A BTS pop-up store in LA and the Rose Bowl Stadium filled with fans of the group / Photo: Woo Bin, 10 Asia Reporter in LA

The Los Angeles ARMY have completed their preparations to welcome their favorite idols, BTS.

The festive atmosphere is in full swing in LA, which is where BTS’s 2019 stadium tour, LOVE YOURSELF: SPEAK YOURSELF, will be kicking things off.

BTS’s incredible popularity can even be felt in the streets. “The teenagers here are crazy about BTS. I don’t know their faces, but I know the names of all the members,” said a 66-year old taxi driver named Harry.  The teenagers here aren’t the only ones who are crazy about BTS.

The 2019 BTS World Tour Pop-up Store on La Brea Avenue in LA is another hot place to be. The pop-up store, which opened on April 30, is always crowded with ARMYs from all over the world from the time it opens at 10 a.m. until it closes at 8 p.m. When we visited the store on the afternoon of the 3rd (local time), there was a long line with no end in sight. The wait to get in was at least 20 minutes long, but even the act of waiting seemed to be enjoyable for the ARMYs who were there.

The inside of the pop-up store is quite literally BTS world. Fans can be seen dancing and singing along to BTS music videos that are being shown on a wall. They take photos of themselves in front of BTS figures that are displayed inside, and when they leave the store, their hands are full of goods and souvenirs.

The venue for the concert, the Rose Bowl Stadium, have already completed their preparations to host BTS and the ARMY. The streets outside of the enormous venue are lined with flags of the members, and huge banners are hung on the outside of the stadium. Security checkpoints have been set up at the entrance to the parking lot prior to the actual concert, which makes you realize how large the scale of the concert actually is.

Merchandise booths were set up in front of the stadium, which were crowded with ARMY trying to purchase BTS merch. The ARMY, who had filled the square where the booths stood, were enthusiastically picking out goods while exuding excitement. From morning until evening, the lines of fans visiting the booths to get their hands on merch are never-ending.

Joanie (24) from LA had both hands full of BTS merchandise when we met her. “I’m actually one of the people who was waiting in a tent when BTS came to LA last year. I was able to get a ticket this time, which is why I visited the pop-up store and the merchandise shop to buy what I want,” said Joanie. She added, “I’m so happy that BTS is kicking off their stadium tour here this year, and it’s such an honor. I’ll do my best to cheer for them as they do their best to put on a great show.”

BTS will be kicking off their LOVE YOURSELF: SPEAK YOURSELF stadium tour on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. (local time) at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

Translated by Jennifer Earwood