CJ NowKCON LA 2023 Shatters Records: Over 140,000 Attendees in Just Three Days!
▶ Snapshot from Day 1 of KCON LA 2023
In its 11-year trajectory, 'KCON' marked another milestone right where it began—in the U.S. 'KCON LA 2023' demonstrated its supremacy, standing tall as the world's premier K-culture festival.
Coming on the heels of the resounding success of 'KCON JAPAN 2023' in May, 'KCON LA 2023' sustained the momentum, radiating the vibrancy of Hallyu on a global scale.
From August 18th to 20th (PDT), the iconic 'LA Convention Center' and 'Crypto.com Arena' in Los Angeles hosted 140,000 attendees. Beyond U.S. borders, enthusiasts from across the globe came in droves. Digitally, the event drew a staggering 5.9 million online viewers spanning 176 countries and regions.
Tailored for the discerning North American fandom, this edition of KCON showcased 278 convention booths and presented 153 sessions, each reflecting the nuanced needs of contemporary enterprises and brands. Moreover, under the banner of 'K-COLLECTION,' 50 promising SMEs amplified their global aspirations, offering a window into the dynamic K-lifestyle and brand universe.
K-Con: A Gen Z-Tailored Convention Epitomizing the Rise of K-Culture
▶ View from KCON LA 2023 Convention Floor
'KCON LA 2023' carved a niche by accentuating Gen Z-focused conventions, forging strategic media partnerships, and orchestrating a rich tapestry of K-content sessions. Inside the LA Convention Center, attendees were treated to immersive encounters, from hands-on K-beauty explorations to digital dives with the latest mobile tech. The title sponsor, Samsung Galaxy, further elevated the experience, introducing the cutting-edge Galaxy Z Flip5 and Z Fold5 series, setting a new paradigm in convention experiences. Collaborative endeavors with K-pop luminaries cast a spotlight, captivating Gen Z fans globally. Notably, attendees delved into the world of K-lifestyle at booths exemplified by health and beauty industry leader Olive Young.
At the heart of the convention, the CJ Live Studio booth pulsated with energy. Showcasing signature programs from CJ Group affiliates—Tous Les Jours, Olive Young, and the CJ-UNESCO Girl's Education Campaign—was a testament to synergy. This was the K-Story zone, a sensory overload of curated K-content experiences. An authentic recreation from tvN’s celebrated variety show 'Seojin's' emerged as a fan favorite. The hands-on engagement by Producer Na Young-seok at the booth underscored the indelible mark of Korean variety shows on global audiences.
Collaborating with the Foundation for Cooperation of Large, Medium, and Small Enterprises and Fisheries, the annual 'K-COLLECTION' spotlighted 50 dynamic SMEs. Spanning sectors such as beauty, lifestyle, and food, these businesses interfaced with an international audience, solidifying their foothold for global market penetration.
▶ Producer Na Young-seok Engaging with Enthusiasts at KCON LA 2023
This year, a diverse array of panel discussions and workshops, from the intricacies of K-content to the pulsating beats of K-pop, were the talk of the town. The 'K-Variety' session was a resounding success, steered by Producer Na Young-seok and Producer Kim Shin-young. Overflowing seats were a testament to its impact. A highlight was Producer Kim Shin-young's session featuring the stars of global sensation ZEROBASEONE, borne from 'Boys' Planet,' affirming their meteoric rise in the global pop culture firmament.
This year, 'KCON LA 2023' deepened its engagement with local audiences, notably through its collaboration with iHeartMedia. A distinct stage was erected within the K-pop Village, marking a strengthened commitment to unifying global fans under the banner of K-pop.
In a groundbreaking move for KCON, we saw the integration of cutting-edge virtual technology with the allure of K-pop. Virtual artists 'APOKI,' with an impressive 4.5 million TikTok followers, and 'Plave' captivated attendees with their novel presence. Further enhancing the experience, 'SHOWCASE: NICE TO MEET U,' introduced at 'KCON JAPAN 2023', spotlighted seven dynamic global acts, including 8TURN, LIMELIGHT, VERIVERY, CRAXY, JUST B, XG, and RIIZE. Their unique interactions and compelling performances garnered overwhelming audience responses.
An Expanded KCON: Illuminating the Night at the Bustling Crypto.com Arena
▶ Snapshot of the Day 2 Dream Stage KCON LA 2023
KCON LA 2023, now spanning three dynamic showcases, turned the LA evening into an unforgettable spectacle. The Crypto.com Arena, accommodating nearly 20,000 attendees, buzzed with electrifying fan energy and shimmering light displays. On a 360-degree stage, artists delivered immersive performances, resonating profoundly with an international fanbase.
The main show witnessed 21 top-tier artist groups command the stage, showcasing exclusive KCON stages and transitioning seamlessly to the iconic 'Dream Stage.'
Stellar acts such as IVE, ZEROBASEONE, and ITZY intensified the festival's momentum. During the 'Gen.Z POP SPECIAL,' standout groups Kep1er and JO1 paid homage to iconic K-pop tracks, creating a cohesive ambiance. Exclusive to KCON, global sensations like NCT U's Ten and Taeyong, alongside American rising star Destiny Rogers ‘Tomboy,’ offered unparalleled performances that could only be seen at KCON.
The audience was further enthralled as global powerhouses like ATEEZ, CRAVITY, EVERGLOW, (G)I-DLE, INI, Lapillus, NMIXX, RAIN, SHOWNU X HYUNGWON (MONSTA X), Stray Kids, TAEMIN, THE BOYZ, WayV, XG, and Xikers took center stage. Tailoring their acts for 'KCON LA 2023', these artists presented unforgettable moments to fans worldwide.
Shim Jun-beom, CJ ENM Music Content Division's Executive Director, stated, "Witnessing audiences from diverse backgrounds come together to revel in this cultural phenomenon was heartening. As we progress, KCON remains dedicated to broadening the horizons of K-pop and K-culture enthusiasts globally."