It might be five years sine the summer of "Gangnam Style," but KCON 2017 USA presented by Toyota is proving why K-pop is here to stay.
According to a press release, the Korean-culture convention and festival attracted 85,000 fans to KCON 2017 Los Angeles this past weekend in a three-day affair brought out Korean superstars like Super Junior-D&E, GOT7, Seventeen, VIXX, Heize, Cosmic Girls, Astro, Girl's Day, KARD and more. It's yet another jump for the festival's attendance numbers following the 2016 iteration bringing in more than 76,000 fans.
KCON added that 43,000 attend the KCON 2017 New York earlier this summer making a grand total of 128,000 fans. That blows past last year's numbers where KCON reported 110,000 fans coming between their LA and NY dates in 2016.
Despite KCON having events in Mexico, Japan, France, Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, fans from all around the world had loads of reason to hit the U.S. iterations of the festival, particularly as the flagship Los Angeles date celebrated its sixth birthday.
This year, KCON included a slew of of-the-moment headliners that have found success in America like Seventeen and GOT7—the boy bands shut down the Saturday and Sunday concerts, respectively—along with trending artists like Wanna One (the boy band created from Korea's sensational singing competition Produce 101 that just released its debut album less than two weeks ago) and KARD (the new co-ed act that embraces trendy tropical-house sounds and has toured significantly in America). Meanwhile, there was something for literally every kind of K-pop fan from those who prefer R&B (chart-topper Heize brought her heartfelt, smoky vocals on Sunday), hip-hop (NCT 127 and SF9 proved their hard-hitting, major promise on stage), choreography (VIXX performed the hand fan dance from their "Shangri-La" video, Astro brought high-flying acrobatic-like moves and Oh My Girl wowed with their fascinating formations), and even the OG K-poppers (veterans Super Junior-D&E and Kim Tae Woo played songs both old and new).
This summer might have been the first in half a decade where "Gangnam Style" wasn't the most-watched video on YouTube, but the love and passion for K-pop is clearly going stronger than ever as evidence by KCON's continuously strong and growing numbers.
Listen to the latest episode of Fuse's K-pop podcast K-Stop for an inside look at how KCON is planned at the 42:00 mark: