June 26, 2018 12:53
Some 53,000 fans gathered at Korean pop culture festival KCON in New York over the weekend.
The event organizers sold 20 percent more tickets than last year for the two concerts on Saturday and Sunday.
The annual festival hosted by CJ E&M has been held in major cities around the world such as Los Angeles and Paris every year, featuring concerts and promotions for Korean soaps, fashion and beauty as well as food.
Popular artists including EXID, Red Velvet, Super Junior and Wanna One performed this year. A talk show was broadcast live via a social media site and received 350,000 views.
"I bought a ticket that allows me to watch two concerts right next to the stage for US$1,500," said a 20-year-old college student. "I save money to see K-pop stars as close up as possible, waiting for the day when tickets go on sale in May."
Since KCON started in Irvine, California in 2012, it has expanded to North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America and attracted a total of 687,000 visitors.
Forbes said that people expected KCON would not last long when it first started, but that "nowadays Korean music has a deeply dedicated following in the United States."
The sponsors include Amazon, AT&T and Toyota. Apple Music offered a KCON playlist, while Billboard broadcast the festival live.
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