KPOPCON strives to gather fans of all backgrounds to celebrate the continuously evolving K-pop community in a social, creative, and academic setting. We aim to bring together like-minded individuals from across the nation to foster stronger fan relationships, provide university-level educational workshops and discussions, and positively impact fan identity.
This year's theme of [Be] CHROMATIC embodies the vibrant spirit and mission of KPOPCON by taking the colorful and diverse aspect of the K-pop community and unifying it with its enormous potential to create, to dream, and to be. By re-focusing on the spectrum of color offered by K-pop, we want to encourage K-pop fans from every fandom, nationality, and background to be chromatic in everything they do.
Beginning with the intentional and active word ‘Be’ from the verb ‘to be’, our message motivates K-pop fans to not only recognize and embrace their diverse identities, but to also explore the freedom to be and to act in accordance to their true nature. KPOPCON is such a space where these identities from a wide diversity of backgrounds and intentions are welcomed.
With the word ‘CHROMATIC’, we also wanted to illustrate the essential spirit of color that is inherent in K-pop, its various communities, and the world around us. Color spans every corner of humanity, from the hues of nature, the shades of our skin, and the spectrum of human emotion. With that, K-pop connects these facets of worldly intrigue and we, as humans, respond to it with our motivations, emotions, and actions.
With this intentional aspect of ‘being’ and ‘color’, this year’s theme encourages fans to [Be] CHROMATIC (with an emphasis on the brackets to indicate a range of possible verb replacements) in all that they do and to live, dance, act, think, and dream with every pigment of their being and all the color they can imagine.
It takes a year to build an organization.
It takes 6 months to plan a convention.
It takes one weekend to change your life.
A club called K-Popular
Once upon a time, there were three UC Berkeley students making their way from Berkeley to SMTOWN LIVE 2010 in Los Angeles. On the car ride back to Cal, probably somewhere near Bakersfield, our golden bears began to scheme and said, "Hey, wouldn't it be awesome to create a club where K-pop fans could come together to dance, sing, gossip, and attend concerts?". One month later, after much planning, more scheming, and meeting other extremely enthusiastic and dedicated K-pop fans, K-Popular ratified its constitution on September 29, 2010.
K-Popular was created to serve members of the K-pop community by making live news announcements, group events (like karaoke, dances, and parties), and its very own dance crew a reality. K-pop fans may often find themselves ostracized, criticized, or misunderstood by people who fail to appreciate the entertainment, messages, and dedication behind Korean pop culture. Therefore, K-Popular also aims to unite fans from across the spectrum and offer them a space where they can finally express themselves, discuss issues, and share information - all while building personal and professional relationships in the process.
KPOPCON is born
It all started on May 6th, 2011 in a library study room amidst finals week at UC Berkeley. 4 minds melded, desperate for avenues of procrastination, on the topic of K-pop, which quickly turned into a conversation about its future and how fans are integral to its success. With a fervent dedication to leadership and higher education and the power of creativity and performance arts, we had the 4 basic ingredients that would compose our vision that will never change:
- A K-pop convention by the fans, for the fans. Always.
- To build solidarity in the K-pop community in a safe, engaging, loving, and enlightening environment.
"Hello!", the theme of our first KPOPCON, is a greeting that transcends global boundaries, just as K-pop is a music and visual experience that serves to connect people around the world. Throughout the convention's workshops, performances, and meetup, we encouraged everyone to say "Hello!" to their fellow fans to celebrate the language of Korean music and the flavor and validation it adds to our lives.
Keynote speakers: Joyce Lan Kim (former CEO, Soompi) and Susan Kang (Founder, Soompi)
Workshop presenters: Christine Miguel; Dachirim; Divina Magracia; Half & Half; Inkyu Kang, PhD; Jae Hyun Jung (UCSB); James Won; Karen Yu; Kpop Kollective (Crystal S. Anderson, PhD; Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.; Mark Jaehoon Byon; Kuylain Howard); Louie Thach; Maritza Gonzalez-Tellez (HelloKpop); Matt Wei; Tuhina Das; Wesley Jackson (KpopCDs)
Special performers: 2NITE, Allysse, Dachirim, Half & Half, Tara
Meetup representatives: 2ONEDAY, DJ PeterLo, FLGIHTB1A4, JYJ4SJ from Cassiopeia, Kollaboration, K-Popular, SHINee Forums International, Soompi, USA I AM Hottest, YesStyle
Sponsors: ASUC Auxiliary, Viki, YesAsia, YesStyle, Cal Dining, Soompi, CJ E&M, Gomnaru, Maoz Vegetarian, and Noah's Bagels
KPC12 Team: Aileen Yang, April Zhang, Divina Magracia, Helen Sun, Jay Kamdar, Karen Yu, Kathy Khuu, Lakshmi Muralidharan, Leticia Valverde, Maritza Gonzalez Tellez, Mary Xu, Matt Wei, Matthew Alexander Chan, Sara Tong, Susan Cuong, Thu Nguyen, Tuhina Das, Valeria Zaragoza, Wesley Jackson
With the return of KPOPCON in 2013, the theme "Volume Up!" conveyed the team's sincere hope to create an even more energetic and worthwhile convention. This endeavor was purely driven by the passion and dedication of a group of college students intent on delivering the best possible experience for the fans, by the fans. With more world-class workshops, amazing performances, and fan representation than ever before, fans at KPOPCON took their love for K-pop further and pumped the Volume Up!
Keynote speaker: Aimee Lee Lucas
Workshop presenters: Aimee Lee Lucas, Dachirim, Haneul Lee, Kpop Kollective (Crystal S. Anderson, PhD; Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.; Bianca Flowers); Linzer Dinzer, Lucy Zhou, Peuyeum US, SoNE1, Peter A, Viki
Special performers: Bianca Janian, Cass Song, Dachirim, H&M, Peuyeum US, Ra-On, SoNE1, Spark~, UkeShiDae
Meetup representatives: DBSKnights, Doodel, FLIGHTB1A4, JYJCY, Kintoki-con, Kollaboration, Priscilla Wu, SHINee Forums International, So K-pop (UC Davis), Soompi, Victoria Sanchez, Viki, YesStyle
Sponsors: ASUC, Viki, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, YesAsia, YesStyle, Soompi, Kpop Savant, 24HR KPOP, 24/7 Asian Media
KPC13 Team: Cara He, Ciantelle Tienzo, Danielle Song, Divina Magracia, Elaine Horng, Hayden Jung, Iza Benedicto, Johnny Lau, Karen Yu, Kathy Khuu, Katie Chen, Lakshmi Muralidharan, Lucy Ma, Maritza G. Tellez, Mathangi Suresh, Mindy Huang, Nicole Mak, Ryan Fong, Shawn Park, Sofia Cruz, Thu Nguyen, Tuhina Das, Valeria Zaragoza, Yang Qu
[Be] CHROMATIC embodies the vibrant spirit and mission of KPOPCON by taking the colorful and diverse aspect of the K-pop community and unifying it with its enormous potential to create, to dream, and to be. With this year's theme, we want to encourage K-pop fans from every fandom, nationality, and background to be chromatic in everything they do.
Keynote speaker: Matt Wei
Workshop presenters: Christopher Kung (ReactorTV); CJ Calabrese (So K-pop UC Davis); Crystal S. Anderson, PhD (Kpop Kollective); Dachirim; Divina Magracia; Dramabeans; Ellen Ong; Hannah Michell; Katie Chen; Lauren Bermudez (Seoul'd Out!! UCSB); Lucy Zhou; Matt Wei; Peter A.; Rotem Bluvstein; Stacy Burt; Stephanie Parker (Viki); Tuhina Das
Special performers: H&M, Kyoshi Scouts, KPG, Rare Candy, Dachirim, De Anza KPG, Ali + Dennis, UkeShiDae, Spark, Allysse, SoNE1
Meetup representatives: 2ONEDAY, Aewen Radio, "Asian Hits" of U. 92.3 KSJO, Bubble Dolls, Cassiopeia-JYJCY, JYP Nationalists, K-Popular at Berkeley, Katie Chen, KDrama, Korea Tourism Organization, Korillin + ayohexo, GAMeBoi SF, MissMerryELF, The Nutty Nomads, K-Pop Tumblr Meetup, Pacific KissMes, ReactorTV, RYU Entertainment, Seoul'd Out!! UCSB, So K-pop + SoNE1 (UC Davis), Soompi, USAIAMHOTTEST, USA ELF, Viki
Partners: ASUC, Viki, Aewen Radio, Zee Zee Copy, 2ONEDAY, USAIAMHOTTEST, Soompi, KDrama, CRUNCH
KPC14 Team: Cary Lo, Danielle Song, Divina Magracia, Karen Yu, Matt Wei, Mindy Huang, Petra Pilar, Shawn Park, Tuhina Das, Valeria Zaragoza, Yang Qu
Bay Area Region
- Executive Director: Matt Wei
- Director of Communications: Karen Yu