CJ ENM's fifth season of the K-Culture Festival KCON:TACT, titled ‘KCON:TACT Hi 5’, concluded this past weekend, connecting K-POP artists and K-POP fans around the world.
A total of 24 artist groups participated in the event, which ran from the 18th to the 26th. It accumulated more than 5 million viewers from 168 countries. Across all five seasons of KCON:TACT, a total of 136 groups have performed, with 23 million fans in virtual attendance. This furthers KCON’s standing as an No. 1 global K-Culture Festival.
‘KCON:TACT HI 5’ aimed to connect K-Pop artists and fans across the globe, regardless of location and time. The ‘KCON Arena’ was broadcast to live stages around the world including Seoul, New York, Sydney, and Paris. Popular programs returned, including the online fan ‘Meet & Greet’, ‘KCON STUDIO’ and ‘KCON World Premiere’, which introduced promising up-and-coming artists.
The performing artists included AB6IX, ATEEZ, Ciipher, GHOST9, HIGHLIGHT, INI, ITZY, JO1, Kim Jae Hwan, Kwon Eunbi, MAMAMOO, ONF, Park Jihoon, Purple Kiss, Rain, Stray Kids, THE BOYZ, T1419, TO1, Weekly, WOODZ and OWV, Engine. Artists and fans were able to communicate in a variety of ways, including the "fan featuring" stage, virtual hi-touch, eye contact, 1:1 talk, and the ending song for the finale. In the newly introduced "Silent Green Room," fans got to discover the chemistry between their favorite band members. In addition, with virtual 3D sound, KCON:TACT provided ‘EeumAkSil’ which focused more on artists' music and vocals, and M2's “Relay Dance”, which is gaining popularity around the world.
On performing at KCON:TACT Hi 5, ATEEZ commented "It was new to be on the stage as a complete group of eight members. We have great energy every time we perform at KCON:TACT. We can't wait to meet our fans at offline events.”
Kwon Eunbi added, "I was very nervous because it was my first KCON:TACT by myself, but the surprise call with Yuri and the surprise event with the fans were so touching. I think this moment will continue to be memorable in the future.”
At the ‘KCON World Premiere,’ which introduced promising K-Pop artists to music fans around the world, Japanese idols JO1, OWV, and Engine, who debuted on Korean audition programs, performed for 90 minutes in Japan, connecting the offline event and online fans. JO1 said, "Our debut has been challenging in the midst of the global pandemic. I felt like I was going to cry because I met my fans in person for the first time ever. I sincerely thank the fans for supporting us. I'll be looking forward to seeing you again next time”.
KCON:TACT HI 5 presented the Opening Ceremony on Twitter Spaces with journalists Jeff Benjamin and Lai Frances, interactive polco (decorating polaroids) art workshop with Tiffany Lui, and virtual M&G with YouTube star and violinist JUN. There will also be additional programs for the US fans on 9/28 Monday and 9/29 Tuesday, including the Random Play Dance with LA-based dance crew, Team B.U.K. and the closing ceremony on Twitter Spaces with Benjamin and Frances.
Other programs included ‘KCON STUDIO with K-FOREST FOOD COOKING BATTLE’, which introduced healthy Korean forest products, art workshops, and ‘Live Fan Gathering’. KCON:TACT Hi 5 continued to donate to the ‘Girls’ Education’ campaign by CJ Group and UNESCO to raise awareness about the challenges girls face in developing countries accessing quality education.
"Based on the experience and expertise accumulated over the past two years after launching KCON:TACT in the global pandemic, we were able to present various contents online and offline during KCON:TACT HI 5,” Kim Hyun-soo, head of CJ ENM's Music Content Division said.
Meanwhile, CJ ENM plans to continue its momentum by releasing additional content from KCON:TACT HI 5. Behind-the-scenes videos, clips of artist rehearsals and performances will all be available on the KCON official YouTube channel.