KCON to Make Its Chicago Debut as Festival Returns to In-Person Events

The international festival will be a jubilant call to all things Korean -- music, food and beauty -- in the Chicago area May 20-21

KCON, a global celebration of Korean culture and music, is returning with its first in-person event in two years, this time branching into a new city: Chicago.

The festival will step off its 2022 run in May with events aimed at commemorating the festival's reemergence from the pandemic along with its 10-year anniversary, entertainment group CJ ENM announced Wednesday. 

“With the return of KCON, fans will once again be able to interact with their favorite artists and influencers, as well as the rest of the K-pop fan community,” Don Kim, director of live entertainment business at CJ ENM, said in a statement. “The team here is buzzing with excitement as we prepare to create an event worthy of celebrating a decade of unforgettable KCON moments. K-pop has evolved so much since our first KCON in 2012, and CJ ENM is proud to have been part of the rise and the journey.”

KCON’s Premiere series event is the first of its kind, created to be the festival’s preliminary celebrations before its flagship acts kick off in August in Los Angeles and October in Japan.

The festival will close out its first-round tour in Chicago, with celebrations carrying over to the Rosemont Theatre just outside the city May 20-21.

During the Chicago event, fans will get a taste of Korean culture with opportunities to explore and interact with K-pop, K-beauty and K-food.

“This year, fans will be able to experience an upgraded version of KCON, packed with new content reflecting the trends of Gen Z fans and programs tailored for local fans, on top of original fan favorite programming and panels unique to KCON,” Kim said.

Before the festival heads to Chicago, though, it will pop up in Seoul from May 7-8 and Tokyo from May 14-15. 

The festival also will bring back its digital program, KCON:TACT, for those who can’t attend the events, or would like to attend one virtually in a different city.

While tickets and lineups are set to be announced at a later date, “performances from the biggest acts to groups” can be expected, organizers said.

More information is available here.

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