Hey everyone! I’m back home after flying out to New York for KCON! I’ll be splitting my experience into two posts. I’ll try to be as descriptive as possible, but I was trying to enjoy my time there as much as I could. That means that I wasn’t necessarily taking all sorts of mental notes about what I would and would not write about. That said, I think I got some pretty amazing shots of the incredible experiences I had this past weekend. Hope you all enjoy!

The Convention

I got in late on Friday evening and my friend and I didn’t have a chance to check in and find out which audiences we’d ended up getting. Both of us paid for A4, so we knew we would only be getting one random audience for each of us. The unspoken agreement, of course, was that if I got a group that she liked, I would give mine to her and she would do the same for me.

Anyway, that’s all to say that we ended up checking in on Saturday morning at about noon. This ended up being a massive bummer because, as soon as I ripped open my audience ticket, I saw that my random audience was for The Boyz. Which had taken place at 11 AM. And had already ended.

Thankfully, my friend got an audience for AB6IX, who I legitimately wanted to see because I loved Daehwi and Woojin so much. She gave me her audience without hassle because the only audience she was really interested in attending was for fromis_9 and they didn’t even do one.

We headed straight for the expo and I’m not gonna lie: I was a little underwhelmed by the number of booths at the convention. The ones that were there were pretty great, but there just weren’t that many. There seemed like there was so much empty space, which was great for maneuvering but not so much for finding stuff to do both days.

The first thing we did was head for the Melona booth because we had both sweat through our clothes just walking over to the convention center from Penn Station. They were giving away free ice cream bars if you followed them on Instagram and spun a wheel for a prize. The wheel determined which flavor of bar you would get and I was fortunate enough to get melon on the first try. My friend got strawberry and we were in LOVE. They were easily the most delicious ice cream we’d ever tried and we loved them so much that we went back the next day for seconds. Sunday, we ended up with coconut and mango (I loved the coconut but my friend was not so impressed with the mango).

After that, we decided to check out some of the other booths. The Asiana Airlines booth was cool because it was another spin game for prizes and the girl in front of me won a hi-touch for one of the boy groups. Then we went over to the Toyota booth for (another) free tote bag and a custom luggage tag. The only catch was that you had to sit in a Toyota and sign up for a mailing list, which wasn’t a huge deal.

Also by the Toyota booth was the dance floor where a DJ was playing nonstop K-pop hits for anyone who wanted to run up and dance. A few of the K-pop dance cover people were hanging out over there as well as a few other performers/panelists.

I’ll admit: I wasn’t really excited about any of the panels. Not to say that the topics they were covering weren’t important, but I just didn’t want to engage in discourse at KCON. I came out for a good time, not for a scholarly thesis.

One thing I was excited about was seeing Fei from heyitsfeii at the KCON Studio. I know people are kind of split about her (some think she’s too much, others love her) but she was one of the first K-pop YouTubers I followed and one of the few who I don’t constantly consider unsubscribing from.

The K-beauty area was another thing that I was really excited about and, while the area was decked out in pink and was decorated in a very cute way, it wasn’t nearly as fleshed out as I expected it to be.

Frankly, I felt like the only booths worth spending an extended period of time at were the sponsor booths. Everyone else (Melona excluded) was just not really doing anything for me. In the future, I don’t know that I would do both days of the convention unless I could do unlimited audiences.

I ended up leaving early on Saturday to have dinner with my cousin in the city before the concert and I don’t really think I missed out on much. Overall, KCON should consider getting more corporate participants or other booths to fill out the convention center in the future.

The Concert

This is honestly the whole reason I flew out to New York. I was really pumped about seeing all the groups performing all together and I liked the way that they divided the line up for both nights. Saturday night was:

  • Kevin Woo (pre-show)
  • The Boyz
  • TXT
  • IZ*ONE
  • Nu’est

The rookie groups did special performances though I could tell everyone was missing Everglow. They did this whole video about what BTS did for the K-pop industry and Blackpink as well and then The Boyz performed Fire. Later in the show, Minhyun and Baekho from Nu’est performed Lost Stars as a little teaser of what was to come when Nu’est took the stage.

The last performers of the night, of course, were Nu’est. They performed quite a few songs and I don’t know if it was planned that way or if they had to add in extra to compensate for the ladies of Everglow being gone, but it was great either way.

We were pretty far up in the stands, but we still managed to see everything really clearly. It also really helped that the girls sitting around us were really sweet. The last time my friend and I had sat in seats like that had been for the EXO concert we went to in 2016 and that had been miserable. So, all in all the concert was a really positive experience.

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