OTAKON 2022: K-POP Events with PIXY, AleXa and Rolling Quartz

Otakon has been honoring East Asian pop culture since it opened its doors back in 1994. They have expanded their memberships from 350 to over 28,000, causing an immediate need to change locations from the Baltimore Convention Center to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center located in Washington D.C. 2022 was a record-breaking year, bringing in over 40,000 attendees. This year also marked Otakon as one of the largest events to be held at the Walter E. Washington center thus far.  COVID-19 policies were strictly enforced through the requirement of masks and proof of vaccinations or negative PCR test results.

Although Otakon is growing in exponential numbers, it never lost its sense of community. All staff members are 100% volunteer and the event is brought on solely through the profits of memberships and fees. This 3-day convention held by fans has enticed people to travel from all over the world to attend the event and be immersed with like-minded individuals. There were attendees from different ethnicities, ages, and families who bonded in cosplay and expressed their passion through the many activities held at the event.

Otakon has created a safe space for fandom to thrive in different areas like anime, manga, movies, music, and video games. However, this year was the biggest celebration of Kpop Otakon has ever seen. 

The Friday night Kpop concert was an explosion of energy with performers like PIXY, Rolling Quartz, and AleXa.

(Rolling Quartz performing on Otakon stage)

(PIXY interacting with the audience)

(Close up of Rolling Quartz)

(AleXa performing "Do Or Die")

Aside from the extravagant show, Kpop fans joined together in workshops, where there were trivia games and even dance challenges. All of the idols were very involved with Otakon and interacted with their fans throughout the weekend by teaching dance classes, signing autographs, conducting Q&As, and even being part of the panel that judged the Kpop Dance Battle. 

(Kpop fans playing group games and trivia)

(PIXY signing autographs and mingling with fans)

(AleXa teaching her choreography to fans)

With Kpop being on the rise to mainstream and a newer addition to the convention, the attendees had the option to attend panels where industry professionals discussed their career experiences. One of the guests was Lai Frances who is a journalist, producer, and host. Her writing projects can be found in places like MTV News, Teen Vogue, and Glamour. She has even interviewed big acts such as Twice and Epik High. The panel was an open discussion where eager fans asked a range of questions and were given legitimate advice on how to pursue their dreams in the Kpop industry.

(Lai Frances on panel)

As mentioned, there were plenty of activities at Otakon, and shopping was definitely on the list. The Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley was full of exciting shops and beautiful artworks. One of the Kpop vendors was Lychee Media, where their merchandise ranged from masks to albums and posters. The friendly staff was open to mingling with attendees and provided an excellent overall experience. 

In conclusion, Kpop found a new home at Otakon and it looks like its not going anywhere any time soon. Friendships were made and attendees felt safe at home with others who understood their interest. This judgment-free zone is what is being looked forward to for many years to come. The website has been updated to book your hotel room for next year’s convention which will be held from July 28th - 30th, 2023. Check it out here

Remember to check back with @KpopWise for more updates!

Read Also: [EXCLUSIVE] OTAKON 2022: Rolling Quartz Interview and Performances

Yosi Nevarez

Yosi fell in love with Kpop back when Big Bang and TVXQ were on top of the charts. Over a decade later and hundreds of KDramas later, she is still just as obsessed. As of recently, she started a KDrama Podcast called "Confessions Of A KDrama Queen"

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