Summertime for K-pop fans in LA consists of the heat, trips to the beach, and of course, KCON!
Every year, KCON gets bigger and better, bringing the hottest artists in K-pop and K-Drama to fans. The event also invites YouTubers, makeup artists, industry specialists, and more to hold workshops, speak at panels, or hold meet-and-greets with excited fans.
This year’s KCON LA took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Staples Center, which attracted fans of all ages and backgrounds for a weekend of fun. The diverse lineup was jam-packed for the two nights, with the hottest rookies and big-name senior artists.
Night 1 consisted of Block B, GFRIEND, I.O.I, Amber, Turbo, Dean, and SHINee, whereas Night 2 had Astro, Eric Nam, MONSTA X, TWICE, Davichi, TTS, and BTS.
Fortunately, three of our team members were able to go, so we’ll be sharing our experiences and coverage with you all.
Whether you’re here to relive the event or see what it was like, we’re here to break it down for you little by little.
DAY 0 (Thursday, July 28)
Early check-in, also known as Day 0, took place in the Los Angeles Convention Center’s South Hall Lobby. There, fans lined up to check in their concert and convention tickets and find out what fan engagements they did (or didn’t) get.
Even hours before check-in was scheduled to start, fans were piled up in the lobby, separated by their ticket tiers. As afternoon rolled around, the line left the indoors and trailed outdoors in the boiling heat.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have arrived early (around 11AM), so I secured a good spot in the general line for P5. When 1PM rolled around, everyone was standing and the line was inching by. It was slower than it ever had been in previous years, but because I was towards the front, I got my things and left.
Me and my sister combined had 4 chances at audience. Guess what? All of them ended up being “Sorry.” I was disheartened, but I knew people would trade or give away vouchers they didn’t want!
Just like Lauren, I was fortunate enough to arrive at the Convention Center around 11am as well, so the wait wasn’t too long when the lines opened. Since I got there earlier than most people (for the P2 line), I was lucky enough to be the 40th/45th person in line but what I realized when I got closer to the booths to receive check-in and receive my vouchers, they only had two open for the P2 ticket holders.
After receiving my vouchers, my friend and I went to go scratch them off. Since we both got combo tickets, we had four sets of vouchers to scratch off. Unfortunately we both ended up having the same exact sets of vouchers. Despite having the same sets, we knew we had to take our chances to go look for vouchers and trade with people.We both ended having/ getting the fan engagements we wanted the most, but the process was extremely stressful and made us both anxious.
DAY 1 (Friday, July 29)
Day 1 of the festivities consisted of the convention and two fan engagements: I.O.I and Davichi!
From Mwave to Glow Recipe, Choice Music, Toyota, and more, the booths were diverse. There were even anime booths to check out, and people selling their original art pieces. Even for Friday, where there was no concert, the convention was packed with fans eager to explore every corner of the convention and attend workshops and panels. Fans showed off their dance moves at the Toyota booth in front of large crowds, earning cheers from the audience.
Originally my friend and I were not going to attend the panels & activities that were going on in the convention center, but we ended up going because we thought we might as well take our chances and explore for we may not have time during the rest of the weekend because of fan engagements that we wanted to go to.
Once we entered the venue, we started to get even more excited since we could hear all the kpop playing, the excited talk of the fans and just the atmosphere were really great. We only walked around and browsed since we were only there for a short period of time, but during those 2-4hrs, we managed to get a good idea of the convention & also got some free goodies!
DAY 2 (Saturday, July 30)
Day 2 of the convention marks Night 1 of the concert. The morning started off with lines at the bag check and check-in, along with fan engagements! GFRIEND was the first group to have their fan engagement, followed by Block B.
Being a huge fan of Block B, I lined up very early for their fan engagement. I was there about 2-3 hours early and sat with other fans in line. GFRIEND fans were still lining up for GFRIEND when I started lining up for Block B.
Unfortunately, Kyung was not there at the fan engagement due to personal reasons, but his sincere apologies were conveyed to fans. (It’s okay, Kyung! Your well-being comes first.)
By the time Red Carpet rolled around, I jumped into line with a few friends! The line was extremely long even two hours before the actual start of the Red Carpet, with fans of various groups excited for a glimpse at their favorite artists on the stage.
The Red Carpet inched by, and host Danny Im tried to entertain waiting fans with jokes and casual talk. However, the highlight of the Red Carpet were when the artists came out to greet fans!
Nothing can compare to the cheers when Night 1 headliner, SHINee, hit the stage.
That energy carried on throughout the concert, where fans watched and danced along to performance after performance. KCON isn’t KCON without special stages, and of course, we got them!
Dream girls I.O.I greeted their fans, expressing their excitement about meeting fans in LA and performing in front of a large audience.
To commemorate Turbo‘s legacy in K-pop, the younger groups came out to perform their songs. Among them was a pleasant surprise: ASTRO, who was only supposed to perform on Night 2!
Block B‘s Zico and U-Kwon surprised everyone by performing “Boys and Girls,” a song by Zico and Babylon.
From Block B to GFRIEND to SHINee, the performances were amazing and the energy was just as strong, if not even stronger, as the concert progressed.
Night 1 wrapped up with SHINee, the headliner for the first night. They performed fan favorites such as “Beautiful” and “View” and concluded with “Everybody.”
Fans left the venue with smiles on their faces and readied themselves for round 2 the next day.
I attended the GFRIEND fan engagement with an audience since my friend had the hi-touch for it. By the time I went to go line up for GFRIEND, there were already people behind our line up, lining up for Block B.
GFRIEND’s fan engagement did not start until 11:25am and fans were beginning to be a tiny bit restless since it was quite early in the morning for fan engagement, BUT just as fans were beginning to become restless, guess who was getting introduced by the mcee!
The lovely ladies of GFRIEND walked out & goodness…All the girls of GFRIEND were so beautiful & looked so adorable too! The girls answered a couple questions and all the fans noticed that GFRIEND’s Yuju had a cast around her hand & were worrying about it, but she assured all of us fans that she was okay and that it was a minor injury! The Hi-touch rolled along and went smoothly.
Though the hi-touch for the girls were a little rushed because of the late start time, the engagement ended with a few comments from the girls & how excited they were to be at KCON since it was their first time!
The next engagement I attended was DEAN‘s fan engagement! And let me just put it out there beforehand, DEAN is a very beautiful person, ESPECIALLY in real life! Despite his fan engagement starting 40mins late, fans were all SUPER excited to see DEAN! All the fans were cheering like crazy when DEAN walked out.
He was super sweet when he was introducing himself and told all the fans how thankful he was to see them since he did not expect such a huge crowd of fans to be there! Though the introduction was cut short & went right into the hi-touch, I was one of the fortunate individuals that got the opportunity to see him upfront.
It definitely was a once in a lifetime opportunity (I think) to be able to see him in person & thank him for his beautiful music & voice.
Adding to Lauren’s comments for night #1 of the concert, the opening to the ending was amazing. Never have I thought I was experience such a wonderful and hyped up night.
One of the highlights of that night was when DEAN & ZICO (Block B) sang the song that they collaborated together, which was, “Pour Up“.
The night ended on a great note, for SHINee definitely set the bar VERY high for the next day. Never would I ever thought I would be able to see them perform live, because their synchronization & vocals were beyond ON PAR; As expected from one of the seniors in the music industry.
DAY 3 (Sunday, July 31)
I was exhausted from the previous days of KCON, so I arrived a little later on Day 3. The first thing I did was walk around the convention a bit, then hopped in line for Monsta X. Even hours before the fan engagement, the line was extremely long, winding around outside in the blistering heat. (Which was NOT fun at all, but it was worth it!)
However, Monsta X was running behind schedule, so the fan engagement started an hour past the time it was set to. However, fans kept the excitement going throughout the wait, dancing, singing, and making friends with one another.
The crowd went wild when the boys finally came out to meet everyone! I.M gave his sincerest apologies to fans in English, knowing fans waited hours for them to arrive.
After the Monsta X fan engagement, I sat for a while in the food court, then walked around the convention. I then attended Sunday Red Carpet, which was packed!
The artists conveyed their excitement about showcasing special stages to their fans in Los Angeles, especially Davichi, who mentioned they were performing in LA for the first time.
The screams of fans filled the room when headliner BTS arrived on the scene, posing for photos and answering a few questions.
Once the Red Carpet drew to a close, fans queued up for Night 2 of the concert! With acts like TWICE, Astro, TTS, Monsta X, BTS, and more, it was bound to be an amazing concert.
There were many special performances, and the crowd went wild when TWICE and Monsta X came out for dance stages.
Eric Nam and Kolaj energized the concert with “Into You,” and Davichi got all the fans to sing along with them and sway to their ballads.
Night 2 ended with a bang, and if you stuck around for the conclusion, you probably noticed the artists interacting with one another and having confetti fights on stage. Monsta X‘s Jooheon and Wonho, the last ones to leave the stage, even left fans with a dab, causing the audience to erupt in laughter and screams.
Overall, KCON this year was once again a blast! We sincerely hope everyone else had just as great a time as us.
See you next year, KCON!
Check out all our photos from the event below!