KCON USA has been announcing artists for KCON NY for the past few weeks. On Thursday, April 26th, they announced via their live chat, many changes to the ticket system. As someone who has attended KCON for the past four years, I know how stressful it can be trying to get tickets, figuring out where to stay, and what to do.

I’ve seen some of the comments online saying, “it’s way too expensive now,” “it’s so complicated now,” and the most common complaint being “why should I purchase a high-touch when I may not even get to see an artist I like?” These are all very valid complaints. Here’s my reply: It’s SO worth it.

KCON 2017 New York, Front to Back: Young Ajummah, TheJessLyfe, Zombie Mamma, and Multifacetedacg
Photo Credit: Young Ajummah

An Experience Unlike Any Other

The number of acts you can see alone is worth the price of admission. Where else can you see 10-13 current and new K-pop artists, performing their latest and greatest hit, in one place? If shaky fan cam videos and terrible camera angles are getting old, KCON will revive your inner fan spirit. Not to mention how hard KCON works to bring us these artists, but also how hard they work to make the experience new and unique every year. For example, last year SF9 (in NY) and Wanna One (in LA) members actually went into the audience to play games with fans and send personal messages.

KCON is also a place where you can meet new friends that share your love of Korean entertainment and culture. I’ve developed close friendships with people I’ve met during the convention and use that time to catch up with them. At KCON there’s no judgment from outsiders and you can fan out comfortably. In addition to fellowshipping with friends, there’s load to do at the conference like the Running Fan Olympics shown below.

KCON 2017 LA, Running Fan Olympics game, Left to Right: Ky Kei, Young Ajummah, Robyn, Josh, and SimplyJayBaby
Photo Credit: Ky Kei

How to decide what to buy for KCON

First, figure out what you can afford. This is the most important step. It’s pointless to argue over what’s included in the price since it won’t change the setup. Once you know what you can afford, figure out what’s most important, and be prepared to make some sacrifices. Would you prefer artist engagement over seating proximity? Or is it better to see the performance up close and not really worry about a brief encounter with the artist? Consider your own preferences.

This year, high touches and red carpet access are not included in any ticket purchases outside of platinum and diamond. They are being sold separately. This is probably a response to feedback from previous years. This way everyone, regardless of their ticket level, will have an opportunity for artist engagement. It’s KCON’s attempt to be fair.

If the artist engagement packages are too steep for your pockets, don’t worry. Purchase a convention ticket and wait for your favorite to appear. For the last three years, artists have made appearances on the convention floor for special events. That could be your chance to see them for free. Splurge on seating instead.

Photo Credit: KCON USA
Photo Credit: KCON USA

Don’t miss out

Yes, the ticket prices increased. I feel your pain. It’s going to be a struggle for most of us to summon up the coins to make the trip happen, but I promise you, if you can, it will be well worth the frustration. Once you attend KCON you will know why. Lastly, I recommend completing any surveys they have and also making well thought out suggestions, because I am sure that KCON cares.

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