KCON NY 2017 – Convention (Day 1)
If anyone would have told me that I’d have the chance to attend KCON to interact with my favorite idols and get to know Kpopers from different parts of the country, I wouldn’t have believed them. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to go, but thanks to the opportunity @B2STera gave me of being a volunteer for them at the convention, I was able to attend the concert on Friday. And since it was my first time attending the convention, I thought it’d be a good idea to tell you all about how both days went. Because honestly, what is a Kpop experience without a fan account to go along with it.
By the way, since this fan account might be a bit long, I’ve added the option of jumping to specific sections of this post. Just in case anyone is more interested in specifics parts of the convention I was able to experience.
| CHECK-IN | KEVIN WOO MEETUP |
Hurry Up & Check In
I started my Friday off really early because I didn’t want to waste time in the check-in line and miss out on Kevin Woo’s panel starting at 10:00 am. Also, since I needed to work some hours that day, I wanted to follow the schedule I had already planned the day before. So I got up really early and found my way to 14th street to ride the PATH trains for the first time towards New Wark Penn Station. And even though I was unfamiliar with the route, I was able to navigate just fine thanks to Google Maps. I got to New Jersey at about 8:30 am and hurried to the check-in tents. I was told that in other years the line tended to get really long, but to my surprise, there were only 3 people ahead of me on the P2 line. The staff gave me my passes, they scanned my concert ticket and where very helpful at answering my questions. In the end, it only took about 6 minutes to check in. Right after that, I passed the section where people were trading and selling their passes and got on the line to get into the panels section of the convention. (Which at first I thought was the line to get a goody bag. Ha!)
These were the lovely girls I met in line.
While on the line, I started talking with some girls that were in front of me and was very pleasantly surprised by how friendly they were. I’ve never really interacted with other Kpopers outside of my country, and it was nice to find some nice people to talk with on the line. Especially since I was going alone to the convention and wasn’t really sure how everything worked. While waiting in line, one of the girls offered to hold my things so I could scratch my passes to see what group I’d be able to see that day. To my surprise, all of my passes had a group on them. Which shocked me because I’ve known people to have their entire pack of passes be a miss.
So I checked each one, and I had HIGHLIGHT and CN BLUE pass, which were the groups I came to KCON to see. But I didn’t have a HiTouch for Highlight which is what a really wanted. My only option was to venture into the trading war zone. So I went a moment to the trading section to see if anyone needed a TWICE pass. And after walking around for about 3 minutes, I decided to just shout out and ask who would be willing to change my TWICE HiTouch pass for a HIGHLIGHT HiTouch pass. As soon as I finished that sentence, two girls came running up to me so I could make the trade. Both pleaded their cases and told me about how much they wanted to see TWICE and I felt cornered. I had to choose only one so I could be able to see HIGHLIGHT, and felt bad about having to do so. But in the end, I was able to make a fair decision and trade my pass to the girl that had contacted me via Facebook first. It was intense in that area, and I was glad to have made my trade pretty quickly.
I spent the rest of the morning in line talking to the girls about when we got into Kpop, the groups we were at the convention to see, how the passes worked, cheering on those who decided to dance along to the songs the KCON TV tent would play, among other things. I also got the chance to buy a KCON t-shirt and light stick which would come in handy later on at the concert. So even though the sun was burning down on me, my time on the line wasn’t even that bad.
Scan my wrist band fast! I need to see Kevin Woo!
After standing in line for a little bit over an hour, everyone was finally let into the panel section of the convention at 10:00 am. And after having my wristband scanned and my bag thoroughly checked, I was able to find a seat in the tent where Kevin Woo was scheduled to have his Meet Up. I thought I had a pretty good spot, but to my surprise, one of the girls I met on the line looked back and let me know that there was an empty seat right in front of her. So I passed her my backpack so she could save the seat, and proceeded to run around to take it. I was grateful to her because I was able to see things much better than where I was initially seated. And about after 10 minutes, the moderator (George Alianga from iHeartRadio) came out, introduced himself to us and called out Kevin for us all to meet.
Kevin walked into the tent and immediately the entire audience began screaming and cheering. He looked so cute while smiling and waving to everyone that it was impossible not to be happy to finally see him in person. He greeted George, introduced himself to everyone and then proceeded to answer questions the fans had submitted in the KCON app. Here are some of the answers I remembered from the questions he was asked by the fans:
- One of the first questions came from a YouTube reactioner, who left many in the audience in shock, because Kevin had immediately recognized her when she raised her hand to signal she was the person who’d submitted the question. He told the audience that he knew her because he had watched her reactions and her being one of the few people who do reactions quickly after each U-Kiss mv is published online. He told everyone to subscribe to her because he loved her videos and said her username so everyone could check out her channel.
- One funny moment I remembered was when he commented on how his fans always want to see him twerk. He didn’t really understand why but he says it tends to happen when he comes to the US. But the moment he said that, everyone in the audience screamed out for him to twerk. Kevin of course did not twerk, but a fan came up and did so for him. He was amazed, and I couldn’t stop laughing because of his reaction to the girl twerking.
- He was asked with which US artist he’d love to have a collaboration with, and he said he was a huge fan of Tory Kelly. Letting everyone know how he’d love to see her one day and would be honored to do a collaboration with her. The funny part was that while he was talking about Tory, he was having a fanboy moment which he acknowledged himself. It was fun seeing him react the way he did every time he’d say her name.
- I think he was asked about his favorite store in the US or a store he likes in the US but isn’t available in South Korea, and his answer was CVS. Which was very random and had everyone laughing because of it.
- He said nowadays he’s been using Instagram more than Snapchat. Then proceeded to lowkey promote his social media accounts for everyone to follow.
- He was asked about something he would have liked to experience if he hadn’t become an idol or something he missed out on because of becoming an idol. His answer was that he would have loved to attend prom back then when he lived in the US. He told everyone he wasn’t able to go because he moved to South Korea when he was a freshman in High School. He asked everyone if he had missed out on something good and the majority, including me, said that he had not. (Seriously, my prom was so lame.) Anyway, while he was talking about prom, a girl in the audience said something about going to prom. Which later on in the meet up had Kevin going up to her and asking her to be his prom date. (You can imagine how loudly everyone cheered when he screamed out “she said yes” and hugged the fan.) It was overwhelmingly cute.
- To finish the meeting off, he decided to give away hats to fans who could answer his trivia questions correctly. And each fan that got it right, was able to get a hat and a hug from him. A funny/cute thing about this is that you could hear everyone either scream or say “aw” because of the way he hugged each and every fan. But who could blame them when he looked so caring while hugging each fan. <3
The entire Q & A session was just very funny and enjoyable. Though I really wish it would have been an entire hour. Kevin was very friendly, upbeat and wasn’t afraid to voice out his opinion while answering each question. He wasn’t hesitant to interact with fans and was open to pretty much anything except for twerking. Which is understandable. He also gave out a lot of hugs to fans that were in the audience. (I would have loved to get one as well, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve come to terms with it.) It was nice being able to attend his meet up, and I was so thankful to the girl who let me know about a free seat in front of her. Because of her, I was able to see Kevin without anyone sitting in front of me blocking my view. It was a great way to start off the day and the convention experience.
After the meet up finished, about around 10:50 am, I headed straight towards the goody bag line to get one. The goody bag was basically a big blue tote bag with the KCON logo on it and some convention merchandise inside. For example, mine had a magnet, a sticker and 4 pins in it. After that, I said goodbye to some of the girls I met in the morning and ran back to the train station to go to work in Manhattan. It was a bit of a workout, but luckily I was able to get to my work on time.
Next up is my experience attending HIGHLIGHT’s fan engagement and finally being able to see them in person after being their fan for so long. I’ll also be talking about my experience being a volunteer for @B2STera and giving out the banners to support HIGHLIGHT during the concert. I’ll have it uploaded later today. So stay tuned.
Photo Credit: @makena_the_lion | @notmilavilay | @outspokeneast