What is KCON?


Kira Hermansen editor (Denmark)


KCON is an annual Korean wave convention held in locations across the globe, it’s a music festival created by Koreaboo and organized by CJ E&M. It was first held in Southern California as KCON in 2012 and has since expanded into eight countries as of 2018.

 In 2015, KCON expanded to Japan and then soon afterwards announced the first KCON in USA on the East Coast. In 2016, KCON expanded into Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Paris, France. In January 2017, KCON announced that they would be hosting their first KCON Mexico at the Mexico City Arena on March 17 and 18, 2017. 

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic KCON have become an online event titled KCON:TACT, started on June 20 until June 26, 2020 via Youtube, AISPlay, and Shopee. The second season started on October 16, 2020 and ended on October 25,2020. The third season started March 20,2021. KCON is the world’s largest K-culture festival and KCON:TACT is the world’s largest K-culture online festival.

KCON was produced by Powerhouse Live, who have continued to work on KCON from 2013 to the present. KCON’s initial aim was to establish an annual event that would 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. Over the years many K-pop artists have made an appearance at the event, it’s a great way to connect with their fans overseas or get recognized around the world. 

CJ E&M’s American CEO Angela Killoren said they are more interested in the long-term goal of raising Korea’s brand value than short-term gain. Also, in a June press conference, Shin Hyung-kwan, president of CJ E&M’s Mnet contents business, said, “KCON, which has been held in Abu Dhabi in March, Japan in April, and Paris early this month, is not just about making money. Numbers are important but what matters more is the potential created by the event for the next five, 10 and 20 years.” Shin added that the company goals were increasing the growth of products and services to the global market by expanding partnerships with Korean small and medium enterprises.

It’s a great opportunity for any K-pop stan to participate in this festival. KCON has a big variety of artist which makes it attractive for a lot of fans from the different groups or solo artists. If you’re a K-pop fan or fan of a specific Korean artist, you might find KCON is something for you. Let’s hope the pandemic is soon to be over so KCON can be live again and K-pop fans can be gathered again. 


Kira Hermansen editor (Denmark)