This post is only about my personal experience at KCon NY 2016. My recap of BTS’s performance will be here.
There’s a lot to cover so I’ll jump straight in.
Check In & Swag Bags
We checked in on Friday later than I originally planned. We got to the Prudential Center at around 11am-ish since we stayed at the DoubleTree near Newark airport and had to take the NJ Transit bus into downtown Newark to the venue. The check in line was hella long when we arrived and it was already hot AF. The end of the line was stretched out and around at least four blocks from the actual check in tent. We were lined up for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. By the time we got to the check in desk I was already done.
After checking in, we got something to eat. The food selection at KCon was decent. To me it was kinda pricey for the quantity of food received. We ended up hitting 7Eleven for the remainder of KCon. We were not the only ones. 7Eleven was poppin’.
After eating, we went to get our Swag Bags. I thought the bags would be given out in the same tent where you checked in. They were not. I have to say, I was still pretty excited thinking that we were going to get some great KCon goodies, especially since we were in P2 and paid damn near $400 for each ticket. WRONG! With our two bag vouchers (one for Saturday and one for Sunday) we got 2 white KCon stickers, a Cony pen and a Brown pin (Line characters).
Wait…whut? I’m sorry but they said it was a Swag Bag soooo where the flick was the Swag? There was someone else in front of me that was in P1 and she got a KCon sticker and a Brown plushie in one of her bags. I would have preferred the plushie to a pen.
The KCon bag itself was one of those market bags you get while shopping, which is fine, but it was cheaply made. The thread started to unravel almost immediately and one of the handles broke by the second day. I ended up using the broken one as a trash bag when I was checking out of my hotel. The 99 cent bags that you can buy at the Marshalls check out line are a better quality and design than those $400 KCon ticket (or how ever much people paid) bags. The only people that seemed to get a good bag was Platinum, which was expected but still. $400 is not chump change either.
KCon event management, please…If you need help organizing check in, bags etc. for next years event, feel free to contact me. I am so serious.
I was horrified when I found out about the scratch offs. I obviously wanted BTS fan engagements and the thought that I wouldn’t get one after paying for two $400 tickets was beyond crazy to me. I read people’s comments on the KCon site and they said that last year, the fans traded scratch off cards with each other to get to be able to see the artist they wanted. That was last year though and BTS wasn’t there.
This year, fans who did early check in on Thursday and didn’t get any BTS scratch offs, were on Twitter saying they would pay for BTS Hi Touch. So much for trading. After paying for tickets, flight and hotel, I was not going to pay again for a BTS Hi Touch. The most I heard that someone was willing to pay was $800. I ended up getting two Red Carpets for Friday and Saturday, along with one BTS Audience for Saturday. I also got two Day6 Audiences for Saturday and one for Dynamic Duo and Crush.
Now here’s the catch…Due to the timing of the fan engagements, if you were in P2 standing like I was, unless you had someone to hold your place in the line to go into the concert like I did, you would lose your place in line after standing/sitting for hours if you left to go to a fan engagement. On Friday I didn’t care about where we stood for the concert since BTS wasn’t performing on that day. So we went to the Friday Red Carpet, which started at 5pm. Mind you, they start letting people into the concert at around 6pm.
Saturday was a different story. Some friends I made in the long ass check in line on Friday, got to the venue early on Saturday morning (around 9am-ish) and held the concert spots while I went to the BTS audience, which was at 1pm. The line for that was long AF by the time I got there and I still had to wait almost two hours in the hot sun once again, until they let us into the building, where we had to wait yet again for BTS to come out.
It turns out KCon combined the BTS Hi Touch and the Audience Engagement so when BTS came out, they were asked about 5 or 6 questions about being at KCon then we (those who didn’t get the Hi Touch) had to watch everyone who did get it. Then it was over. Twenty minutes total, maybe…
I gave away my Day6 fan engagement for Saturday and also my Red Carpet for Saturday to my friends and I held our places in the concert line. When it looked like the concert line was starting to move, I texted them to come back. Turns out the Red Carpet was running late so by the time they ran back to the concert line where I was, NO ARTISTS had even come out yet.
Once again, KCon event management…PLEASE. How can you have the Red Carpet at damn near the same time people are getting ready to go into the concert?? Then start the RC late??? You KNOW that Platinum to P2 is mostly standing and that people are going to line up early for good concert spots. Also, the chance to go to the fan engagements are part of the ticket price!! We PAID more for those chances to meet the artists. Then if you were lucky enough to get one, because of timing, you have to leave? Omg. I felt so bad for my friends. Even though I gave them the passes, they still got their hopes up and waited in line for nothing. Totally unacceptable. I cannot even…
So basically, there were lines EVERY WHERE and many people missed fan engagements due to the lines and fan engagement schedule times.
Another part of the lines was the “line cutters” and the “pushers”. At around 4pm, Security started to get the lobby entrance for the concert set up. The Prudential Center lobby is glass walled, so you can see everything that’s going on inside. I am not sure if this is what caused it, but all of a sudden while we were SITTING down waiting in the concert line, there was a sudden rush of people towards the venue entrance. I had SECONDS to jump up and grab my stuff to avoid getting trampled. Due to people scrambling to get their stuff and themselves off the ground, people that were waiting in line BEHIND us, rushed PAST us and ended up IN FRONT of us. So now we’re all packed tightly together like sardines, and security is looking at us through the glass like we are crazy cause they sure as hell are not letting us in for at least another hour and a half.
About 15 minutes later, there was ANOTHER surge forward. Now people are starting to get pissed because the people that were BEHIND us are now almost at the FRONT of the concert line.
While all of this mess is taking place, I am texting my friends at the Red Carpet. As I mentioned earlier, they had to leave the RC and came back to the concert line. Maybe 20 minutes after they got back, Security started to let people into the venue. THE PUSHING WAS UNREAL. The area that was blocked off for P2 standing to line up was very wide. Maybe 8 to 9 people across. The doorway to actually get in to the venue could only fit one person at a time. IT WAS INSANE.
Meanwhile, the people who were originally BEHIND us were going through the security check inside while we were still outside being squeezed like lemons. I’m sorry (not) but I had to drop some f-bombs on those bishes that were squeezing me. I know people wanted to get in but everyone turned into complete SAVAGES.
Then finally, we are in. Another mad rush to the stage after we got our bracelets cause at that point, it’s open season on spots. I was with the same group of girls, there were about 12 to 15 of them so I pretty much knew who was around me.
Honestly, by this time I was starting to mentally check out. I was so tired and frustrated that I barely enjoyed the first part of the Saturday concert. Then during the concert, this really short girl who was NOT any where near us for at least the first half of the concert (yes, I was looking around) appears out of no where and taps me on my back.
“I am really short…Can I get in front of you?”.
O M F Gawd…
Listennnn. Let me just say this…I mean no offense to short people. I am 5’10” but I do have a lot of close friends that are shorter than me so I understand the struggle. HOWEVER, if you are short and know that you bought concert tickets to standing only, to me you have two choices.
One – get to the venue at the ass crack of dawn so you can be first and therefore have no Talls blocking you.
Two – go to the venue at whatever time you feel like and DEAL WITH IT.
Please don’t think you can get an automatic pass to the front because you are short. Well, not with me anyway. Obviously, it worked on some people because she made her way from wherever she was at ALL THE WAY to where I was and got INTO the area of the group I was with. Then, she was trying to argue when I didn’t want to move for her to get in FRONT of me.
Ummm. Excuse me…Whuuut? Are you crazy??
At that time, BTS was about to come on stage. After two days of lines, hot sun, swollen feet, sitting on concrete, trying to navigate my way around New Jersey and every thing else, I was NOT moving from my spot for Obama, the Pope, Ninja Assassins, Bang PD nim…
IT WAS NOT HAPPENING.
Mind you, this EXACT situation also happened to me when I went to see BTS at Highlight Tour – Toronto.
The Concert – Friday & Saturday
MNet and MCountdown know how to put on a show. I have seen so many shows since I started following BTS and actually being at one was A-MAZING. The lights, effects and even the set up of the stage was great. I have no complaints about the show itself. Even though BTS did not perform on Friday, Seventeen and Ailee tore the stage up. Also, Rap Monster popping up as a surprise MC was icing on the cake. The only thing I would have liked is if more groups came all the way up to the P2 section of the stage. Most stopped at P1 but I knew that would be the case as I’d seen it on happen many times on different kpop concert recordings with extended stages. My 7 heartbeats however, did not disappoint. BTS loves stages where they can come out into the crowd and snatch souls.
Q & A – What you’re probably thinking right now…
- What made me decide to go to KCon NY? Honestly, KCon NY only got my dollar$ because BTS was listed to perform. I have heard other Kpop groups’ music but only fully support BTS. As it stands right now, I would rather wait for BTS to go on their own tour again to see them. If they are going to another KCon, the chances of me going are very verrrrry slim.
- Dang Isha…You make KCon sound like it sucked. Did you even have fun? Yes, there were fun moments. Most of the fans around the venue were super friendly. Even though I didn’t buy KCon merch, I did walk around and there seemed to be good vendors there. I enjoyed seeing BTS dressed up in their suits and playing with the fans at the Audience on Saturday. The entire Friday concert was pretty good and BTS’s portion of the concert on Saturday was next level. I also met some great new peeps that I would like to try to keep in touch with.
- Would I recommend KCon NY to someone who has never gone? This was only the 2nd KCon held in NY. I would hope that it gets better as time goes on but *shrugs*. Unfortunately, when you really want to see your favorite Kpop group(s), sometimes you have no other choice but to go where ever they are performing. So I wouldn’t tell someone not to go. I would just tell them to be prepared. WELL prepared. For everything and anything. There were no You Tube videos to get me ready for my experience. However, I also feel that you should try to experience KCon or any other Kpop concert event at least once as a USA Kpop fan. Otherwise, I feel like you’ll always wonder….
- What did you wear to KCon? On Friday, I wore RM’s “Limited Edition” jacket from the “Just One Day” MV but mine is black while his was white. On Saturday, I wore a JHope tee made by one of the extremely talented artists I found and have since been following on Tumblr. “Pukeychu or Eto Nani” has a Red Bubble with THE most gorgeous BTS tees. I wasn’t sure about the fit for the women’s so I got a men’s tee. It was perfect and I got so many compliments at KCon that I had to tweet her from the Con with a pic and let her know.
- Did you attend any of the KCon panels? Yes, I did. I went to the “KCon NY line up” panel feat JRE and Kenny. JRE is frickin’ hilarious. He is one of my favorite Kpop You Tubers. For those of you who know him, yes he body rolled. I was DEAD. I didn’t attend any others. I missed JRE’s other panel that I wanted to attend because I was still in line for check in. ~_~
I made up these five questions to myself but if you have any other questions or comments, please don’t be shy! There was so much to review about KCon NY but I wanted to touch on the main things that stood out to me.