Sydney was hot, hot, hot this weekend, and not just because the weather hit the 30s- it was finally time for KCON AUSTRALIA! After years of waiting and seeing the lucky international fans in America, and Japan, and China, and everywhere else get their KCON it was finally our turn!
Nine of the best idol groups touched down on Australian soil to perform two nights of incredible concerts for their Aussie fans. My fellow writer Cass will be giving us all the lowdown on those two nights of pure energy though- so I’m here to talk about the convention itself 😀 Let’s gooooooo~
After exiting Sydney Olympic Park station the train-takers began their arduous journey across the Sahara desert that SOP had suddenly become. It was HOT and the Qudos Arena was a distant mirage on the far horizon… but with the promise of all things Kculture (and of air-conditioning) we continued on! Unfortunately as we drew closer a line began to take shape. The popularity of KCON of course! Luckily the Arena provided a good amount of shade so we didn’t have to wait in the sun. It was a good long wait though, as it turns out the convention space was only able to hold a certain amount of people so we all patiently waited our turn as only around 100 people were let in at a time. Those with bags were dismayed to find the 30cmx30cm regulations had gotten stricter though, and anything resembling a backpack was required to be cloaked. Good tip to remember for next time!
As we drew closer to the front of the line the joyous sounds of Kpop filtered through the air from the SBS PopAsia van stationed nearby. A flurry of trade was also happening down the line, calls of “TRADING FOR A PENTAGON HIGH TOUCH!” or “FREE CHANYEOL PHOTO CARDS FOR FANS!” repeating through the crowd.
Finally we made it to the front of the line and into the venue itself! Yahooo! Unfortunately as we were in the line longer than we expected we missed the Life In Korea panel that we were hoping to see, but no matter! We got to chat to Kim Dao and Sara from SeoulSarang/HojuSara a little later anyway (stay tuned for our interviews with these two lovely ladies in the coming days)!
The convention itself was a little smaller than expected, but hopefully our KCON will grow in future years! As we entered the first stall on our right was Franki+Seoul’s onestop beauty shop with all kinds of kskincare products. Manning the store were the twins parents- their appa trying his best to answer the skincare queries of a multitude of kbeatuty curiousers. For most of the weekend Jenny and Jayme were ready and available to answer any questions, but right at that moment they were about to go on stage for their panel talk!
The next booth along was the merch line- which progressed surprisingly fast and we were able to purchase our desired Monsta X basketball tee! Tote bags already sold out though :’( As we waited in the merch line we were entertained by the kdance area where 6IXX was currently teaching their crowd of eager students Red Velvet’s Russian Roulette.
Goodies in hand we had a wander through the “serious” area where the Korean Cultural Centre and Korean Tourism Organisation were hanging out, whilst we kept one ear open for Franki+Seoul on stage.
Over the other side of the room PopAsia was busy broadcasting from their glass box, Andy and Kevin waving to fans and more than happy to pose for a selca or two. To help get everyone K-ready for the concert that evening the PopAsia makeup artists were also standing by to give idol-level makeovers!
After wandering round the convention another few times we decided to venture in search of food. Very unfortunately there was a distinct lack of promise KFOOD (sadface) so we settled for the Qudos cafeteria, not too keen to head out of the air-conditioning just yet. And it was nearly time for the Red Carpet!
Escorted to our designated spots we excitedly readied our twitter feeds to bring you guys all the action live (check @helloasiaau for videos of all the KCON idols strutting their stuff!). Andy and Kevin took to the stage looking dashing in tuxedos and the roars of the waiting crowd showed just how popular these boys have become!
But the countdown was on and the first artist was… SF9! Looking very smart in their matching pinstripe-like suit jackets. They talked briefly about an exciting special stage they had planned for the evening and then they were off again to get ready for the concert. Next up was Pentagon! Looking like anything but gorillas! Then VICTON came out, their cool chain decorations swinging as they walked.
But then the crowd became absolutely deafening- the power themselves: EXO walking down the red carpet. After a brief hello to their screaming fans the boys shimmy shimmy kokobopped back to their change rooms.
Last but not least- the absolutely stunning girls of Girls Day! Looking even more perfect close up, although poor Hyeri seemed to be struggling with uncomfortable shoes. It’s ok girl, we’ve all been there.
Then it was time for the carpet to be rolled up (not really because there was still Saturday’s red carpet but work with me) and time for everyone to find their designated waiting zones to be let into the Arena. IT WAS KCON CONCERT TIME!
Cass, over to you! 😉