Presented by Toyota, KCON 2017 NY is shaping up to be one of the premier events for Hallyu-lovers across North America and around the world. As the countdown to this year’s New York event ticks off in the single digits, the excitement of those attending this year’s convention continues to escalate. And for good reason! This year’s convention looks to be the most exciting yet and I, for one, am insanely excited to be a part of this year’s KCON magic!
For those of you who have attended a KCON (or two) in the past, I’m sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into but for those of you who might be headed to Newark for the very first time, here’s a quick look at what KCON 2017 NY has in store for us this year…
Special Guests, Panels, Workshops and More
One of the things I most look forward to, when it comes to KCON, is getting to sit in on all the amazing panels and workshops the convention has to offer. With topics ranging from up and coming K-Drama stars, to beauty workshops to meet & greets with some of your favorite YouTubers, KCON has it all. Even better than being able to sit in on this greatness is being able to actually meet and interact with the people who dedicate a good portion of their lives to bringing you the latest in Hallyu-related news and entertainment. If you don’t take time to chat with the special guests KCON brings in every year, you’re really missing out. (And no, I’m not just saying that because I am one.)
Food, Glorious Food
While immersing yourself in a Hallyu-filled weekend of fun is an amazing experience, all on its own, it gets even better when you add in an entire fleet of food trucks to the mix. With offerings ranging from your typical American fare to Korean street-food staples like ddeokbokki (떡볶이, spicy rice cakes) and more, going hungry isn’t going to be something you’ll have to worry about. If the food trucks just aren’t enough for you, this year’s convention will also offer some pretty delicious sounding food-related workshops which, honestly, I’m really looking forward to because who doesn’t want to sit in on a workshop led by Chef Edward Lee??? Beyond the workshops and the food trucks, numerous food vendors set up shop in the KCON Marketplace and almost all of them offer free samples so if you’re strapped for cash and the workshops are full, there’s always a chance you can snag some free ramyun (라면, noodles) at the Nongshim booth!
Speaking of the Marketplace… KCON is one of the best places to find all your Hallyu-related merch. With vendors galore, you’re sure to find everything you’ve been looking for and more. From Korean beauty products to the latest K-pop albums (and everything in-between) you’re going to want to make sure you don’t blow all of your spending money on all of those ridiculously tempting food trucks!
Friends, Old and New
It’s no secret that Hallyu has a way of bringing people together from all over the world. There isn’t a seasoned K-pop fan or Drama lover out there who hasn’t befriended fellow Hallyu enthusiasts from around the globe, thanks to the internet and social media. The hardest thing about having friends half a world away is never being able to squeal over biases or pick apart the latest episode of our favorite dramas in person. This is why attending an event like KCON is so much fun! Not only do you have a chance to catch up with all of your best Hallyu-loving buddies in person but you have the chance to make so many more friends while you’re there! After all, where else in the world can you find tens of thousands of fellow K-pop loving, drama-addicted people all in one place? The opportunity to meet new people and make new friends is virtually limitless, all it takes is a friendly “hello.” Or maybe an overly-excited, “OMG! YOU LOVE ZUHO TOO!?!”
Everyone knows that the highlight of KCON is seeing all your favorite K-pop artists in person. For those of us living here in North America, getting the chance to see your beloved bias groups in person is typically something that only happens in dreams. That’s why KCON is so amazing! By bringing in some of K-pop’s biggest names and hottest rising stars, K-pop lovers from around the world have the opportunity to make at least some of their dreams come true. With chances to see artists up-close via various fan engagements and each evening’s Red Carpet event, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who knows me, how I fared after last year’s conventions… Pretty sure all my friends are sick to death of hearing me die over Suga’s smirk-o-death and Jonghyun’s “Oh ho!” side-eye.
Of course the epitome of the entire KCON experience is attending each evening’s M! Countdown concerts. Having the chance to watch your bias groups perform is something nearly impossible to describe. The rush of euphoria that hits you as your favorites take the stage is one of the most incredible experiences a K-pop fan can experience. Out of nowhere, the feels hit you like a giant smack upside the head and before you know it, you’re stuck somewhere between sobbing your eyes out and smiling so hard you think your face might actually crack. Somewhere in the midst of those feelings, you find yourself transported to a world you’ve only ever dreamed of and when it’s over, you have to ask your friends to pinch you, just to make sure you really did just experience that rare bit of magic. It really is an experience all K-pop fans should experience at least once in their lifetime and KCON is definitely one of the best places to make it happen. OMG! Just thinking about seeing all of this year’s artists performing is giving me chills! I’m so flipping excited! I just have to make sure my phone is tucked safely away somewhere as experience has taught me that too many emotions surging at once can be a bit dangerous for phones and those around me…
With so much to look forward to this coming weekend, it’s hard to sit down and try to write about it all. Still, I tried. I wish I could say there’s one artist I’m more looking forward to seeing than another but really, there’s not. With a lineup that includes SF9, HIGHLIGHT, NCT 127, CNBLUE, KNK, GFRIEND, Zion.T, UP10TION and TWICE, how could I possible decide on a favorite? I’m really just excited that I get to attend this year’s convention and experience this little bit of Hallyu magic for myself. The question is, will I be seeing you there?