By Dong Sun-hwa Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the arena where BTS is staging a series of concerts, which runs until April 16, is the largest in Nevada and can accommodate 65,000 people. But it seems the seven superstars and their management company Hybe thought the facility was not big enough for the group and its fans – hence, for the first time in K-pop history, they turned the entire city of Las Vegas into a BTS playground. Fans wanting to see more behind-the-scenes pictures of BTS should go to the “Behind the Stage: Permission to Dance” photo exhibition in Area 15, which costs US$25. Inside a dark room illuminated in purple – a symbolic colour for BTS – a series of attention-grabbing photos and videos are displayed. Some of them feature BTS members during their concerts, while others capture their dance rehearsals, offering a sneak peek into the K-pop megastars’ life. Another destination is “BTS Pop-up: Permission to Dance in Las Vegas”, a free pop-up site exhibiting immersive sets and inventive installations, among others. Also in Area 15, visitors can meet large Tinytans, the animated characters inspired by BTS members, and different props from their music videos, such as a basketball hoop structure seen in the BTS’ 2020 hit Dynamite video. The crown jewel of the exhibition is in a bright yellow space inspired by BTS’ 2021 summer hit Butter , where people can imagine they are being dipped in butter as gigantic butter-like structures hanging from the ceiling slowly move up and down. They can also buy exclusive merchandise outside the store, although there are long queues. South Korea’s president-elect beats a path to K-pop’s door “I arrived in Las Vegas yesterday,” said Candice, a BTS fan from Oklahoma in a Suga T-shirt. “I am staying at a BTS-themed hotel and I just bought a T-shirt for the Las Vegas concert, which seems to be the most sought-after item. “I became a BTS fan in 2017 after accidentally finding the group on YouTube. My first BTS concert was in November in Las Vegas and I am so excited about the upcoming show. I hope BTS knows how it has changed so many people’s lives. I found them at a bad time … they brought me so much joy and happiness.” At the Sea Breeze Cafe at the Mandalay Bay hotel, fans can enjoy some of BTS’ favourite foods, ranging from gimbap (seaweed rice rolls with various fillings) and galbijjim (braised beef short ribs) to ice-cream sandwiches, which are curated by the Michelin-starred restaurant’s chef Akira Back. A set menu consisting of an appetiser, an entrée, a dessert and a drink costs US$60. Watching Bellagio’s BTS Fountain display is one of the best ways to end the day. The world-famous water show has been choreographed to feature two BTS songs, Dynamite and Butter , giving people a visual delight while experiencing an auditory pleasure. Observing which buildings or structures changed their colours to purple to welcome the K-pop phenomenon and its fans is another source of entertainment for visitors. Hybe is holding another big event in Las Vegas – the “Hybe Multi-label Auditions” – which will last until April 16. “Since different labels are looking for different talents, all seven of them decided to hold auditions together and pick the applicants they prefer,” a HYBE America official said. “If an applicant is selected by more than one label, he or she can choose which company to sign a contract with.” Among the judges is Son Sung-deuk, an acclaimed choreographer who has been working with BTS for many years. And he and his compatriots will select trainees from among American teenagers to 11-year-old twin sisters born in Korea and other hopefuls, who have flocked to the audition in search of their dream of becoming a K-pop star. Read the full story at the Korea Times.