BTS fans can soon live in the same house the group filmed ‘In The Soop’ – Screen Shot
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BTS fans can soon live in the same house the group filmed ‘In The Soop’

Calling all BTS ARMYs! Airbnb is now giving two lucky fans the opportunity to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime overnight stay in the same house the boy group lived in while filming season two of In The Soop BTS.

Located in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, South Korea, the ‘Yet To Come’ act’s vacation residence features one bedroom, one bed and three baths up for grabs—priced at $7 a night, plus taxes and fees.

“During the second season of HYBE’s In The Soop BTS, the band members enjoyed leisurely moments and reconnected with nature amidst their busy schedule,” the Airbnb listing noted, adding how guests will get the chance to stay at the property, which is part of a larger estate, and relax and recharge like their bias.

Here, fans can recreate iconic moments from the reality show, including submerging themselves with books in the study like RM or just simply relaxing, Jin-style, on the unicorn-shaped float in the pool. They can also enjoy a more creative stay by strumming guitars like Suga, snapping selfies with a Polaroid camera like J-Hope or painting on a huge canvas as V.

On the other hand, if they’re looking for some high-energy entertainment, they have the opportunity to train with weights like Jimin, jump higher than the sky on a trampoline like Jungkook or even play basketball like Bam.

The residence also harbours other amenities featured on the show like a karaoke machine, sound system and all of BTS’ hit tracks and albums, including ‘Permission to Dance’, ‘Butter’ and their recently-released album, Proof.

Specially-catered dishes like charcoal grilled Korean beef—which the group referred to as “the best taste in the universe” on the show—and tteokbokki, or simmered rice cakes, are also available during the stay. “Plus, egg tarts produced by Bang & Bakers, served at HYBE INSIGHT, HYBE’s music museum,” are included, the listing continued.

So, what are you waiting for? Make sure to pack your bags before you keep refreshing the Airbnb website (which will undoubtedly crash at the time) as bookings are set to open on Tuesday 2 August 2022 from 11 am KST (Monday 1 August at 10 pm ET) for the one-time stay happening only on Monday 29 August. Ready, get set and go Namjooning!

Lookout BTS ARMY, China’s suspending K-pop fan accounts on Weibo

The latest in China’s major banning crackdown—you can already say goodbye to late night gaming and femininity in men—is the suspension of 22 K-pop accounts on its social media site Weibo. Could this be farewell to celebrity culture in China? The fan accounts were suspended on the grounds of exhibiting “irrational star-chasing behaviour.” One of the accounts that fell to these suspensions was, of course, a BTS fan page.

Weibo banned the fan club—which had over 1.1 million followers and was dedicated to BTS group member Jimin (Park Ji-Min)—for a period of sixty days because of allegedly “illegally raised” funds. The funds in question? A crowdfunded customisation of an aeroplane for his 26th birthday. The suspension came days after photographs of the customisation started circulating online.

This was just the beginning, as swift 30-day bans were given to 21 other fan accounts. This included more K-pop bands like Blackpink alongside GOT7 and even EXO (a group with Chinese members). Although there doesn’t seem to be any major ‘crime’ these fan pages have committed, the crackdown is part of a wider-scale attack on celebrity culture in China.

There are concerns from officials that “chaotic” fan culture is poisoning the youth and the influence of K-pop in China is breeding pop stars in the country to be “sleek,” feminine and removed from masculinity. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) pledged in June 2021 to suppress this ‘chaos’ through a number of measures, including dissolving fan groups online that are a “bad influence” and prohibiting young people from funding or giving money (in any way) to a celebrity. It seems fundraising for Jimin’s birthday was enough for Weibo to warrant this ban on its site.

Weibo, China’s censored equivalent to US Twitter, said in its statement that the strict observation and monitoring of such fan pages would “purify” the environment online thereby executing its responsibility as a social media platform to Chinese society. The social media giant “firmly opposes such irrational celebrity-chasing behaviour and will deal with it seriously” and so, it will not hesitate to remove posts violating its latest regulations.

The response to these bannings is largely split, with many Chinese users both criticising and celebrating the banning of such fan accounts. Those that celebrated saw the ban as a win against celebrity worship and dubbed BTS an “anti-China group” that is part of a wider cultural invasion of China.

The extent to how much this will impact the entertainment industry in China is yet to be seen, but fear not. K-pop fans are not to be messed with. When they have a goal in mind, you better get out of their way. Remember that time they sold out a Donald Trump rally with no intention of going?