The countdown to North America’s largest convention dedicated to “All Things Hallyu” is steadily dwindling as the East Coast edition of this global convention, aka KCON NY, opens in less than a week.
As fans from around the world join me in anxiously counting down the days to this weekend of Hallyu goodness, I have to say, this ever-growing excitement is well-founded. This year’s New York lineup is exceptionally awesome as some of the biggest names in K-Pop are scheduled to appear; names like: BTS, Ailee, Dynamic Duo, Mamamoo, Day6, Crush, Seventeen, BtoB and Eric Nam. Yeah… That’s definitely something to be excited about!
With so many artists scheduled to make an appearance next weekend, you know the concerts are going to be phenomenal and honestly, it’s what drives us to empty our bank accounts in a desperate attempt to make it to one of these Hallyu-filled weekends. Well, that and the elusive-yet-always-hoped-for chance to meet any (or all) of these artists in person… A feat I’ve yet to accomplish during any of my KCON experiences, but it does happen… Really! I’ve seen it!
As exciting as it may be to experience a hi-touch with your ultimate bias group, or be one in a crowd of thousands, wildly cheering for all your biases, the real beauty of KCON is that the fan engagements and concerts are only one part of what the 2-day convention has to offer.
For the K-Drama lovers, KCON NY has two special guests lined up, both of which I’m rather excited about. Park Bo Young (박보영), who starred in one of my favorite Korean films, A Werewolf Boy (늑대소년), and one of my favorite dramas, Oh My Ghostess (오 나의 귀신님), and Yim Si Wan (임시완), who has appeared in multiple dramas including, Moon that Embraces the Sun (해를 품은 달) and Misaeng (미생 – 아직 살아 있지 못한 자), and won the Best New Actor Award for his role in the 2013 film, The Attorney (변호인), (and is also a member of ZE:A), will both be making appearances at the convention next weekend. (Pardon me while I have a slight fangirl meltdown!)
For those who love to shop, the convention offers a marketplace full of vendors who are more than happy to help you take home a little something to help you remember your trip to KCON. Even if shopping isn’t really your thing, I would highly recommend strolling through the marketplace, just for the fun of it. There’s bound to be something that sparks your interest, and even if that ends up not being the case, just head to the Nongshim booth. In my experience, a free sample of steaming ramen makes everything better.
Of course it would be very sad if I spent all this time singing the praises of KCON yet failed to say anything about all the panels, workshops and games that make up the convention itself, as that’s the part I’m most excited about. (Warning: Shameless plug to commence in 3… 2… 1…) Yes, I will be among the many panelists who come together every year to offer our ideas, opinions and expertise on all manner of Hallyu-related topics. This year’s lineup of panels has me quite excited (and no, I’m not just excited about the panels I’m on). I actually know quite a few of this year’s panelists and I can tell you they’re all working very hard to bring you a full lineup of panels you’re not going to want to miss.
For those of you who are interested in a more hand-on experience, KCON is offering a variety of games and workshops. From beauty how-tos to fashion tutorials to making your own delicious Korean snacks, there’s plenty to explore while you wander the convention and you may even pick up a few helpful tips along the way.
With so much to look forward to at this year’s New York convention, it’s easy to see why so many are already squealing with excitement. It’s not every day you get to see so many amazing artists and meet up with so many people who share your undying love of “All Things Hallyu.” It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience and one I’m very much looking forward to. But what about you? Are you planning to make the trip to KCON NY this year? If you are, what are you most looking forward to doing? Who are you most looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments below!