BTS fans attending the South Korean boy band's third and fourth shows at SoFi Stadium this week should find it easier to get inside by showtime, the venue said Monday.
The global pop stars perform at SoFi on Wednesday and Thursday, concluding their heavily hyped run of four nights at the Inglewood facility, which began Saturday.
SoFi Stadium said in a statement that it had changed its procedures before the second show on Sunday to avoid a repeat of the drama that was reported on social media as tens of thousands of fans — who call themselves ARMY — tried to get through security and to their seats before the concert began.
Twitter posts on Saturday alleged that there were rushed checks — or no checks — of bags, tickets and vaccination cards as the concert's start time drew closer.
"The safety of our guests, staff, and the artist are always our number one priority," SoFi Stadium said in a statement Monday, explaining that it had "coordinated with law enforcement to temporarily streamline guest entry at Saturday's show."
"On Sunday, we increased guest entry points and as fans arrived early, we began vaccination verification earlier in the day," the statement continued. "These processes have significantly improved entry, and we will continue to implement them over the two upcoming shows."
The entry situation Saturday wasn't great. Per stadium policy, guests must present photo ID and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before going in.
"just overheard a security member yelling at another security member because some sofi members weren't checking tickets or vaccine cards....people are just walking through....wtf @SoFiStadium??," one Twitter user wrote Saturday, posting video that showed people streaming unhindered toward an entrance.
Before the Sunday show, the venue amped up its online messaging, posting tweets urging fans to adhere to the stadium's clear-bag policy, remove items from their pockets before reaching the gate and have photo ID and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results handy. There also was a reminder to download mobile tickets in advance.
Entry on Sunday appeared to go more smoothly for many, according to conversations on social media. Even so, some people reported problems at various gates.
Initial instructions on SoFi's BTS concert page read as follows: "Please have your mobile ticket downloaded and accessible on your phone prior to entry. Please also reference the gate number on your mobile ticket for entry." The website goes into detail about clear bags, proof of vaccination, mobile tickets and more further down on the page.
Reviewers weren't invited to the Saturday concert, which came after the band had a long break from performing, but according to Times music critic Mikael Wood, BTS' minders needn't have worried.
"To the delight of the young, racially diverse crowd — Asian, Latino, Black, white fans — Sunday’s show was polished as though BTS had been performing every night for weeks," Wood said in his review of Sunday's show. "Tightly choreographed and peppered with costume changes, the 2½-hour concert moved quickly through the group’s best-known songs."
He continued: "For all this characteristic precision, the best parts of the concert were when BTS relaxed ever so slightly, as in
'Dynamite,' for which the singers were joined by a live R&B combo that looked like it was playing somebody’s wedding, and 'Idol,' where they dropped the dance moves and wandered down a runway to just kind of hang out on a smaller secondary stage."
SoFi Stadium gates open at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, with the shows starting at 7:30 p.m.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.