KCON Returns to New York

     The sun blazed hotly down on the second annual KCON 2016 Presented by Toyota in New York. This year’s convention had two days of convention followed by two nights of concerts. Ailee, BTOB, Crush & Dynamic Duo and Seventeen performed on the first night. Eric Nam, Mamamoo, Day 6 and BTS performed on the second night. The official numbers aren’t in yet, but it seems like the attendance of KCON has more than doubled in size. The company even went so far as to offer early check-in on Thursday afternoon. By 9am Friday morning, the line was wrapped around the block. People stood for hours, getting tickets and searching for their favorite artist's engagement pass.  

     There were more panels this year, which was a highlight for many. The subject matter varied from navigating life being an older K-pop fan to what it's like being an SM Producer. KCON sponsors Dramafever and Toyota had tents set up so fans could sample their products, as well as have a chance to win concert tickets, high touch passes and more. In addition to panels and product tents, there was an area for food trucks, where you could try traditional Korean food, ice-cream sandwiches and more.

     Day 1 was a highlight for me because it was the first time I was able to do my panel "The Return of Secret Lives of K-Pop Fans Over 30" on the East Coast. I, along with Leah Westbrook of ZombieMamma, Ashley Griffin from MultifacetedACG, Lisa Espinosa of Han Cinema, and Stephanie Kurze of KChat Jiggae, sat down to a packed tent to discuss what it's like to navigate through the K-pop lifestyle when the idols you admire were born when you were in high school. Yeah, things got real interesting.


     Day 1 concert highlight was Ailee, or how she should be refered to, Slaylee. The music stopped during her performance and rather than her stop singing, she continued belting out the notes she's famous for. She was so good that many fans thought it was all part of the show.

     Day 2, the panels continued and I was happy to sit on a panel about creating your own podcast. The panelists, Jeff Benjamin of Fuse TV, Stephanie Kurze, Deanna Caiati of the One Shots, myself and moderator David Le, all had wonderful insight on just what it takes to create a podcast and how to keep in running.


     Day 2 concert belonged to BTS. The crowd cheered for about 15 minutes before the group even made it to the stage. They performed "Fire", "Save Me" and a throwback, "Cipher Pt. 3".  By the end of the night, even K-pop fans that weren't aware of BTS, were fans.

     K-pop fans came from miles around and some even came from Canada and Mexico to share the once in a lifetime experience. At the end of the event, many fans commented on how quickly the days went by. KCON LA is a few weeks away and if the NY event is any indication, KCON LA will be something to look forward to. We hope to see you there, and you can also check out our KCON NY photo coverage here on our Facebook page.



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