Last year marked the return of the world’s biggest Korean pop-culture fest after two years online.
After 2022 marked KCON’s in-person return following two years online, the world’s biggest K-pop festival has set 2023 dates for events in the U.S., Japan and Thailand in the coming months.
Once again, KCON will hold its flagship event in California with KCON 2023 Los Angeles between Aug. 18-20 at the Crypto.com Arena and LA Convention Center. Barring 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the West Coast iteration of the festival has been held throughout the Crypto.com Arena (formerly known as the Staples Center) and LA Convention Center since 2015, with 2023 marking its 10th time in the city’s famous L.A. Live campus.
Last year, KCON LA reported 90,000 fans attending across its three days of convention, panels, workshops meet-and-greets and concert activities headlined by artists like Stray Kids, ATEEZ, ITZY, The Boyz, Kep1er, TO1 and more.
After visiting Tokyo in October, KCON also revealed that it will return with its KCON 2023 Japan between May 18-20 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba. The fest last visited the city for its two-day KCON Premiere Chiba event last year where K-pop boy band TO1 performed alongside J-pop acts like JO1 and INI. KCON 2022 Japan was held at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena with TO1, ATEEZ, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, fromis_9, LE SSERAFIM, NewJeans, Monsta X‘s Kihyun and more K-pop and J-pop acts performing.
KCON Los Angeles and Japan join the preciously announced KCON Thailand, taking place next month at the IMPACT Arena and IMPACT Exhibition Center throughout March 18-19 in Bangkok’s northern suburb of Muang Thong Thani. The festival has TO1, ATEEZ, Kep1er, JO1, BamBam, iKON,(G)I-DLE and more K-pop and J-pop acts scheduled to visit.
KCON followed up in a press release that each location would have “signature programming as well as content tailored for each region” and that KCON will be live streamed globally without regional limitations.
Despite increasing competition from new K-pop festival startups like last year’s KAMP and the upcoming We Bridge Music Festival & Expo, as well as more Korean artists appearing on long-running U.S. music fests like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Governor’s Ball, KCON has managed to keep its attendance and audience engagement strong for more than a decade now.
“KCON, which started out with an audience of 10,000 in 2012, has now grown into the world’s biggest K-culture festival,” said Kim Hyun-soo, Head of Live Entertainment Business at CJ ENM, in a statement. “This year, KCON will meet global fans in Thailand, Japan and the U.S., advancing the spread of K-pop and K-culture around the world.”
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