5 Things to Look Out for at Inaugural K-Expo Festival
From long set times to vendors spanning all aspects of K-culture, here's what you can look forward to from the new K-pop fest.
As K-pop continues its exciting spread throughout America, this weekend will mark the first of a new event catered toward the ever-growing, ever-passionate K-pop fanbase.
K-Expo 2018 will come to New York's Pier 36 on Sunday, bringing together singer-actor L of K-pop superstars INFINITE, quickly rising boy bands ASTRO and A.C.E, K-pop/rock quartet The Rose, and influential individuals in the scene with East Coast fans for a day. While the emphasis is on music (including artist meet-and-greets, dance workshops and more), the day will also honor other aspects of Korean culture for a new event that's looking to make its mark in NYC first.
Read on below for what to look out for at the inaugural K-Expo and look out for more from Billboard coming soon.
1. Mini-concerts as opposed to quick cameos
Typically when a lineup is packed with different artists, it usually means shorter set times when it comes to their performances. But K-Expo is giving each performer on the bill at least 40 minutes of play time which means a lot more music and a lot more time for L, ASTRO, The Rose and A.C.E to be on stage connecting with fans. We're expecting some special cover songs or performances crafted especially for the K-Expo audience.
2. A full-fledged fan meeting with L
Commonly seen throughout Asian countries, America gets a taste of K-pop's "fan meeting" culture when L of INFINITE holds his first-ever stateside meetup at K-Expo. Throughout the year, the singer-actor has met supporters in countries like Korea, Japan and Thailand, performing songs for them and playing games to give fans an intimate look at the person behind the idol. While it's not clear exactly what L will bring to New York, holding an hour-and-a-half-long onstage meeting indicates a slew of fun activities are planned.
3. Vendors spanning K-culture
Most K-pop fans would agree that being a fan of the music and its artists also comes with a larger appreciation for South Korean culture. At K-Expo, attendees will be surrounded by vendors spanning everything from Korean beauty products (including TonyMoly, Kosette, Commleaf, and more), K-fashion items (being sold by Kustool, Raredium and more), as well as food from brands like Nongshim, Melona, Chung Jung One and more.
4. Drum dancing mixing traditional and modern Korean music
The Woorigarak Korean Cultural Arts Center will perform popular K-pop songs via a traditional Korean drum dance as a nod to classic and modern-day Korean music that should be fun for long-time and new fans.
5. NY pride
K-Expo will mark a rare moment for the Big Apple to claim ownership over hosting the first edition of a new K-pop event. Korean-focused events tended to have their first runs in California (like the Korea Times Music Festival and KCON) or South Korea, but look out for a lot of passionate East Coast–based volunteers and staff members looking to give NYC a K-pop event all their own.