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K-pop concert and contents captivate Thai fans

Posted September. 30, 2019 07:58,   

Updated September. 30, 2019 08:19


Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, added excitement to the fans in Bangkok, Thailand at the “KCON 2019 Thailand,” a two-day event that took place at Impact Arena, the largest concert hall in Thailand, and the Impact International Exhibition Hall on Saturday and Sunday. The KCON concerts brought together more than 45,000 people, according to CJ ENM on Sunday.

KCON is the world’s biggest event aimed at promoting hallryu. The event first started in California in the U.S. in 2012, and has taken place in France, Australia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates to communicate with fans of the Korean Wave. It took place in Tokyo, Japan in May, New York in July, and Los Angeles in August before the Thailand event has concluded this year’s program.

Impact Arena, the venue of the two-day concert, was jam-packed with fans from across Southeast Asia. Concertgoers made a long queue to enter the concert hall, and went wild amid roaring cheers when the concert kick-started.

In addition to the concert, the program entailed a wide variety of events and activities including those on beauty, food and lifestyle. “KCON Girls,” which was organized to cater to female fans in their 10s and 20s who accounted for 88 percent of the participants in last year’s event in Thailand, was really popular. Female artists including Girls (G-IDLE), Chungha, and ITZY presented a talk show, and showcased makeup techniques, singing and dancing to win rounds of applauses from female fans.

Creators’ Zone, which featured influencers, also drew keen attention from fans. Thailand is a mobile telecom powerhouse where mobile telecom subscribers outnumber subscribers to broadband internet. Creator Goh Tae-kyung, who has more than 1.85 million followers, and Thailand creator Ob1jellopy, who showcases K-pop dance, took the stage to excite fans. An export fair, which started on Friday, attracted 78 companies in the Southeast Asia region, and offered a venue for more than 400 meetings between buyers and sellers.

KCON, which started in 2012 while drawing some 10,000 concertgoers, has grown in scale to attract a total of 290,000 fans this year. A cumulative total of participants in the events for the past eight years now top 1.1 million. “KCON is not only promoting Korean cultural contents but also helping Korean companies involved in hallyu make inroads into the global market,” said Shin Hyeong-gwan, head of CJ ENM’s music contents unit who is in charge of KCON. “We will hold KCON in diverse regions again next year and continue communications with the world.”

Seol Lee snow@donga.com