On February 16-17, a dedicated group of students from UC Berkeley hosted the second collegiate K-Pop convention in the United States: KPOPCON 2013. KPOPCON is a “gathering that strives to unite fans of all backgrounds to celebrate the continuously evolving K-pop world in a social, creative, and academic setting.” According to the KPOPCON official website, this year’s theme, “Volume Up!” was meant to convey the founders’ hope of creating an “even more energetic and worthwhile” convention than KPOPCON 2012, which attracted more than three hundred fans. More than five hundred fans attended the convention this year and the energy of the fans, organizers, and special guests was high throughout the event! I could really feel the sense of community amongst all the attendees, and K-Pop is what brought us together!
The convention began with registration and breakfast on Saturday. Before the keynote, we had a chance to interview the keynote speaker, YG choreographer Aimee Lee Lucas (stay tuned for the interview!). Aimee gave her keynote in the format of a question and answer session with Cass Song, a dancer who gained the attention of Korean entertainment companies through his YouTube videos while he was an undergrad at UC Berkeley. The keynote was followed by dance workshops with Aimee Lee Lucas, Cass Song, Dachirim, Peter A, and SoNE1.
Going on concurrently with the dance workshops were panels by Viki, Lucy Zhou, KpopKollective, LinzerDinzer, PeuyeumUS, and Haneul Lee. Saturday night ended with many amazing performances by PeuyeumUS, Cass Song, Dachirim, Ra-On, Spark~, SoNE1, UkeShiDae, Bianca Janian, and H&M. It was inspiring to see all this talent, hard work, and creativity from college students from around California for the sheer love of K-Pop.
Sunday was a shorter day, which I was grateful for after such an exciting day on Saturday. In beautiful weather, a cosplay contest, scavenger hunt, talent show, tabling by various groups, all-day raffling, and DJing by DJPeterLo all took place. Soompi was there all day giving away free swag and collecting entries for our raffle to win a signed Exo-K “MAMA” album. Other groups the were tabling included DBSK, B1A4, and SHINee fan groups, a merchandise re-sell table, YesStyle, Kollaboration, Viki, and KPOP TV. One of the last activities was the talent show which eventually turned into people just getting up and dancing to their favorite K-Pop songs. It was a lot of fun!
Thank you so much to the KPOPCON staff who worked on this convention for a whole year in advance! I’m definitely looking forward to KPOPCON 2014!
Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Aimee Lee Lucas.