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South Korean BTS fans travel abroad to attend first concert after pandemic

Coldplay and BTS perform during the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States. November 21, 2021. REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni

By Minwoo Park and Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL, Nov 25 (Reuters) – When K-Pop sensation BTS announced that their first in-person concerts since the start of the pandemic would be in the United States, Kim Ji-eun immediately booked a flight and hotel, praying to that the COVID-19 regulations allowed him to attend all four shows.

Lax entrance rules have so far prevailed in both South Korea and the United States, allowing Kim and other staunch BTS fans to be fully vaccinated to see their idols in person for the first time since 2019, when they concluded their last tour. across North America, Europe and Asia.

The seven-member band will perform four “Permission to Dance on Stage” concerts at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on November 27 and 28 and December 1 and 2.

“It is a historic event,” Kim said before leaving Seoul on Thursday. “I am very happy and excited to meet BTS and other fans and to share our energy and our hearts in the hope that the pandemic is over.”

Kim, a 40-year-old mother and YouTube content creator, said she and her friend had to participate in a “nightly click war” to get their tickets to the concert.

While awaiting his flight at Incheon International Airport, Kim carried a bag full of essential items for the band’s fans, such as glow sticks and BTS-branded snacks, as well as essential items during the pandemic. such as your COVID-19 vaccination certificate and a self-test kit.

Since their debut in 2013, BTS has spearheaded a global K-Pop craze with catchy and upbeat music and dance, as well as lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

The group won artist of the year at the American Music Awards and best pop song for their summer hit “Butter,” among other accolades on Sunday for the first time.

As the pandemic spread last year, the band postponed and later suspended what was to be their biggest international tour, with nearly 40 concerts. Instead, it has offered shows online.

(Report by Hyonhee Shin and Minwoo Park; additional report by Yeni Seo; edited in Spanish by Benjamín Mejías Valencia)

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