KCON 2022 LA presented by Toyota, which is produced by leading entertainment company CJ ENM, wrapped up successfully in Los Angeles this weekend at Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com arena, with over 90,000 fans in attendance. KCON 2022 LA was also live streamed worldwide in more than 176 regions, garnering a total offline and online viewership of 7.17 million. Earlier this year, KCON held ‘KCON 2022 Premiere’ in Seoul, Tokyo and the U.S. (Chicago and LA) to garner excitement for the first in-person KCON since 2019.
Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, KCON 2022 LA brought on stage both the biggest acts and rising names in K-pop to offer an unforgettable musical experience for KCON fans who have been waiting for an in-person show for three years. The first day of the K-pop show saw performances from ATEEZ, CRAVITY, ENHYPEN, INI, ITZY, Kep1er, LIGHTSUM and Stray Kids. The second day featured LOONA, NCT DREAM, NMIXX, P1Harmony, STAYC, THE BOYZ, TO1 AND WJSN.
KCON, known for making memorable moments through its one-of-a-kind special stages, delivered this year as well. ATEEZ opened the first day of the show with KCON’s first ever signature song ‘POPPIA’ while Bebe Rexha made her KCON debut through a collaboration stage with ITZY to perform “Break My Heart Myself”. 9-member multinational girl group Kep1er danced to their debut song “WADADA” with twenty of their fans and they also paid homage to IZ*ONE, a debut group from the hit <Produce 48>, by performing their version of “La Vie en Rose”.
The Boyz opened the second day with their song “MAVERICK” while WJSN performed their song “AURA” that crowned them as the final winners of hit survival show <Queendom 2> on Mnet, a signature brand of CJ ENM’s music business. Up-and-coming boyband leading the next generation of K-pop, TO1, performed not only their hit song “Drummin’” but also delivered a crowd-pleasing performance for their Gen-Z fans through a special cover performance of Psy’s “That That.”
This year’s KCON convention also featured a variety of content encompassing everything that has to do with K-lifestyle from movies/dramas to food, beauty, etc. Signature KCON convention programs were upgraded to include more artist engagements and fan favorite panels/workshops. On top of that, the convention also included new programs such as the KCON Marketing Summit .
KCON also provided Gen-Z tailored programs where attendees could engage with various artists and personalities. The KCON SQUARE had K-pop groups interact with their fans as well as invited visitors to participate in fun challenges related to K-pop. It was a special opportunity for K-pop fans to discover new artists through talk sessions with INI, Kep1er, LOONA and TO1. The KCON DANCE ALL DAY workshop returned to the convention hall where fans could take classes from top K-pop choreographers. Also, attendees could select from a wide range of panels and workshops to learn more about K-culture as well as do fun handcrafts such as creating your customized light stick.
The signature KCON ROOKIES with CRAVITY, LIGHTSUM, STAYC and TO1 also hyped up the audience the first day with their hit songs. The same groups are set to headline the first KCON Tour that will continue on after KCON 2022 LA across six cities in the U.S. Meanwhile, the producers behind hit reality audition program <GIRLS PLANET 999> held in person auditions for their next project <BOYS PLANET>, a new audition program set to air in 2023 to create a global K-pop boy group.
For the first time this year, KCON hosted <KCON 2022 Marketing Summit> under the theme ‘Road to Success in K-Content Marketing’. Sessions were led by UCLA Professor Suk-Young Kim, Penn State University Professor Sam Richards, Head of Marketing at TikTok Korea Sunah Baek and K-lifestyle influencers including Joan Kim(K-beauty), Lisa Rhee(K-pop) and Logan Moffitt(K-food).
Don Kim, General Manager of Live Entertainment Business at CJ ENM, who oversees KCON remarked “KCON first started in 2012 with 10,000 attendees. Now, KCON has established itself as the world's No.1 K-culture festival and we’re thrilled to be finally returning in person. As we are getting back on track to normal, KCON will continue to pioneer the spread of K-culture around the world. KCON’s next stop is Japan in October, so please look forward to that.”
First held in 2012 in the U.S., KCON played an instrumental role in spreading K-culture, amassing 1.1 million fans across 9 cities/regions including North America, Europe, Asia, etc. From its first event that attracted 10,000 visitors, KCON has seen an incredible growth gathering 291K visitors in 2019 (the last in-person event) which was 29 times its inaugural year audience. During the pandemic, its digital rendition, 'KCON:TACT', met more than 22.45 million K-pop fans in the last two years, pushing the event's boundaries even further as a virtual festival that enables fans to enjoy K-culture anywhere, anytime.