KCON USA, the world’s largest Korean culture convention and music festival, has recently announced that KCON 2017 NY, presented by Toyota, wrapped with an incredible number of records broken. Not only did the 3 year-old convention break records in number of attendees but in the number of performers, sponsors and partners as well. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the number of concurrent live streams on its KCON.TV platform also smashed records, making this year’s NY leg of the convention a huge success. The entire convention, filled with workshops, panels, performances, and more, matched perfectly with this year’s banner theme – “Let’s KCON” – and I was there to experience it all!
Filling 2 full days with all manner of Hallyu goodness, KCON 2017 NY drew an audience of more than 43,000 attendees to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on June 23-24. In only three years, the NY Metro area leg of the even has managed to smash all previous attendance records and it’s not hard to see why as KCON 2017 NY bolstered the event series’ reputation as a taste-maker of international talent by bringing in a blend of multiple chart topping acts and fresh faces, many of which were playing in the United States for the very first time. This year’s line-up included CNBLUE, GFRIEND, HIGHLIGHT (formerly BEAST), KNK, NCT 127, SF9, TWICE, UP10TION and ZION.T and believe me when I tell you, every single performance was absolutely incredible, every fan engagement was unforgettable and their time on the red carpet was nothing short of breathtaking!
Beyond the concerts, KCON featured more than 120 special guests and experts appearing on panels (which, as you all know, are my personal favorite), workshops and special programming. These included singer and actor Kevin Woo, chef and restaurateur Chef Edward Lee, famous Seoul-based dance crew 1 Million Dance Studio, and more. (Including li’l ole me!)
The number of KCON NY sponsors and partners also grew this year, topping 100 for the very first time – with booths spread out over an area 3 times the size of last year’s convention. In addition to presenting sponsor Toyota, brands supporting KCON 2017 NY this year included new sponsors like Amazon, AT&T, Innisfree, and State Farm, a new partner iHeartRadio, and returning sponsors Asiana Airlines, Bibigo, Com2us, DramaFever, and McDonald’s (to name a few). The Korea Tourism Organization & Gangwon Province were also on site promoting PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games and they brought along their most adorable mascots, Soohorang (수호랑), the white tiger and Bandabi (반다비), the black bear. Oh my gosh! Talk about cute!
For those who couldn’t attend the entire festival in person, KCON.TV featured live streaming from the events, including the first ever Mobile Masters Invitational (M2), both night’s red carpet events as well as each night’s concerts. If you happened to miss any of the livestreams, don’t worry, You can re-live KCON 2017 NY (as well as other past KCON events) via KCON.TV and its social channels.
If KCON 2017 NY wasn’t a part of your summer schedule, or if it was and you’ve decided you need more KCON fun in your life, you’re in luck! On August 18-20, KCON 2017 USA will continue as it returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center. Combo tickets go on sale on July 7, and additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.
For all the latest news, including details on tickets to the convention and concerts, seating tiers, sections, and the programming schedule, be sure to visit www.kconusa.com and make sure you’re following @KCONUSA on Twitter. Of course you can always check back here as well, as I tend to get so excite over KCON I just can’t help but squeal every time a new announcement is made!
While this quick recap should be enough to give you an idea of what KCON 2017 NY was like, you know I’m not going to be able to let such an incredible weekend go without diving into every single detail of every single moment of my time there. As always, I’ll be sharing my daily adventures with you, as well as albums full of photos from the Red Carpet. I might even have a podcast special for you! I just need a day or two to recover enough to get my brain un-befuddled and my photos edited. (Which isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds, seeing as how every single photo kinda makes me swoon myself out of my chair. ㅋㅋㅋ)