On July 29th to July 31st, 2016, KCON LA returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles, California. The fifth KCON in Southern California definitely ended up as the biggest one yet as they graduated from the West Hall of the LACC to the South Hall which meant more space. This version of KCON marked the debut of the KTown Night Market which filled LA Live with food trucks and vendors serving food that So Cal is known for with its diverse flavors. Once again, the concert edition was broken up into two nights. The Saturday night edition consisted of Turbo, I.O.I., Amber, GFriend, Dean, Block B, and was headlined by SHINee. The Sunday night edition had ASTRO, Davichi, Monsta X, Twice, Eric Nam, Girls’ Generation-TTS, and was headlined by BTS. This year was so big that both concerts sold out with yours truly unable to attend the actual concerts.
Obviously, KCON and the Hallyu Wave are still growing annually which meant that they haven’t been able to use the entire venue yet, but with each year, they’re getting closer and closer to being able to. With that being said, I do feel like it would have still been beneficial to be at West Hall as it’s closer to Staples Center along with being closer to the KTown Night Market. It forced a ton of walking. It didn’t help that there was another event being held in South Hall which meant that event was sandwiched between two KCON related areas of interest.
This year, the fan engagements were even more tougher to attend than the previous. Some of the headliners like SHINee, BTS, and TTS opted not to hold fan engagements which left one of the biggest draws to KCON without marquee names. It still went great as fans traded with one another, bought, sold, and negotiated for the right to get vouchers to see their favorite artist of choice.
I only attended the Davichi fan engagement with the high touch opportunity. I actually enjoy some of their music, so it was cool to high five them as it was their first venture into American soil which got them extremely excited. They definitely took my recommendation for which beach to go to which was Santa Monica due to Pokemon Go which they’ll definitely play when they have the time to do so.
If we’re comparing the convention itself, it’s exactly the same from last year with more space. I personally saw no evolution in the con and saw the exact same booths from the previous year. I felt with the growth, there could have been some new booths especially ones for new or potential new KPop fans.
With the genre constantly growing, I may see the concerts being maybe three nights instead of two. I may also see the concert starting earlier or going all day. I can also see them moving from an arena venue to a stadium venue. I don’t think it’ll happen in 2017, but if it keeps evolving at a rapid pace, we may head there soon. With the con itself, I do see them eventually utilizing the entire venue at some point. With more topics to cover, there definitely should be more panels and workshops too. As a lot of KPop fans get older, I feel it’s about time that there should be some events catered to the adult audience just like a lot of conventions do when it gets later into the night time. I believe these are some of the things the KCON staff will have to look at when planning the next one.
Written by: Timtastic