K-Pop Convention KCON Goes Digital for 2020 Edition, Partners With YouTube

Kristine Kwak

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KCON, the annual convention and concert series that showcases Korean products and entertainment via a multi-day confab, will go online for its summer 2020 edition as a seven-day streaming event. Their US events were originally scheduled for June 12 to 14 at the Javits Center in New York City, followed by August 27 to 30 at the L.A. Convention Center.

KCON:TACT 2020 SUMMER is set to run from June 20 to 26 and consist of live and pre-taped content to be streamed on the Mnet K-Pop YouTube channel.

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The convention was launched in 2012 as a one-day festival in Los Angeles just months after Psy’s “Gangnam Style” became a worldwide hit. Its debut edition attracted 12,000 curious fans. Last year’s event drew some 100,000 curious fans to Staples Center from Aug. 15 to 18. where attendees took in panels with Korean culture influencers, meet-and-greets with select K-pop acts as well as a live concert to cap off the festivities. Over the past nine years, KCON has expanded worldwide and has been held in France, Japan, Mexico, Australia, UAE and Thailand.

KCON is planning on recreating the in-person meet and greet sessions and influencer-led panels as a digital experience with live chats, polls, and usage of VR and AR technology. Past KCON events have included major K-pop acts such as BTS, Monsta X, and Twice, as well as newer breakout artists like ATEEZ (pictured) and ITZY. All of the interactive elements of KCON:TACT 2020 SUMMER will be available exclusively on YouTube.

The lineup for KCON’s digital event is yet to be announced but there are plans for around 30 artists and influencers to participate. More details for ticketing will be announced at a later date and a portion will benefit UNESCO’s Learning Never Stops campaign assisting children who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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