Global BTS Phenomenon Sweeps Into Rose Bowl, and Its Neighborhoods

West Pasadena braces for a very different kind of stadium crowd this weekend

Published : Saturday, May 4, 2019 | 4:59 AM

Members of a self-described "BTS Army" (comprised largely of teenaged girls and young women) outside the Rose Bowl early Saturday, waiting for the first concert tonight by global pop sensation BTS. Photo by Alyssa_ly16 via Twitter.

Anticipation has hit a peak on the morning of Korean pop sensation BTS’ two-night stand this weekend at the Rose Bowl.

The band’s massive popularity worldwide has fueled a focus on the opening performances of their U.S. tour in the Bowl with unceasing, crescendoing online attention “like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” one stadium official said.

Fans arrived early and on Friday flocked to the Arroyo to get branded souvenirs and listen to a full dress rehearsal.

“The band’s popularity is off the charts,” said Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn yesterday morning. “At this moment there are hundreds of people in line to buy merchandise.”

While most Rose Bowl performers skip the dress rehearsal, BTS chose to do one last night. The City’s noise ordinance was waived.

“It was pretty cool…,” said Natalie Olsen on social media. “Never heard of them though.”

BTS, however, has done what most Asian “boy bands” never have, and that is built a huge fan base that crosses cultures and is global in appeal.

Last month they became the first K-Pop act ever to perform on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, performing their hits “Boy With Luv” and “Mic Drop.” They also are the only Korean pop band to present at the Grammys.

And when they first released “Boy With Luv” Spotify announced that BTS had become first Asian act to surpass five billion streams on the platform.

The expectation is the weekend’s sold-out audiences will largely be comprised of teenaged girls, often accompanied by their parents, who will descend in well-behaved hordes both Saturday and Sunday night.

The audience’s demographic requires that a “reunification area” for parents and offspring be set up in front of the stadium at Area H.

West Pasadena Resident Association President Dan Beal pointed out the potential for unusually heavy traffic if drivers are making “double round trips into the Rose Bowl area.”

“So there could be something in increased traffic load,” he said.

Beal said that West Pasadena neighborhoods are veterans of big events and the City does a very good job with traffic planning.

“Anytime you have a lot of people coming into a small area, there’s obviously going to be crowding,” he said. “I think the Rose Bowl works really hard at this and having their plans work out with the police.”

Officials said the Rose Bowl’s Recreational Loop will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until midnight both Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th.

The Equestrian Loop will remain open at all times.

The noise level for this event will be high and residents can expect hearing it. There will be sound checks sporadically on event days beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Residents can anticipate the heaviest traffic on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and again from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For any resident questions or concerns on event days please contact the Rose Bowl Event Day Resident Hotline at (626) 397-4141 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and midnight.