K-pop, Mandopop and other Asian pop
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
K-pop girl group StayC are one of the groups to feature at KCON, the world’s largest Korean pop culture-focused convention, in Los Angeles this year. Photo: High Up Entertainment

KCON 2022 back in Los Angeles after 2-year break for the pandemic – K-pop groups StayC, Enhypen, Stray Kids, Itzy and more feature

  • The world’s largest Korean pop culture convention is an in-person event again in Los Angeles after 2020 and 2021 saw it move online
  • The convention features special performances, fan engagements and concerts. Some of the K-pop groups performing are making their North American debut
Tamar Hermanin United States

KCON is back in Los Angeles, three years since the world’s largest Korean pop culture convention was last held in person in 2019. For 2020 and 2021, the convention moved online because of social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When the event was held in person previously, more than 150,000 attendees enjoyed days of Korean films, music and other cultural phenomena, followed by nights of concerts featuring major K-pop stars. This year’s convention will run until August 21.

The line-up features music acts Ateez, Cravity, Enhypen, INI, Itzy, Kep1er, Lightsum, Stray Kids, Loona, NCT Dream, NMixx, P1Harmony, StayC, TO1, The Boyz and WJSN.

There will also be a series of special performances and fan engagements that bring the stars face to face with their fans.

NCT Dream are performing at this year’s KCON event. Photo: SM Entertainment
For some of the acts, this will be the first opportunity they will have had to perform in North America, as they will have debuted during the Covid-19 pandemic when border closures where are their peak.

Now, as touring resumes throughout much of the world for musical acts, KCON is one of several K-pop-oriented festivals that have taken place in 2022 outside South Korea, including in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

K-pop girl group Loona are performing at this year’s KCON event. Photo: Blockberry Creative

However, despite its return, KCON already has been impacted by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.


JO1, a Japanese group produced by KCON organiser CJ ENM in association with its televised Produce competition series, is no longer attending as several members tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the event.

Enhypen’s Sunoo is also missing out because of health issues which are not reported to be Covid-19 related.

Cravity at KCON Chicago, a warm-up event, in May 2022.

Along with the LA-based convention, and a previous warm-up event in Chicago, a tie-in KCON concert tour will take place in the United States in the coming weeks.

The same weekend as KCON LA, 88rising’s Head in the Clouds music festival will also take place in California, including K-pop acts like Chung Ha and Got7 member Jackson Wang. Aespa, who performed in 88rising’s Coachella set earlier this year, are also in town, spurring rumours of a surprise appearance at the festival.
In related news, K-pop concerts are also eyeing a return to Hong Kong – girl group Blackpink have revealed their Born Pink world tour includes two nights in the city in January.

‘It’s lovely poison’: Blackpink’s Jennie on Pink Venom, group’s new single

The superstar quartet last appeared in the city in 2019.