CJ ENM has opened up a new avenue for the globalization of the K-lifestyle in the era of untact.
People, whose number was more than 4 times the total number of all previous visitors to KCON over its 8-year, 24 offline installments, were gathered in one place
▲ Zoom tower for KCON:TACT season 2
For 10 days from October 16-25, KCON:TACT season 2 took place via digital platforms such as YouTube, TVING, KT SEEZN, AIS and Smart Communication. Jointly hosted by Entertainment and lifestyle company CJ ENM (headed by CEO Min-hoei Heo) and the Korea Creative Content Agency (headed by director Young-jun Kim), the festival attracted a total of 4.4 million K-culture fans, a number that is more than 4 times greater than the number of all visitors to KCON over its 8-year, 24 offline installments.
CJ ENM has held the K-culture festival KCON across the world in countries including the U.S., Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania since its inception in 2012 in a bid to spread the K-lifestyle globally, attracting a cumulative audience of 1.1 million. This year's installment of KCON was held in two parts in June and October via digital platforms, discovering a new business model with its paid content and expanding the base of K-culture with the high-quality free content showcased for the first time during the event period. Furthermore, KCON continues to play a leading role in the non-face-to-face concert market by staging performances that previously only existed in our imagination with the use of technology optimized for digital platforms.
▲ GHOST9 hosting a MEET&GREET event at KCON:TACT season 2
The 10 days of KCON:TACT season 2 were jam-packed with diverse programs, including K-pop performances by 27 groups of artists, KCON STUDIO X DIA TV where K-pop artists and YouTube creators together delivered a variety of K-lifestyle content to viewers, ”MEET&GREET,” an online fan meeting series where fans and artists communicated in a non-face-to-face setting, and ”Pop Up Class” where K-pop stars shared knowledge with fans through the donation of their talent.
KCON:TACT takes the lead in the global untact market by means of live music performances and some 230 pieces of K-culture content
▲ ONEUS's performance at KCON:TACT season 2
KCON:TACT season 2 featured 27 groups of K-pop artists, namely AB6IX, A.C.E, ATEEZ, CLC, DAY6 (Even of Day), DREAMCATCHER, EVERGLOW, GHOST9, Sung-woon Ha, IZ*ONE, JO1, KARD, Jae-hawn Kim, Woo-seok Kim, Eun-sang Lee, LOONA, MAMAMOO, Natty, ONEUS, ONF, Ji-hoon Park, SUNMI, THE BOYZ, TOO, VERIVERY, Wei and WOODZ (Seung-youn Cho) (listed in alphabetical order).
▲ Volumetric technology as applied for THE BOYZ member Q's performance at KCON:TACT season 2
At the festival, under the theme of “KCON:TACT in My Hand,” the participating artists presented the fans with performances that people could only dream of in a manner that felt as if they were unfolding right in front of the fans’ eyes, on various virtual stages that worked seamlessly with the performances and were created after places like a plaza in a city center, a recording studio, a room, a mysterious forest, an abandoned factory, and even the cosmos. In addition, in the festival’s opening performance held on the 23rd, THE BOYZ's Q was turned into a virtual stereoscopic image using volumetric technology, whereby the virtual Q and the real Q performed together, achieving a first in Korean concert culture.
▲ Great Library, Yumdang and KARD on an episode of the KCON:TACT season 2's KCON STUDIO X DIA Delivery show
On the “KCON STUDIO X DIA TV” show, which was hosted in conjunction with the Korea Creative Content Agency, K-lifestyle was spread to the whole world through discussions on a wide range of topics, such as K-games, K-food, and K-fashion. The show tried to introduce many different aspects of Korean culture through various types of content, including a video filmed against the backdrop of a hanok where the cast members recreated the makeup looks worn by characters in Korean comic books, a video where the cast members personally tried on hanbok clothes featured in Korean comic books and a video that introduced the recipes for Korean dishes through Korean games.
At the online fan meetings, held during the festival hosted by Eric Nam and EXID's Hani, technologies that had not been previously attempted at online fan meetings—such as AR towers, which reflect fans' participation in chats in real time, and AR drawings, which you create in the air by moving your mobile device as you wish — impressed the artists and fans by making them feel as if they were in the same place together despite the constraints of space.
▲ WEi in KCON:TACT season 2's pop-up class
The “Pop Up Class” show, where K-pop stars share their knowledge with global fans through the donation of their talent, took place for the first time, providing an opportunity for the participating stars to communicate with their fans around the world once again showing off their diverse talents. The show featured classes in various fields given by K-pop artists including WOODZ's football class, VERIVERY's video editing class and Hyun-woo Choi's magic class, all of which garnered a big response. All the proceeds from the super chats with fans at KCON:TACT season 2 including the pop up classes and online fan meetings were donated to UNESCO's “Learning Never Stops” campaign, adding more significance to the festival.
Follow-up content, including behind-the-scenes videos and fan cam is to be provided in a continuous manner
Head of CJ ENM's Convention Live Business Division Hyun-soo Kim said, “With KCON:TACT season 2, we were able to showcase an even wider range of K-culture content through collaboration with the Korea Creative Content Agency. We also implemented new technologies, such as volumetric technology. As a result, we ended up attracting a total of 4.4 million visitors (paid or non-paid) for the 10 days of the festival. Going forward, CJ ENM will continue to take the lead in the globalization and expansion of K-culture by holding festivals both online and offline.”
Meanwhile, CJ ENM plans to follow up on the fervor of KCON:TACT season 2 with a variety of new content in November. Music fans will soon be able to watch behind-the-scenes videos and rewatch various bits of the excitement-packed 10-day festival via a range of platforms, including the Mnet K-pop channel and the official KCON channel on YouTube, TVING, KT olleh TV and Seezn.