BTS lit up social media yesterday with a big announcement – they’ve scheduled four shows in Las Vegas in April:
The timing here is key because the Grammys are happening the same month. BTS’s first Vegas performance will be on April 8, just five days after the Grammys (they’ve been nominated in the Pop Duo/Performance category) on Sunday, April 3. And the Grammys are taking place in Vegas this year at the MGM Grand. Pretty sure this also means that BTS will make an appearance at the Grammys and I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t have been asked to perform – which, even though the Grammys probably don’t deserve BTS given their history, would mean a lot to RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. They performed at the Grammys last year on their first solo stage (in 2020 they were part of Lil Nas X’s stage) but it was virtual because of COVID. This time, if it goes down that way, it would be their first true live performance at the Grammys in front of their peers.
But what’s also noteworthy here is that this will be the first time BTS has held a concert in Las Vegas. And, obviously, it’s not because they couldn’t sell in Vegas (as if), but Allegiant Stadium, which is the venue that can best accommodate the volume of tickets that BTS can move, was only completed in 2020. Vegas, then, is about to get Bangtan-ed.
I’m not saying Vegas doesn’t know what a fandom surge looks like…but at the same time, as we have all seen, there really is no fandom like BTS’s ARMY. Per Billboard:
“…the [BTS] 2021 SoFi Stadium run grossed a mammoth $33.3 million with 214,000 tickets sold. Further, it’s the largest gross for a run of shows at a single venue since 2012…
Even further, it’s the biggest U.S.-based Boxscore in 18 years, and the second-biggest ever in the 30-plus-year history of Billboard Boxscore in North America. Overall, BTS lands the sixth best-grossing engagement in Billboard Boxscore history.”
And it wasn’t just the venue that made money. When BTS took over SoFi Stadium for four shows late in 2021, they became their own economic stimulus package for Los Angeles injecting millions into the local economy as their fans spent their money on airfare, accommodations, dining, and retail.
Vegas’s economy is in recovery after two years of the pandemic and it could definitely use a Bangtan boost. It’s about to experience a Bangtan boost, maybe the kind of boost Vegas hasn’t ever experienced before. Typical superstar residencies take place at venues with five or six thousand seat capacities and even still it’s an influx of spending because the artist draws the audience. Allegiant is a proper stadium. We’re talking somewhere in the neighbourhood of sixty thousand people. So if you’ve been paying attention, to say that BTS will be bankrolling Vegas during the band’s time there, you know this is not hyperbole.
For BTS and their fans, this Vegas residency gives them an opportunity to flex. Because while BTS has earned the kind of success that few artists in history have been able to achieve, they do not get the same amount of respect and appreciation from the industry that their western counterparts receive. The paltry amount of Grammy nominations for BTS is an example. But they’ll come to your increasingly dinky award show… as part of their two weeks of taking over an entire city, literally.