS moves on to discuss the difference between their stage persona and who they really are. Right away, Jungkook, the youngest member, reveals that, in comparison to who he is as an artist, he feels insignificant. He talks about how he feels like he isn’t very smart or capable of studying. This leads the groups to talk about how they feel there are many things that are just as important as learning from books.

They use their platform to speak about how life itself and experiences can teach more than school alone. It is both a heartfelt attempt at lifting their friend’s spirits and also a way to encourage their fans that may feel the same.

Ultimately, listening to each member talk about how they struggle with who they are on stage versus their real-life personality is both sad and uplifting. It displays their desire to remain genuine, staying willing to open up about things that many other artists wouldn’t discuss.

The battle between the performer and the person is very real for all of them. It can be easy to forget when watching them perform, sing, travel, do interviews and interact with fans that they are still human.

They have their issues and struggles behind the stage and, while they sometimes incorporate those feelings into their songs, they can still seem like flawless human beings.  When someone pours so much of their life into their music, the lines can blur and it can become difficult to see where the performer ends and where the person begins.

Out of all the members of BTS, it is Jhope that really brings home this topic. He opens up about how calling himself Jhope has made him become a more a hopeful person but has also put a lot of pressure on him. Often it can be difficult for him to keep up with that kind of energy. Fans often are worried when it seems that he isn’t his usual self. All this has made him feel like he has to be a ray of sunshine all the time.

Of course, all the other members assure him they will do their best to lift up the energy when he is down. It’s a reminder that these boys are far more than just cookie cutter one-dimensional characters.

The end of the video is where the conversation becomes the most interesting. The boys transition into talking about how each of them has changed over the past year. But, instead of having to describe themselves, they take turns describing each other.

The way they talk about other each other’s growth shows just how much they support and love each other. They take the time to really reflect on the people they’ve become and how they can see improvement in their lives. It makes the whole talk feel almost like a therapy session allowing them to share how they feel about their friends while also lifting them up.

Of course, throughout the entire video, they still laugh and joke around. They sit around the table sharing and talking, not like a band, but like a family. Things like FESTA show how BTS is not your average, run-of-the-mill boy band. They take the time to show who they are and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with their fans and with each other. Watching them interact feels like watching a family interact.

Even just in the past year, the group has soared to new heights, becoming an international sensation. Yet, in FESTA 2019, they still sit around a table and just talk, allowing their fans to just be with them as they pour out their souls to show that their fame doesn’t make them any less human.

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