Rows of colorful tents lined the parking lot of Citi Field in Flushing as hundreds of dedicated BTS fans eagerly awaited the band’s first-ever stadium show in the United States on Saturday night.
Fans of the K-Pop group, who call themselves ARMY (Adorable Representative M.C for Youth), came from across the the country and have been camped out for days to see their favorite band on Oct. 6.
BTS stands for the Korean phrase “Bangtan Sonyeondan” which translates into Bulletproof Boy Scouts, and consists of the seven members: RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook. The band debuted in South Korea in 2013, but have since captured the attention and hearts of fans around the world.
Former Councilman Mark Weprin posted a photo of Citi Field’s “tent city” on his Twitter account:
Tent City at Citi Field for tomorrow night’s Korean Boy Band BTS concert. pic.twitter.com/JQC2Gi0sYk
— Mark S. Weprin (@MarkWeprin) October 5, 2018
College student Victoria Garay Rosales traveled from California and said she had been camped out since Monday morning for the Saturday evening concert. Rosales said that she did not tell her parents she was coming to the concert at first, but eventually called them up when she reached New York.
“My mom was a little disappointed that I didn’t tell her earlier, but my dad is a little angry. But he’ll be fine,” said Rosales. “They know that I like [BTS] a lot.
She shared that her parents were worried at first since the tents were previously set up in a less secure location, but were relieved when they heard there was security guarding the tent dwellers.
Nallely Mungaray from New Mexico arrived on Thursday and said that her parents were supportive of her camping out for the concert.
“They’re really supportive and since I’m a little bit older they kinda let me do my thing,” said Mungaray. “They said if that makes me happy and that gets me out of the house meeting new people, then they’re all for it.”
Mungaray said that this was her first BTS concert and the first time that she camped out for anything. She shared that it has been an overall positive experience for her and she has been able to break out of her shell to make friends with the “little BTS community.”
“All my group, we’re all pretty close. We take shifts. We help each other out if we need to,” said Mungaray. “We take shifts to shower. We take shifts to go to Target or to go eat.”
Queens resident Taylor Jackson spoke to the sense of community that she felt after being camped out in the parking lot most of the week.
“We all look out for each other even though it does get slightly annoying sometimes,” said Jackson. “There’s always gonna be that community aspect within all of us to make sure that we’re not gonna let any random people [hang around] that don’t look like they belong here or people that look like they’re out to hurt us.”