Wonyoung from IVE will MC the Friday night first concert at this year’s K-pop convention KCON LA in Los Angeles on Aug. 18. Veteran performer Rain will host the Saturday performances, while Bang Chan from Stray Kids will introduce a third and final night of performances.
Following the day-time activities on the floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the concerts will include 20 Korean music acts spread over three nights.
The Friday concert will feature Cravity, IVE, NMIXX, Shownu x Hhungwon (Monsta X), Taemin, Taeyong and WayV. On Saturday, it will be the turn of Ateez, INI, Kep1er, Rain, xikers and Zerobaseone. Sunday will include sets from Everglow, (G)I-DLE, Itzy, JO1, Lapillus, Stray Kids, and The Boyz.
Fan-favorite special stages in the past have included a ‘Dream Stage,’ where artists performed on the same stage as their fans; collaborations between artists and groups; and exclusive ‘cover stages’. Each concert this year will include special stages. Friday’s will feature NCT U (Taeyong X Ten) and NMIXX. Saturday’s will feature Kep1er, XG and xikers, while Sunday’s gig includes JO1 and The Boyz, where The Boyz premiere a performance from their sub-unit.
The show on Saturday by Ateez will involve the boy band’s earlier songs performed for the first time in recent months. On Sunday, Stray Kids will do the same.
After a COVID-induced hiatus, KCON LA returned least year as an in-person event that attracted some 90,000 visitors. Organizers said that the event also attracted some 7.1 million online participants – a blending of online and offline fandom that is typical of the K-Pop industry.
K-Pop is no longer strictly Korean. “You can use social media, create dance covers [in the U.S.] see them go viral and people back in Korea watch them,” explained Kevin Woo, a San Francisco-native singer and actor who was trained and achieved success within the Korean talent system, who spoke at a panel debate last year.
KCON LA is backed by multi-disciplinary Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ ENM. The company is also behind Oscar-winning film “Parasite” and upcoming movie “K-Pop: Lost in America.”