@PurpleRibbnARMY – partnered with @ProtectionARMY – was started by @msbeatrice_81 and @Crumbles4Kookie on Twitter on April 2018 in reaction to several videos going viral of fans swarming BTS in airports. There were a lot of heated debates on Twitter on what to do about the situation. It was noted that in many of these cases, BTS could use VIP entrances to avoid future situations like these. However, BTS continue to use the main entrances because they know how excited their fans are to see them.
The #PurpleRibbonARMY Project is a fan-run movement that aims to protect BTS at the airports no matter where they are in the world. The basic idea of the movement is to create a safe and respectful atmosphere at the airports for BTS and ARMY. Volunteers and Representatives of Purple Ribbon ARMY hold up sections of a purple ribbon in order to create a barrier between the crowd and BTS so they can walk safely through.
The concept may sound simple, but there a large amounts of planning and coordination have to be done behind the scenes in order make it happen. So far, the project has been carried out once, on May 14, 2018 when BTS arrived at LAX airport for their upcoming comeback performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Originally, it was thought that BTS would arrive on the 16th, so the planning had to be sped up considerably at last minute. Only 20 trained volunteers were able to make it to the airport, where hundreds of fans had gathered. The volunteers tried their best and were successful for the most part, but there were some issues. Overall, the first run of the project can be considered a success and a model that indicates areas in need of improvement for future runs.
‘At LAX, our team distributed the ribbons,’ explained Ashley, ‘and attempted to recruit as many ARMYs as possible to assist with forming the perimeter. They also handed out informational cards that described the project and listed guidelines for behavior. Many did want to help, but others cursed at our team or refused to assist.
‘LAX airport security actually requested nearly our entire team to assist in the area around BTS’s vehicles but it meant that our representation inside the terminal was almost nonexistent. We had 20 people attempting to hold back several hundred, and that is an impossible task. I am incredibly proud for what they were able to accomplish in the face of those odds.’ Ashley hopes there will be more and more ARMY who join and help turn the movement into a global one.
Several news organizations made articles about the event, and member V even posed with a section of the purple ribbon during a photo shoot as a sign of gratitude.
Later on, RM said the following about the project during an interview with Access
When asked about the craziest thing a fan has done to meet them, RM chose instead to talk about the most wonderful thing their fans have done, citing the Purple Ribbon ARMY.
The Purple Ribbon ARMY project took place in LA this week when BTS arrived at the airport. Fans created a safe perimeter for the idols to pass through by holding purple ribbons across the crowds as barricades. Other fans who weren’t in the front row to hold the ribbon, wore purple ribbons to show support.
Speaking about the gesture, RM said: “They got those purple ribbons for the security. They put it all the way around us through, inside and outside the airport to keep the security for us. They did it themselves, so that is really an amazing thing.”
Jin added: “Our fans are angels, they are so kind”.
If you are interested in joining the Purple Ribbon ARMY, please follow @PurpleRibbnARMY and @ProtectionARMY for more information. Even if you cannot participate directly in the project, you may use the Purple Ribbon ARMY Twibbon (Twitter ribbon) on your profile picture to show your support.