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K-Pop’s BTS launching pop-up in Bangkok May 1

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: BTS can't perform yet, but they are sending their pop-up to Bangkok next month.

Thai BTS fans are celebrating as the first official BTS pop-up in Thailand is set to open in Bangkok on May 1. The world-famous K-Pop group will launch the Map of the Soul pop-up at EmQuartier in Bangkok. Until now, Thai fans, or ARMY as they are known, have waited while pop-ups shops were launched around the world. The exhibit will be open from May 1 to July 25 and access will only be available by pre-registration online, which opens tomorrow.

ARMYs worldwide were devastated when Covid-19 forced the postponement of BTS’s “Map of the Soul” world tour, but the band, famous for their appreciation and interaction with their fans – they hold the Guinness World Record for most Twitter engagement! – have worked to find ways to raise fan morale during the pandemic. They released the album BE with a Grammy-nominated single “Dynamite” and launched these pop-up events where Bangkok ARMYs can pose in front of BTS music video backdrops and shop for official BTS merchandise.

Tickets purchased online will reserve fans a 1 hour visit to the pop-up on a certain date and time slot. Reservations for each week will open on the Friday previous for booking of the event on the M Floor of The EmQuartier. Bookings must arrive 10-15 minutes early and be verified by mobile phone OTP, after which fans will receive a wristband and queue for safe entry.

Strict Covid-19 safety measures will be in place, limiting the number of entries at a time, requiring social distancing and masks, and offering hand sanitiser when entering and exiting.

BTS, the 7-member South Korean boy band formed in 2011 debuted in 2013 and became one of the biggest bands in the world holding 18 Guinness World Records, appearing frequently in Time magazine influence lists, and setting music records on charts around the world. They’ve sold 20 million albums and equalled The Beatles’ record for reaching 4 number 1 albums in the US within one year.

It was estimated their sales account for about the same of South Korea’s entire GDP as Korean Air, being the reason to visit cited by 1 in every 13 tourists, and over 40% of all music sales in the country along with 25% of American K-Pop sales, having the top-selling worldwide physical album of 2020.

BTS have addressed the UN and their endorsements have caused companies and organisations to experience huge jumps in income, including multiple charities they have raised millions for. Their charitable work, devotion to fans, and addressing of difficult topics in their music such as mental health, loss, bullying, individualism and other social commentary have earned BTS praise as more than just your average boy band. Huge turnout is expected for the Bangkok opening of the BTS Map of the Soul pop-up at the EmQuartier next month.

SOURCE: The Smart Local

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Newfie

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Good luck on your Covid tracking app!

  2. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:15 am

    World famous ??

    Never heard of them sorry

    But they will do ok in Bangkok are they all Ladyboys ?

    Good Luck Thailand

  3. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:49 am

    “The world-famous K-Pop group will launch the Map of the Soul pop-up at EmQuartier in Bangkok”

    So they’ll be spending a few days in ASQ quarantine first?

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Politics

Deputy PM declares Thammanat Prompow controversy finished

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Deputy Agriculture Minister Prompao talks to reporters after a government cabinet meeting in Bangkok (via Reuters)

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says that the debate is over regarding Thammanat Prompow, the controversial Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives and influential Palang Pracharath Party ‘fixer’.

The Constitutional court has already ruled that he is qualified to hold office under Thai law and will keep his position, though a huge backlash followed the ruling, and the public wondered how his 1993 heroin trafficking conviction in Australia. Then using the name ‘Manat Bophlom’, he was convicted of conspiring to import a traffic able amount of heroin, serving 4 years of a 6 year sentence.

According to Wikipedia, Thammanat parliamentary declaration of assets in August 2019 listed “2 wives, 7 children, and a net worth of about $42 million, including a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz along with 12 Hermès and 13 Chanel handbags, luxury watches, and Thai Buddha amulets.”

Thai law says that no one who has been convicted of an indictable offence is eligible to hold public office, but the new decision seems to imply that anything that happens outside of Thailand’s border does not qualify. A legal expert, the Deputy PM says that this ruling is not in opposition to the rules about convicts holding office.

He says that a conviction by Australia’s New South Wales Court is not legally binding in Thailand and therefore does not disqualify Thammanat. Only a jail sentence from a Thai court would be considered a roadblock to a candidate being confirmed to hold government office.

Thai immigration law, however, determines that convictions in home countries will bar people from entry into Thailand. The decision also calls into question the legitimacy of the Australian/Thailand extradition treaty which saw Thammanat deported back to Thailand after serving 4 years of his 6 year sentence.

But the Council of State had declared that someone in jail for 2 years cannot hold office within 5 years of release, regardless of whether the jailing was in Thailand or in another country. The 4 year jail term Thammanat served in Australia ended in 1997 so the 5-year grace period has already passed.

The Deputy PM says that this ruling by the Constitutional Court does set a new precedent for future issues of possible MP candidates that may have been in trouble with the law outside of Thailand. But he stopped short of supporting Thammanat’s prior conduct unconditionally, declining to comment.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has been under pressure to investigate Thammanat and whether his conduct has been ethical. The Deputy PM said that the Constitutional Court ruling does not whitewash any other issues Thammanat may face.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Friday Covid UPDATE: 27 more deaths, 2,044 new infections

Thaiger

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The Friday report, compiling the regional totals from Thursday, indicates that has been 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

He also disclosed that the government are planning to set a levy of 300 baht to be collected from foreign tourists starting from January 2020 “to set up a tourism fund for emergency use”. Speaking to Bangkok Post…

“Once the spread is under control, the government will resume travel bubble discussions with Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia.”

 

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