KCON (music festival)

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Artists on stage at KCON 2012
Lee Seung-gi 2014 red carpet.
Eric Nam with Lee Seo-jin, 2014 red carpet.

KCON is an annual K-Pop convention held in the United States, organized by Mnet Media, CJ E&M and Koreaboo.[1] It started in 2012 and is based in Southern California.


KCON is organized by the South Korean music label and entertainment agency Mnet America.[2] It was created in 2012 by K-Pop media company, Koreaboo in partnership with Mnet America and CJ E&M.[3][4] KCON's aim is to establish an annual flagship event that will improve the experiences of American fans by providing them with an affordable way to connect with each other, as well as with artists and professionals from the K-pop music industry.[5] During KCON ‘12, Mnet Media's Ted Kim was interviewed by journalist Michael Holmes from CNN to discuss about the rise of K-Pop in the United States.[2]



KCON ‘12 was held on October 13 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California. Music artists invited to perform include 4Minute, B.A.P, Exo-M, Nu'est, VIXX, and G.NA. Jeff Yang of The Wall Street Journal reported that KCON ‘12 attracted over 10,000 people.[6]


KCON ‘13 was held from August 24 to 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The lineup included K-Pop artists EXO (K & M), 2AM, Teen Top, f(x), G-Dragon, Crayon Pop, Dynamic Duo, Yu Seung Woo and DJ Koo. It also included rapper Missy Elliott, who is featured on one of G-Dragon's singles.[7][8] Super Junior's Henry Lau performed and spoke at a panel.[9] [10]


KCON '14 was held on August 9–10, returning for a second year to Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.[11] The artist lineup included B1A4, BTS, CNBLUE, G-Dragon, Girls' Generation, IU, Jung Joon-young, Spica, Teen Top, and VIXX. Featured guests included Lee Seung-gi, Lee Seo-jin, Yoo In-na, Nam Gyu-ri, Kim Ji-seok; and Eric Nam,[12][13] who hosted red carpet interviews, filmed by Viki.[14]DramaFever documented the red carpet, explaining the missing Girls' Generation 9th member, Sooyoung, who was filming a drama.[15]NBC News interviewed Billboard K-Town columnist Jeff Benjamin, journalist-author Euny Hong, and Girls' Generation's Seohyun and Tiffany to answer "what is K-pop"."[16] In response to Fusion TV, KCON co-project manager, Angela Killoren said, "there's still this sense that, I'm the fan, and I'm the only fan, or I'm one of very few, and these are my artists, you have this incredible sense of - you discovered them, and you own them."[17]

The two nightly concerts[18][19][20][21] were shown on the weekly K-pop cable television show, M! Countdown, "2 Nights in LA" broadcast on Mnet America in the U.S., and in multiple countries.[22][23][24] Danny Im of Mnet America's show, "Danny From LA", hosted the concerts, along with "DFLA" co-host Dumbfoundead, Jung Joon-young, Tiffany, and opener Lee Seung-gi.[25][26][27]"DFLA", in its third season, filmed a live taping of the show, at the convention.[28][29]

For this year's event, Mnet America started a new web-series, "KCON EXPERIENCE 2014", with multiple episodes, including footage of the stars' arrival at the airport in Los Angeles, backstage activities, and the weekend’s panels, fan meetings, food stands.[30] The convention included an outdoor marketplace, food truck alley, a mini 4DX theatre, and open stage area; with panels and workshops about music, k-dramas, e-sports, choreography styles, makeup, hair trends; and as billed, "all things Hallyu”.[23][31][32]Included this year, was a "League of Legends Champion Festival", a tournament with stars of the Korean gaming team present.[13][17][23]

The convention doubled attendance from the previous year, with 42,000 attending, nearly 40 percent coming from outside California,[33]

Girls'Generation 2014 red carpet.
CN BLUE 2014 red carpet.
SPICA 2014 red carpet.
BTS 2014 red carpet.

most were girls, and less than 10 percent were Korean.[34]


Jeff Benjamin, Billboard K-Town columnist, wrote that the convention has "hit every note to provide a new look at a world of music still gaining ground in the U.S", and with thousands of people from all over North America attending KCON ‘12, the convention has "truly proved its ability to pass language barriers and kick-start what may be an annual music tradition."[35]

The Orange County Register described KCON ‘12 as "A daylong K-Pop invasion at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater".[36]

In 2014, New York City's Fuse TV said, "In just three years, KCON has become an annual pilgrimage for K-pop fans in America.[32]

In 2014, NBC News said, "Thousands of screaming fans and the stars they adore gathered in Los Angeles for KCON, a celebration of Korean pop music and culture".[16]

Miami's Fusion TV called KCON '14 "the mother ship of all Korean culture events in this country",[23]and observed, "k-pop fans might be the most devoted in the entire world."[17]

Melissa Block of NPR's All Things Considered said of KCON '14, "K-pop is here to stay."[34]

Locations and dates[edit]

Dates Location Venue Attendance Artist Line-up
October 13, 2012 Irvine, California Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 10,000[6] 4minute, B.A.P, EXO-M, G.NA, NU'EST, VIXX
August 24–25, 2013 Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena 20,000[37] 2AM, Dynamic Duo, EXO (K & M), f(x) (with DJ Koo), G-Dragon, Crayon Pop, Henry Lau, Missy Elliott, Teen Top, Yu Seung Woo (with Heejun Han)
August 9–10, 2014 42,000[33] August 9, 2014 (Performance):
G-Dragon, B1A4, IU, Teen Top, VIXX

August 10, 2014 (Performance):
Girls' Generation, BTS, CNBLUE, Jung Joon Young, SPICA


  1. ^ "About Koreaboo". September 15, 2013. In 2012, Koreaboo's founders created and produced [..] "KCON" with Mnet and CJ E&M." 
  2. ^ a b "The Rise of "K-Pop"". CNN. Retrieved 14 August 2014. CNN's Michael Holmes talks with M-Net's President , Ted Kim about "K-Con", an event that focused on Korean culture. 
  3. ^ "About Koreaboo". Retrieved 1 January 2014. In 2012, Koreaboo's founders created and produced the first ever K-POP Convention in the US called "KCON" with Mnet and CJ E&M. 
  4. ^ "KCON 2014 proves global trend of K-Pop rising with 42,000 attendees". Retrieved 1 January 2014. Originally having created just two years ago by Koreaboo, Mnet Media and CJ E&M, KCON first recorded 10,000 fans for a one-night convention. 
  5. ^ "KCON '12". KCON '12. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Yang, Jeff. "Will the Korean Pop Culture Boom Have Legs?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Artists : KCON". Kconusa.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  8. ^ Brown, August (2013-08-26). "Review: G-Dragon, Missy Elliott, EXO and more at KCON 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  9. ^ "10 Reasons Why YOU Should Love Henry | KCON". Blog.kconusa.com. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  10. ^ Battan, Carrie (August 30, 2013). "Watch Missy Elliott and K-Pop Star G-Dragon Debut New Song "Niliria"". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ Brown, August (8 August 2014). "KCON a mini-Coachella for Korean pop music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Artist Line Up". CJ E&M. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Stanley, Adrienne (19 July 2014). "KCON 2014: Eric Nam, Lee Seo Jin, Yoo In Na & 'League Of Legends' Champion Festival Added To Impressive Hallyu Convention Schedule". KpopStarz. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  14. ^ re "Viki at KCON 2014". Viki. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Kdrama, CoCo (12 August 2014). "CNBLUE, Lee Seung Gi, Girls' Generation, BTS, and SPICA heat up the KCON 2014 red carpet". DramaFever. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "What is K-pop?". NBC News. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c Castillo, Arielle (15 August 2014). "Kcon 2014 in video: sights and sounds from the country’s biggest Korean culture and k-pop fan convention". Fusion. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (10 August 2014). "KCON 2014 Day 1: G-Dragon, IU, B1A4 & More Rock Los Angeles". Billboard. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Brown, 10 August 2014. "Review G-Dragon, Teen Top and B1A4 make K-pop's next moves at KCON". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  20. ^ Castillo, Arielle (11 August 2014). "Top 6 fan moments from Kcon, with BTS, CNBlue & Girls' Generation". Fusion. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Brown, August (11 August 2014). "Review Girls Generation, CN Blue and BTS close out KCON 2014". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "[M COUNTDOWN] 2 NIGHTS IN LA". CJ E&M. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c d Castillo, Arielle (10 August 2014). "Kcon 2014, day 1: Thousands celebrate K-pop and Korean culture in L.A. with convention, concert by superstars like IU, Teen Top, and G-Dragon". Fusion. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (14 August 2014). "IU and Teen Top Niel to Reveal Their Duet from ′KCON 2014′ Today (8/14)". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  25. ^ Jones, Julie (10 August 2014). "KCON's First Night Concert Delivers And Dazzles". KPopStarz. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  26. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (12 August 2014). "KCON 2014 Day 2: Girls' Generation, CNBLUE, SPICA & More Close L.A. Festival With Loud Bang". Billboard. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  27. ^ Zimmer, Cindy (18 August 2014). "Review: KCON 2014 Saturday Concert". ATK Magazine. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  28. ^ Hong, Tae (21 August 2014). "Danny from L.A. is more than a one-time deal". The Korea Times. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Danny from LA". Mnet America. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "KCON Experience 2014". Mnet America. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Zimmer, Cindy (28 August 2014). "Editorial: The KCON Marketplace". ATK Magazine. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  32. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (August 8, 2014). "KCON 2014 Daily Lineup Guide - K-Pop Fans' Must-See Concerts, Panels & Workshops". Fuse TV. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (12 August 2014). "KCON More Than Doubles Attendance in 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  34. ^ a b Rott, Nate (August 11, 2014). "'Calling All Fans': Korean Pop Invasion Rallies Americans In LA". NPR All Things Considered. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  35. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "KCON 2012: 15 Things Seen & Overheard". Billboard. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  36. ^ Hall, David (2012-09-19). "Aerosmith at Staples Center, K-Pop invades O.C.". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  37. ^ Trykowski, Tyler. "How to Make It in America: K-Pop's Bid for the West". Vice (magazine). Retrieved 10 September 2013. G-Dragon, along with seven other groups, performed at this August’s second annual K-Con in Los Angeles, which provided 20,000 fans from across North America and abroad a chance to soak in a culture that, 

External links[edit]

Media related to KCON at Wikimedia Commons