February 22 was quite the day for Las Vegas entertainment. One of the biggest concert events in the history of our Valley was announced for April, just hours after Cirque du Soleil unveiled its latest Strip residency production show, set to open in May.
K-pop phenomenon BTS is coming to town—and going extra big—with Permission to Dance tour stops at Allegiant Stadium on April 8, 9, 15 and 16. The four-night run replicates the group’s record-breaking concert series at LA’s 70,000-seat SoFi Stadium in November and December. Those shows were broadcast live at the adjacent 6,000-seat YouTube Theater, and similar plans are in place for Las Vegas. The Live Play in Las Vegas experience will simultaneously show the Allegiant Stadium shows live on the huge screens at MGM Grand Garden Arena, the nearly 17,000-seat venue less than two miles from the stadium.
Live Nation is the promoter and producer of BTS’ global tours and also books some of the top concerts and residencies on the Strip. Jared Braverman, senior vice president of touring, says the company is excited to bring the unprecedented multi-venue event to “BTS fans and especially to a market as dynamic as Vegas.”
Presale registration on Ticketmaster’s verified fan platform closed February 26 and sales for all tickets began on March 1.
It might seem like no musical act could possibly move that many tickets, but BTS is no normal musical act. The wildly popular group’s diverse young fanbase will be overjoyed to celebrate its music in Las Vegas, even those who can’t score tickets to the in-person stadium shows.
“BTS’ Live Play in Las Vegas experience [at MGM Grand] is truly one of a kind,” Braverman says. “Not only does it give fans the opportunity to watch the live broadcast with other fans in real time, but there are special activations, photo-ops and more to build a full fan experience for everyone who attends.”
BTS will be the first to play multiple concerts at Allegiant since it began hosting ticketed events in 2021. Bad Bunny has also announced two tour stops there, scheduled for September 23 and 24. Coming off a weekend in which the stadium hosted both Metallica and Billy Joel, it seems as if every announced event expands on a massive new entertainment agenda.
The impending arrival of Cirque’s latest offering also illustrates the changing spectrum of live entertainment along the Strip. Mad Apple, scheduled to launch preview shows at New York-New York on May 12, will run 10 times a week in the renovated 1,150-seat theater where the company previously produced Zumanity.
An homage to New York City—loaded with stand-up comedy, music and night-in-the-city vibes, to go along with those trademark acrobatics and theatricality—Mad Apple will be a Cirque show on a slightly smaller scale that what we’ve seen before on the Strip. The show and the room have been designed and redesigned to get the audience closer to the action than ever, as if you’ve stumbled into a New York City nightclub hosting a wild cabaret show.
As proven by the unveiling event outside on the casino’s Brooklyn Bridge on that momentous Tuesday, the talent in Mad Apple is by no means scaled down. Sneak-peak performances from comedian Brad Williams and U.K. freestyle rapper Chris Turner entertained a crowd of passersby, Vegas visitors who had no idea what was going on but still stopped by for a laugh.
Maybe Las Vegas concerts are getting bigger and bigger while the Strip’s traditional production shows are adjusting to a new role and forging connections with new audiences. That seems like a strategic plan for the future.
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