By Jane Sin & Melody Young
The summer heat may drive southern Californians to the beach or compel them to stay indoors where it is cool, but for avid fans, the hot weather is not enough to stop them from attending the conventions they love. The opportunity to enjoy exclusive access to the television series, comics, music, or video games they love is more than enough reason to bear the heat.
Some of the conventions that will be held in the summer include KCON, Anime Expo, and Comic–Con.
KCON: July 29-31
KCON is the annual Korean pop music convention that spreads Korean culture internationally. The convention features Korean music, food, beauty, fashion, technology, television dramas, and movies. Inaugurated in 2012, KCON was first held for one day at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California, but the growing K-pop fan base soon outgrew the venue.
Thus, in 2015 KCON became a five-day event with three days of festivities in the Los Angeles Convention Center and two concert nights in Staples Center.
The convention expanded to New York and Japan in 2015 and went international this year, hosting events in France and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This year KCON in Los Angeles will be held from July 29 to 31. Tickets range from $50 to $800 with the higher priced ones including special features such as closer concert seats, close-contact fan engagement with Korean idols, and access to the red carpet event.
Fans will be able to interact with the celebrities they love, learn more about the Korean culture, and experience the music, television dramas, and movies that captivate their attention in person.
This year’s concert performance lineup will include CNBlue, Block B, Bangtan Boys, GFriend, TWICE, and Girls’ Generation represented by Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun.
Anime Expo: July 1-4
Anime Expo is an American anime convention held in Los Angeles, California. Last year, it became the biggest anime convention in all of North America.
Some of the many features that fans get to experience include guest panels featuring their favorite voice actors, table-top gaming, cosplay competitions, arcades, and concerts featuring various J-pop artists and singers of original soundtracks.
The top attractions include events such as the Masquerade cosplay contest, the Anime Music Video competition, Battle of the Bands, and charity auctions. At Anime Expo, fans can also buy one-of-a-kind items like autographed scripts, original sketches, and limited edition items.
Zealous fans look forward to a week filled with meeting other passionate fans, the creators of their favorite shows, various workshops, and even photo sets that make their cosplay come to life.
Comic Con: July 21-24
Originally focused on comic books, science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, Comic Con has expanded to embrace the wide variety of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres like anime/manga, games, collectible cards, web-comics, and fantasy novels.
According to Forbes, the event is the “largest convention of its kind in the world” with 130,000 attendees in recent years.
Even the most devoted fans find it impossible to do everything available at Comic Con.
Within the span of four days, guests are able to attend panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, see previews of upcoming feature films, and visit portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies.
The evenings include events such as the awards ceremonies, the annual Masquerade costume contest, and the film festival, which showcases shorts and feature-length movies.
Fans can also meet others in their “fandom,” buy comic books and other collectibles and also visit Artist’s alley, where despite the name, artists, writers, and even models sign autographs and draw free sketches. Many TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Dexter,” “Doctor Who,” come to exhibit here as well.