Ever since the Hallyu Wave in the late 1990s, Korean culture has been spreading through across the world. K-pop has been at the front of the wave – just look at the numerous world tours, fan meetings, Billboard rankings, and immense international support that the music is enjoying today.
Just in 2016, more than 15 K-pop groups toured the world to reach out to their international fans through concerts and fan meetings. These artist groups include Apink, BAP, Infinite, EXO, AOMG, GOT7, and Seventeen. Solo artists also held North American tours, including former 2NE1’s CL and Crush.
However, for fans who unfortunately could not make it to last year’s concert dates, there is no need for despair as there are plenty of opportunities to catch a K-pop concert in 2017. BTS will be launching their BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour on March 11-12 in Santiago, Chile, while also having stops in Brazil, the United States, Australia, and Japan. Hyuna has already kicked off her North American tour in February in Canada and will be ending her tour after performing in five US cities. SHINee will begin their fifth world tour in Canada on March 19 and 21.
Just last month in February, two kpop groups, BTS and Twice, broke Youtube records. According to Billboard, BTS’s “Not Today” was uploaded on February 19 and in a span of 24 hours, it achieved a whopping 13.1 million views, making it the most viewed video “to debut on the Youtube Top 100 Chart in 2017.” “Not Today” also broke the K-pop record for the most views in 24 hours, which was their own record for “Spring Day” which broke the previous record just a week before. Twice’s “Knock Knock” is also the “fastest moving K-pop song on the Youtube Top 100 Chart to reach 30 million views.”
Another major indicator of K-pop’s global influence is KCON. According to the convention’s website, KCON USA is “the original convention dedicated to bring “All Things Hallyu” to the American fan base.” Furthermore, KCON is “the one place where every element of Hallyu encompassing pop music, TV dramas, movies, fashion, food, and beauty can be experienced and celebrated.” KCON offers panels, workshops, booths, and numerous hi-touch opportunities for the fans. KCON 2017 is kicking off on March 17-18 at Mexico City and will continue on June 23-24 in New York with the finale on August 18-20 in LA.
K-pop is clearly a global phenomenon, topping charts and garnering much attention and popularity in several continents. For as long as K-pop groups continue to tour, hold fan meets, and release new music, it is certain that there will be more domestic and international fans, and its global fame will continue to skyrocket.