KCON is back in downtown Los Angeles for 2022.
The world’s largest fan celebration of Korean culture and music returned to downtown L.A. for its tenth iteration.
The very first convention in Irvine attracted 10 to 12,000 people and today there are millions of fans around the world from every background, country and ethnicity.
Girl groups, boy groups, the fans and the curious — KCON brings them all together.
This year’s event is being held in the Crypto.com Arena.
This pocket of Southern California has become the global center for the festival that celebrates all things Korea. Music and dancing are some of the biggest draws at the annual convention.
Jessie Ma is a dancer and content director for Steezy.co, a website that provides instructional videos and news content from the dance community.
“It’s so globally appealing,” Ma said. “It really is feel-good and I think that’s something that resonates with everybody.”
One person in attendance at KCON said it was nice to see the Asian community highlighted, when it so often is looked over in the entertainment sphere.
“You don’t see a lot of Asian people in the media, especially in America, so this is bringing them to the forefront and I’m really happy to see that. Especially at a huge convention like this, I’m seeing everybody here.”
“A lot of these kids come from just regular families,” another attendee told KTLA. “If you follow your dreams and work hard, you can have fun and do what you want.”
Vanessa Augsbach is one of the KCON organizers. She said people come from far and wide to attend.
“We’ve had fans come here from Japan, from China, from countries in Europe — and all of them are so excited to meet each other,” she said.
From somewhat humble roots when the convention drew 10,000 attendees, organizers this year are expecting more than 100,000 people to pack the arena.
Fans are encouraged to come to the convention center during the day between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to take part in all kinds of activities including dance lessons, Q&A with the groups and other performers, makeup tips, art displays and enjoy all kinds of food. At night time, the arena transforms into a concert venue where music become the star for the evening.