KCON - NEWARK
Gangnam style was only the beginning! Get ready to experience the East Coast mecca of “All Things Hallyu” this month, right here in Newark. KCON, the world’s largest K-pop convention, is back to once again fill the Prudential Center with the music, food and fun of South Korea. Scheduled for the weekend of June 24th and 25th, KCON is dedicated to bringing the most entertaining aspects of Korean culture to a huge base of enthusiastic American fans. It began in 2012 as a one-day festival in Los Angeles, but has since become a global phenomenon, expanding its presence to the New York metropolitan area last year, and to Japan and Abu Dhabi in 2016.
Named as one of the “22 Best Music Festivals of 2015” by FUSE, KCON is best known for its nightly K-pop concerts headlined by the hottest artists in the genre. Not only do these exciting acts rock out for their screaming super fans at night, many also make themselves available for meet and greets with their adoring public during the day. Because these artists rarely tour in the States, KCON provides an unrivaled opportunity for K-pop connoisseurs to experience their favorite singers, actors and reality stars up close and personal. KCON is also the perfect opportunity for global fans, who tend to find each other and interact on the web, to meet in person and discuss all things K-pop.
KCON debuted in Newark last summer as a one-day convention that welcomed a close-to-capacity crowd of 10,000 fans to the Pru Center. Excited attendees got a chance to see popular bands like Girls’ Generation and Teen Top, and made the first time festival a massive success.
This year, KCON has expanded to two days of events, and features BTS, a boy band that boasts its own brand of socially conscious music and lyrics, as the headlining act. Known to give high energy performances full of dynamic rapping and singing, BTS will be joined by other participating bands, including the female group Mamamoo, which is one of the top girl groups in Korea, the 13-member reality show standouts, Seventeen, and the popular rookie singer, Ailee. Rounding out the Newark lineup is singer-actor Eric Nam, who is having a breakout year, smooth R&B vocalist and K-pop star, Crush, and Korean hip hop legends, Dynamic Duo.
The influence of K-pop culture on its super fans is immense, and not just when it comes to the music. Many KCON attendees come dressed up as their favorite stars, so for the first time in Newark, KCON will host a K-pop Cosplay Masquerade. For dance enthusiasts, there will be an exciting K-pop Dance Battle, open to singles, duos and groups.
For those that are inspired to adopt the latest trends in K-pop makeup and hair, or sample delicious Korean cuisine, KCON has you covered!
The festival hosts a number of panel discussions, workshops and exhibitors, many of which are beauty-driven, with a focus on providing Korean skincare tips and K-pop celebrity makeup secrets. Attendees will also get to peruse a multitude of vendors on site, that sell everything from amazingly authentic Korean food to Seoul-style street wear.
While worldwide music industry revenues have continued to spiral downward, K-pop has been a bright spot. Nightline reports that global sales for Korean pop music now top $3 billion a year, and the industry was ranked as the world’s 11th biggest in 2012.
Since Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was released in 2012, K-pop videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 7.7 billion times globally, and that number increases each year.
Coming to our great city to experience KCON? Combo, single and platinum tickets are on sale now, and there’s even special pricing on area hotels. Don’t forget to stop in our Visitors Center weekdays before 5 pm (60 Park Place, Suite 104) for a wealth of information and goodies!
Lauren Craig, also known as InaWordFab, is the Glambassador of all things fashion, art and entertainment in Newark. When she isn't busy practicing law or watching reality television, Lauren is devoted to inspiring others to live their most fab and fulfilling life...and world peace. Visit inawordfab.com for more and be sure to follow her life in the fab lane @inawordfab on Twitter and Instagram.