KCON comes back with a bang in August at the Staples Center. The convention is sponsored by CJ E&M, Koreaboo, Mnet Media, and Powerhouse Live. Known widely throughout the world, KCON is an annual Hallyu convention for Kpop fans held in countries including Mexico, Japan, New York, Australia, Europe, Los Angeles, and more. KCON was first held in 2012 and has been gaining popularity ever since.
The convention includes food tasting, games, Kpop dance workshops, Kbeauty pop up shops, merchandise stores, Kdrama booths and more. Buying the concert tickets also gives the fans an opportunity to have a “meet and greet” or hi-touch with their favorite artists. For the past few years, KCON had artists such as IU, Gfriend, BTS, Shinee, Twice, Red Velvet, and more perform and interact with their fans.
This year, the artist lineup includes Cosmic Girls, Girl’s Day, Seventeen, Sf9, super Junior D and E, VIXX, Astro, Got7, Heize, K.A.R.D, Nct 127, and Wanna One. The ticket prices range from $60 to $1500; the more expensive tickets give benefits such as artists engagements, red carpet access, fast line entry, backstage tours, and limited goody bags.
At the convention, there are many food trucks and little shops that give the “Korean food feel.” Games are also everywhere in which prizes are often available. Last year, 1MILLION Dance Studio came and gave a dance workshop to many Kpop fans. Not only that, but there are also Kbeauty shops and merchandise stores where products are sold. After the convention ends at 6:30, most people go to the night market outside the convention to eat popular Korean food.
It is actually the concert that is really fun. With different MCs every year, the concert is crowded with fans from all over the world. Not only that, but, many fans interact with each other and make new friends.
Erin Song, a Kpop enthusiast, has gone to KCON TWO years in a row and has very positive thoughts on it: “It was the best experience when 1MILLION Dance Studio came and taught us how to dance. There were many fun games and beauty stores. Sometimes, artists visit the convention to meet their fans. Overall, it’s a great experience.”
Wanting to go in the convention center as quickly as possible, fans wait in lines for hours and even stay overnight. Lines have been reported to be very long and KCON fans warn people about the long wait. However, even after the long wait, the fans are happy to experience Korean culture and have fun with Kpop.