Okay. This is going to be a LONG post. A heads up for people who wants to hear my story/experience.
***Just a note to start off this post: I am completely grateful OVERALL that this event happened. I appreciate the fact that KCON held this event and invited some of Korea’s hottest stars, just so that the international fans, like me, can get to meet them up close and get our prized signed albums, posters, T-shirt etc. to bring home. So KCON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS!***
Before I wanted to come to KCON, I actually didn’t want to go at all. Honestly, I was already a bit tired of traveling so far out of my hometown (Sacramento) just to go to a concert. I’ve done that twice; once to SM Town 2010 in LA and once more for SM Town 2012 in LA as well. This year made my third time going to a concert; but it wasn’t just the concert itself, of course, it was all about the fan signing event. That’s what really made up my decision to go to KCON. Who knows? There will never be a chance to meet up close with your KPOP stars like this again in another 2-3 years. So the idea of getting to meet my awesome KPOP stars overwhelmed me and I made the decision to go. It was me and my two cousins. We bought the tickets and the next thing to do was wait.
While waiting for the day to come, I actually went to a website, preferably Yesasia.com, to purchase specific albums from specific stars. I bought a B.A.P, G.NA. 4Minute and Exo-M album. Since I wasn’ t entirely into Nu’est or VIXX yet, I didn’t buy anything from them. However, after I purchased the items, I waited till they came through the mail. Note that Yesasia does take up from 6-14 days to ship out. I forgot to read that part of the shipping process and KCON was only 2 weeks away! Yikes.
Fortunately, I did get them in time! I was extremely happy because this was actually the first time I purchased KPOP related things online as well. So you can’t imagine how giggly and joyful I was once I saw the package, LOL.
Soo…..drum beats roll in…and tada! KCON is finally here! After coming home from school on Friday, I was ready…to get ready. Haha. I packed the things I needed; toiletries, clothes…you know, the good stuff for traveling. Went to the store to buy some clothes and shoes for the trip. Pondered here and there and was dropped off at my cousin’s house. Finally, at midnight, we packed our things into the car and sped our way to Irvine.
*Gonna save myself the trouble and not explain the roadtrip*
After 7 hours, we are here in Irvine! Since the event started at 10:00AM, we rushed to find a motel because we didn’t do it beforehand. Luckily, we found one very close to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (5 minutes away at least!). My cousins and I checked into the motel, put our things away, ate breakfast, got ready and left for the event. Once we got there…Boy, oh,boy you did NOT want to see the line. The line was at least…how long is 1000ft? Not gonna do the math, but it was very long, that’s what I can say. The weather was much warmer than in Sacramento, but because I didn’t expect the unexpected, I wore a denim flannel with jeggings and low heel boots, along with side-swept curled hair. Imagine how I looked like when it got hot and humid. Bleh.
Once we got to the entrance where security will be checking our bags, I readily opened my bags and was going to go through. Since it was hot, I brought a water bottle with me; however, they didn’t allow FULL water bottles in the event. My first moment of WTH? They said chug it, or throw it away. Since I wasn’t in the mood to chug a whole water bottle (The water bottle was quite big), I poured it out on the side. What a waste of water. I simply sighed and walked in.
Walking in, walking in…and boom. The place was CROWDED with tons of people. The first thing we wanted to do were get our pre-ordered merchandise. However, the line for the merchandise booth were only for the people buying the merchandise on the spot, so we had to go find the pre-order booth on the other side of the place. We walked and walked until we got there and there you have it, another line. We waited in line, chattered about the place and how hot it was, and I snapped a picture of a pretty young lady in an SNSD Genie costume! I couldn’t resist telling her how pretty she looked hehe. (Picture will be up soon!)
The moment I got my merchandise, Nu’est came to the artist signing tent and fans were already screaming and screaming with excitement. I looked on over but I couldn’t really see anything due to the crazy fans and their cameras up in the air. All I remembered seeing was Ren’s sexy blond hair. Heh. After Nu’est left, VIXX was going to come up next. I said I didn’t get anything from VIXX, but I still wanted to see them because I already knew the group! (My bias is Hongbin, BTW :D) But while we were lining up around the tent, hoping to snag the chance to get close, I overheard the MC said that people who had “VIXX tickets” can line up first. So the people who had the “VIXX tickets” went to line up already while we stood back. I was a little confused already; why do we need tickets?
So once everything was good, the crowd moved back in and my cousins and I were some of the people who got a closer view. Once they came out, goodness gracious…they WERE FREAKIN GORGEOUSSSSSSSSSSS. I snapped a few pictures of them coming in and when they introduced themselves (Pictures will be up soon!). After that, I was just completely mesmerized by how god-like they looked, LOL. I looked on and saw the fans go up there getting their stuff signed. I sighed and wished that I actually bought something from them so that I can go up there and get it signed too. Along with that thought, I thought, “Huh. Tickets. We have to have tickets for us to line up?” So after VIXX left, everyone in the tent had to clear out again so that the next artist can come up, which was the ever-so-famous-rookie-group-already B.A.P. Everyone was definitely excited for them; however, because there were so many people, the MC announced that, YES, we will need a ticket to be able to line up to get our things signed. That was the ONLY way we can line up there. And soooo….the MC said that since they’re waiting for further information on the tickets, or vouchers, they wanted us to go to the main stage and wait for further information there as well. So, most of the crowd left for the main stage, while some of the crowd were loyal to the artist signing booth and stayed there.
We got to the main stage and what was happening at the main stage was a contest. People can come and sign in as a contestant right on the spot and perform on stage. So while we were waiting for info. on the vouchers, my cousin quickly said to me, “Oh wait. I think I saw a staff member carrying some vouchers with her” (All the KCON staff members wore pink shirts). I looked over but I couldn’t see anyone holding vouchers. Too many people. My cousin looked over again and poof. She’s magically gone. We waited impatiently; why weren’t they giving out info. on the vouchers? The MC on the main stage finally gets an update, and he announced that vouchers for B.A.P are not available anymore. WHAT? Then where did they go? B.A.P was going to go up there soon and I wanted my B.A.P album to be signed! After that announcement, my cousins and I decided to leave the crowd. It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute. We explained to a few people on the way that, yeah, we saw a girl with vouchers but she’s gone now, so we were getting out of the crowd. Once we squeezed through, we looked on over to the artist signing booth and since they said that it’ll take at least 10/20 minutes to confirm things, we decided to walk around and try to find these staff members with these vouchers.
We walked around, bought a few drinks to keep us hydrated but alas, we couldn’t find a pink fella walkin’ around with vouchers. When we came back nearer to the artist signing tent, the crowd was already screaming and screaming. Oh no…DO NOT TELL ME THAT- “Welcome B.A.P!!” Fans swarmed in like a bunch of bees and there you go, B.A.P comes outs all handsome and badass. Despite my desperation to get a voucher for B.A.P, I was dead tired. I knew that they were there already and I can’t line up anyways without a voucher, so I sat on the side and gave up for moment there, just looking at my B.A.P album. This is when I started realizing (Saying this the nicest way possible) how unorganized and sloppy this was. Why were they just giving out tickets now? And what is UP with these people lining up with no clear reason? I even got pushed by a fan and she called me a “B*tch”. Wow, really? Yep. I just kinda totally gave up. During B.A.P’s panel, we bought food to comfort our little souls. I ate and thought to myself “You know what? I still have G.NA, Exo-M and 4Minute to go to. If I don’t get G.NA, I’ll get Exo-M. If I don’t get Exo-M, I still have 4Minute. But if I don’t get any…I will be heartbroken my whole life.” (I literally said this to my cousins). Ya-da-ya, once I was pumped up again, we were ON THE HUNT for these staff members, who wanted to play hide-and-seek with us. We started walking around again, keeping our eyes sharp and looked out for the pink people. (They were most likely passing out G.NA’s vouchers by now, since she was next after B.A.P). We walked and walked and suddenly, my cousin spots a pink man looking suspicious. She said “Let’s go to him!” and we ran toward the man but there were people going toward him as well. I reached out to get a ticket, but there was no more. All I saw was my friend (who I met along the way before B.A.P came out and she stuck herself with us ever since) hold out an Exo-M voucher. WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Why the HELL did they hand out Exo-M already? WTF happened to G.NA? And how did my friend get the voucher first? GAH! Because there were so many people!
Since my friend got the voucher for the beautiful Exo-M (sniff-sniff), she told us that she’ll be looking out for other pink people and will get ready to line up for Exo-M’s appearance. We said bye, and we went our ways. By this time, B.A.P was already gone and they announced G.NA’s appearance. My god, she was unquestionably beautiful. I just saw this from afar but because she was SO pretty, she shined out of the tent (Didn’t mean to sound cheesy, I really did see her from afar). I looked on and while she spoke to the fans flawlessly, I decided to find a place to settle down. My feet were already hurting so much and I basically gave up. I knew that I couldn’t get a voucher at this point anymore, since things were going by so fast. I sat down with my younger cousin and we sat there, just lookin’ all dead-beat and tired from walking so much. I complained to my younger cousin that this was a waste a money, time and energy. We walked around the whole place just hoping that we would get a voucher from these people so that we can quickly meet up close with our stars and leave joyfully. My younger cousin complained and she said that she just wanted to go home. Haha.
G.NA’s finally gone and here comes the best group of the event: Exo-M. I sat there until Exo-M came out and fans swarmed, even more than ever. Fortunately, I kept myself busy by talking with two women I sat down with. Both women weren’t Asian (I’m just saying this because the majority of people who attended were Asians), but they came with their daughters who were fans of the KPOP stars. I chatted with them and it turns out that one of the mothers actually watched Korean and Taiwanese dramas. Awesome level? = 1000 points! I complained to them about the vouchers, where I came from and how tiring it was to be there. We talked and once in a while I looked over to see Exo-M’s beautiful hair (That’s all I could see while sitting down) and just listening to them talk while I sit there defeated. I’m a big fan of Exo-M and don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I was just too tired to even get up and get a chance to look at them. I thought to myself, “Exo-M is NOT the last group. Maybe there’s a chance I can still get 4Minute’s voucher.” And so I got up, walked around and attempted to find the pink people once again. But realizing how lost and stupid I look, I turned around and sat back down again with my younger cousin and we waited until Exo-M left so that 4Minute can come out. Once the crowd backed up again from the tent, I decided that I wanted to be in the tent and snap pictures of 4Minute, since I knew 4Minute more than my cousins.
Once I was in the tent and we were waiting for 4Minute to come out, I got my things ready. I don’t know why, but the determination to see these girls were overwhelming; I couldn’t wait til they came out. And when they did…I’m just going to say what I said about VIXX. They were FREAKIN GORGEOUSSSSSSSSSSSS (Pictures will be up soon!). Just everyone…was SO PRETTY. I snapped a few pictures, recorded their entrance and introduction, and after that I just looked at their faces clearly. My god, they were goddesses. I was astounded by their beauty. No wonder they’re celebrities! I looked at Jiyoon the most. She was beautiful! Hyuna was absolutely adorable! xD Jihyun and Sohyun were amazingly gorgeous. Unfortunately, Gayoon wasn’t there. Didn’t know why though
After they left, then everything was done. That was it for the artist signing. I came out and waited for my cousins to come back from wherever they went and we decided to walk around, since we had another 3 hours until the concert started. By this time, I was already pretty upset about the whole thing. I bought 4 albums just to get it signed and the whole day was spent with nothing. With that thought, we went around and since I was so upset, I decided to calm myself by buying the overpriced T-shirts that were over there, haha. $25 spent and on to another booth. Another $5 spent and we stumbled upon EatYourKimchi’s panel, along with David So and others as well. All this time, I was hoping so much for the KPOP celebrities when I should been sitting down there listening to Simon and Martina’s views on KPOP, such and such. They were ready to leave already, though, and we followed them to where they were going. I swear, Simon is A HUMONGOUS, HANDSOME GIANT. They had body guards, but I don’t think they qualify to protect him; he can protect himself! Martina was as gorgeous as the KPOP celebrities! They gave me a happy moment 🙂
So basically, after the event was closing up and night time was coming, we all lined up for the concert to begin. Since the concert is just the concert, I will not write anymore about it. There were memorable moments at the concert, but people can go check that out on YouTube xD
So to sum it all up? Hmm…I was mostly upset. I was upset at how unorganized the event was and the vouchers. KCON KNEW that there were going to be 10,000+ fans that will be attending. They should know that the fans’ main reason to go there is to attend the fan sign. They should have focused their time more on the fan sign. Maybe they did, who am I to judge? But if I were KCON, I probably would have done what they did to. I wouldn’t know how to organize 10,000+ fans together to make it work properly. So props to KCON for taking an alternative with the vouchers. I can’t blame it entirely on KCON as well because it’s their first time ever.
98% of KCON was a disappointment to me, but the 2% made it up a little. The concert definitely is the 1% and the other 1% is seeing them in person. Thats all I can say.
Going back to the beginning, I am still grateful that this happened. Despite my disappointment, I still appreciate what KCON did. They gave me a chance to see them in person closer than ever, even if I didn’t get anything signed. So, thank you again KCON for this event. Hopefully you can make things better next year.