Summer Fun with KCON – Beat the Summer Heat with These K-pop Beats

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The first day of summer was the 20th of June, which means that by the time you read this article the Los Angeles summer will be in full swing – and there’s something in the summer air that calls for celebration.

For some it may be celebrating a graduation, the end of a hard semester at school, or perhaps the anticipation of a vacation to some distant place in the world. Do you, by chance, have plans on traveling to Korea for the summer? Looking forward to eating some great food and maybe catching a performance of two from your favorite artist? Don’t pack your bags yet! I have some important information for you that may make you want to stay in the city.

While this is the season of the sun, more than any other time of the year it is also the season of fairs, festivals, and conventions. Living in Los Angeles you have your pick of activities that are intended to be enjoyed outdoors with refreshing drinks, good entertainment, and even better company. Want to know which events are worth your time? Well look no further because everything that you need to know is below.

What you need to know: KCON is coming. Enjoy the various performances on July 29-31 at the Staples Center and LA Convention Center.

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From performances by world-class k-pop artists, to sessions with drama and movie actors, to vendors and informational panels on Korean fashion, food, and beauty – KCON is the preeminent convention for the Hallyu wave.

It is an annual multi-day summer festival that encompasses all things Korean and takes place in Los Angeles and New York. The first KCON happened in 2012 and was created as a way to bring the Hallyu wave directly to an ever-growing American fan base.

While people flock to the LA and NY KCON for a number of reasons and interests, the big attraction for both is the lineup of artists and groups. This year includes the wildly popular TWICE, Eric Nam, Monster X, BTS, Mamamoo, Day 6, Ailee, I.O.I, SHINee and many, many more. Exact performance details can be found at kconusa.com.

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What to expect from K-Pop: One of the major draws of k-pop, in addition to its addictively catchy instrumentals, is the complicated and distinctive dance numbers. Each song that is released has its own choreography that always matches perfectly with the varying beats of the song.

Dance choreography benefits fans and artists alike. It was not just a decision made on the fly to have dance practice a main component of the stringent years-long training regimens that entertainment companies are infamous for. Dance is an important part of their music videos by providing a kinetic center that ties the different scenes, story lines, and other aspects of the video together. Choreography also provides an additional level of creative interpretative imagery to the song lyrics that help to emphasis and add to the content.

From a marketing perspective music videos are five-minute long advertisements that show off the vocal, dance, and performance abilities. The quality of those attributes reflects the competence of the managing entertainment company. Additionally, since k-pop has a large international consumer base, dance numbers have proven to be a good way to connect with fans. Search “k-pop dance cover” on YouTube and you’ll find over 700,000 search results. That number does not count the possible search results on video hosting sites in other countries such as Japan and China, two other major k-pop consumers.

KCON isn’t the only festival that brings the Hallyu wave to the US. Last month there was the Koreatown Night Market; in just a few months you can expect the LA Korean Festival. So, if you were planning on traveling to Korea this summer to see the sites and maybe see a few of your favorite artists, you may want to cancel your ticket.

By Olempia Castillo