KCON Brings the Heat to Los Angeles!
KCON LA has returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Staples Center once again, bringing in thousands who are dedicated to K-Pop and Korean culture. With KCON LA in their 8th year, it’s no surprise that this year’s KCON is even bigger compared to the previous year, with events expanding into before and after the convention.
When it comes to KCON, the convention serves as the main hub where fans can come together and bond over their favorite groups and artists as well as get to experience other aspects of Korean culture. This year’s convention expands to an even bigger show floor, with more activities for fans to experience. Some of the standout booths from this year’s convention would be the large KCON beauty stage where those who are avid fans of makeup and skincare had the chance to see some of their favorite influencers share their beauty tips, and the KCON foodie Stage where groups like ATEEZ and N.Flying made their appearance on the expo floor, trying different foods and snacks while greeting fans. One of the best things about walking the convention floor is participating in the events held by booths to get free swag or the chance to win signed merchandise by the attending artists. In the age of social media, there were of course multiple opportunities to take Instagram-worthy pictures with several backdrops for attendees to stand up against.
The KCON main stage is also another area where attendees can see some of the artist lineup take the stage as well as rising artists and other influencers perform on stage. But perhaps the biggest part of the convention that attendees buzz about is getting the chance to see the KCON artists walk the floor and visit different booths. If lucky enough, there was even the opportunity to be picked to either participate in playing games with the artists or the chance to get an album signed by the members in person. Another buzzworthy event that happens during the convention is getting the chance to have a hi-touch or be part of the audience through the artist engagement opportunities.
This year also offered a multitude of panels for fans to participate in. Some of the most popular panels amongst this year’s listing is the meet and greet panels for Kevin Woo, Holland and Juncurryahn and MIN, with surprise guest B.A.P’s Jongup. Panels also included the chance for attendees to sit in on discussions about music, production as well as attend workshops for style and beauty.
A Concert to Remember
Aside from the convention, one of the most anticipated events is the two-night concert that brought a slew of popular K-Pop acts to the Staples Center stage. This year’s lineup included ITZY, AB6IX, ATEEZ, NU’EST, LOONA, MAMAMOO, SEVENTEEN, Stray Kids, N.Flying, IZ*ONE, fromis_9, VERIVERY, SF9, and MOMOLAND. For most of the artists in attendance, it was their first time performing for the KCON LA stage. No matter which group was on stage, the crowd was buzzing with excitement and love as each group was well-received. Whether on the floor or up in the very top section of seats, loud screams of support echoed throughout the entire venue both during the Saturday and Sunday concerts.
While all the stages deserve absolute praise and adoration, some of the standout performances during the two-day concert event was N.Flying paying tribute to the legendary rock band Queen, prompting fans young and old to sing along to every song. MAMAMOO’s KCON LA debut as well as the high energy SEVENTEEN performance were also notable. Nonetheless, KCON LA outdid themselves again with such powerful and moving stages—it’s intriguing to see how they are going to top these performances next year.
KCON LA saw the introduction of two new events that were added to the KCON mix: KCON Rookies and the KCON After Party. KCON Rookies was an exclusive event that provided fans an intimate yet fun experience to see K-Pop rookie groups perform and play games with each other. The rookie groups that attended this event included LOONA, AB6IX and ATEEZ. Despite KCON Rookies being a ticketed event, many came out and shows promise for KCON Rookies to return next year.
The KCON After Party was another event for fans who were still feeling the hype of the Saturday-Sunday concerts, allowing the opportunity to party one last time before concluding the entire leg of KCON USA. The KCON After Party was another exclusive but free first-come-first-serve event to see more performances from MAMAMOO, ATEEZ, Jun (Juncurryahn), Balming Tiger and Grace Kelly. While it is not as big of an event compared to KCON Rookies or KLUB KCON, the KCON After Party still brought out a big crowd.
All in all, KCON LA once again exceeds expectations in bringing another successful convention and concert. It’s only a matter of time till next year comes again with a bigger and better event. For now, fans who can make it to Thailand can experience KCON all over again as KCON Thailand is the next destination for the KCON series.