Last month, BTS kicked off an event titled MONOCHROME, with pop-up stores scheduled to appear in cities across Asia and the US. The first store opened on April 26 in Seongsu-dong, Seoul, and closed its doors on May 12. After enthralling fans in BTS’s home country, the MONOCHROME pop-up store will go to Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok, Los Angeles, and Manila, offering ARMYs a unique opportunity to connect with their favorite K-pop group through interactive experiences and special merchandise.

On a bustling Saturday afternoon, fans demonstrated remarkable patience, some enduring wait times of up to eight hours to enter the pop-up store. One dedicated fan shared her experience of waiting for hours just to gain access. “This is my second visit. The first time, I arrived at 2:00 PM and entered at 7:00 PM. Today, I arrived at 10:00 AM, and we entered around 2:00 PM. It’s quite a wait, but definitely worth it,” gushed Ines, a 25-year-old fan from Portugal.

The interior of the pop-up offered a nostalgic journey through BTS’s history, featuring previously unreleased black-and-white photos of the group, taken before they enlisted. Upon entering, fans received a special luggage tag. They then stepped into a space that resembled a warehouse, complete with wooden boxes and parcels arranged around conveyor belts. Before leaving, fans could also get a certificate from a booth beside the exit as a souvenir of their experience.

[Onsite Report] BTS highlights close ties with fans via Monochrome pop-up store

The relationship between BTS and their fans

Aashni, a 20-year-old ARMY from Britain, was all smiles as she left the pop-up. “Back in my country, it’s not as open and friendly about fan culture, whereas here, I can meet people in the same situation, all here to support BTS. The overall experience has been so positive,” she said happily. “If you’re an introvert like I am, you might have to force yourself to try it, but I managed to chat with different people and the conversation just carries on. It’s really nice.”

The MONOCHROME concept revolves around “memory clouds,” which are said to hold memories of the times BTS and their fans have shared, both good and bad. These memories are preserved in bottles, an approach the band first utilized during their BTS 4TH MUSTER [Happy Ever After] fan meeting back in 2018. The MONOCHROME pop-ups will expand on this theme, distributing the memory clouds to a global audience.

As all seven members of BTSRM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook—are currently serving in the South Korean military, the pop-ups serve as a poignant reminder of the relationship between BTS and their fans. With the septet set to reunite next year, the pop-ups are a perfect way to whet ARMY’s appetite for BTS-related content until all the members are discharged. – K-Pop News Writer

Featured Image: This Jimin fan brought her Chimmy toy with her when she visited the pop-up on its last day in Seoul. Source: X/@brendayee.