On the evening of Friday, August 18th, the inaugural performance of KCON LA 2023 took place, marking the commencement of its engaging three-day music extravaganza.
The festival’s enticing lineup features captivating mini-concerts showcasing a variety of K-pop groups, individual performers, and dynamic units, all culminating in an anticipated meet-and-greet segment.
As a paramount occasion on the entertainment calendar, KCON garnered significant attention from fervent K-pop enthusiasts who promptly secured their tickets, brimming with anticipation for the unfolding of this much-awaited spectacle.
However , a sense of disillusionment swept over numerous attendees as they found their initial encounters during Day 1 to be far from their expectations, leading to pointed allegations against KCON LA 2023 for engaging in misleading promotional tactics.
The event’s promotional materials had assured an intimate ‘Hi Touch’ meet-and-greet experience, fostering a one-on-one connection between ardent fans and their beloved artists. However, the reality turned out to be a stark contrast, as the interaction transformed into a ‘Hi Wave’ setup, where partitions of plexiglass stood between enthusiastic fans and the performers they idolize.
This unexpected twist caused a wave of indignation among the audience, who expressed their discontent over the glaring disparity between what KCON had advertised and the actual encounter they encountered.
Guests Angered by KCON LA 2023’s Misleading Promotion
The customary ‘Hi Touch’ gathering at KCON, serving as both a meet-and-greet opportunity and a cherished tradition, has historically provided fans with the chance to engage in direct physical contact with their admired artists, often through hugs or handshakes.
However, owing to the exigencies of the pandemic era and the necessity to adhere to stringent COVID-19 protocols, this customary practice underwent a temporary transformation. In its reimagined form, it emerged as the ‘Hi Wave’ concept, which upheld social distancing measures by incorporating a protective barrier of plexiglass between attendees and performers.
This adaptation was essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of all participants while still facilitating a semblance of connection between fans and artists during these challenging times.
While remaining a meet-and-greet in essence, this event featured a plexiglass partition strategically positioned between fans and artists, serving to maintain social distancing and prevent any potential virus transmission.
Following a recent relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions due to declining cases, KCON LA 2023 revealed their intention to shift from the ‘Hi Wave’ format to the traditional ‘Hi Touch’ event, given the improved circumstances.
In light of this decision, a multitude of fervent fans eagerly secured their tickets, anticipating the prospect of a genuine physical interaction with their cherished artists. However, upon their arrival, their hopeful expectations were met with an unexpected twist. Plexiglass partitions, unbeknownst to them, had been erected, creating a barrier between the audience and performers.
This sudden change left many concertgoers stunned and disheartened, feeling misled by the event organizers. The sense of disappointment was palpable as fans expressed their sense of being deceived and emotionally defrauded.
Even before the commencement of the event, apprehensions among fans began to surface. Just one day prior to the opening of KCON LA 2023, a notification circulated, detailing that the convention center’s entry would be restricted once its maximum capacity was attained.
This announcement heightened fans’ concerns, as it hinted at potential limitations on the number of attendees allowed into the venue, prompting further speculation and uncertainty among those eagerly anticipating the event’s commencement.
The inclusion of charges for both the musical performances and the convention as part of the ticket purchase generated frustration among a significant portion of fans. This dual payment system was met with dissatisfaction, as many concertgoers found it to be an inconvenient and unexpected financial burden.
Additionally, another grievance emerged when attendees were informed that despite having paid for the convention, their access to it was not guaranteed, which led to feelings of inequity and disappointment within the fan community.
As the convention events commenced, a series of new challenges emerged for the participants. The requirement to queue up for entry into the convention center was met with widespread dissatisfaction, as a multitude of attendees voiced their discontent regarding the extensive length of the line.
Reports emerged of some fans enduring waits of over two hours before gaining entry to the venue. This situation was cited as a telling sign of the inadequacies in KCON LA 2023’s event management strategies.
Attendees expressed that the implementation of measures such as an early check-in option or a multi-day pass system could have significantly ameliorated the situation, ensuring a smoother and more convenient experience for the fans.