2015 NY K-Pop Festival

Article by Amanda Kim
Article by Korean Cultural Service New York

On August 8th 2015 at the Championship Plaza and the Amerihealth Pavilion, the biggest K-Pop event emerged as crowds of K-Pop fans and talented contestants compete their way to the victory of the 2015 NY K-Pop Festival. This year, the Korean Cultural Service New York partnered with KCON to give an unforgettable show to the die-hard K-Pop fans.

The first portion of the NY K-Pop Festival was the festivity itself where booths were set up for our fans to listen to K-Pop and win K-pop related prizes. As the Dj played countless catchy K-Pop tunes, fans couldn’t help but dance and crowd around waiting to receive cd albums and posters. Along with the popping music, there was a photo wall where fans can pose like their famous K-Pop artist. Although it was a scorching day, fans from all ages came out to party on as our MC Jkey and Dj Nak stole the show.

Following the booth events, the highlight of the day began at the Amerihealth Pavilion. Over 200 people waited on line to see the 6 finalists perform on stage to compete in the NY K-Pop Preliminaries. The 6 finalists consist of 4 dance groups: Serendipity, Stampede, The Class, and Haru. The remaining 2 finalists were of vocalists: Cindy Vo and Trudi.

As the people proceeded to the Pavilion, gifts were also presented as well. The first 200 people were given a t-shirt that was designed by our pre-event winner and a complimentary glow stick. Once received, the fans stumbled into the pavilion as they couldn’t wait to see the competition.

Before the competition began, 3 judges were announced on the day of since we had a special guest appearance. Our first guest was Ms. Arnelle (Elly) who was the 2013 NY K-Pop preliminaries winner and the K-Pop world festival winner as well. Our second judge is Jeff Benjamin, a writer of the K-pop columns at Billboard. And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Fans have been anticipating on who the special guest judge was. As the M.C. announced that it was a member of a famous K-Pop group, the audience howled and jumped up in excitement. Our 3rd and final judge was none other than the K-Pop idol group, Vixx’s N. ‘N’ is the leader of the group Vixx and was very excited to be the honorary judge at the competition.

The competition opened up with a dance performance by ‘I Love Dance’. Once their performance finished, the finalists were ready to show off their moves. The first group to perform was Serendipity, who performed a dance number from HyunAh’s Bubble Pop. The next performer was by Cindy Vo who sang and danced to Mama Moo’s Piano man. Following Cindy was another powerful dance number from The Class, who performed Hyde by Vixx. As the audience grew louder and stronger, they cheered on the performance excitedly. The competition grew fierce and stronger within every performance. After ‘The Class’ performed, the competition proceeded with Stampede’s performance of Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang, and Trespass by Monster X. The crowd went wild after they concluded their energetic performance. After countless beat hopping performances, Trudi took the stage a performed a ballad of G-soul’s You. The audience waved their arms from side to side as Trudi graced us with her lovely, soulful voice. Finally, the last performance was by Haru who performed Kara’s Mamma mia.

Each and every group performed such an amazing performance. It was by far the most heated competition in K-Pop history. It was certain that every group deserved to have an opportunity to perform at the K-Pop World Festival in Changwon.

Once our judges wrote down their scores, they chose the best performance winner, a best vocalist winner, and a runner-up. The runner-up was awarded to Haru for their upbeat performance. Next, Vixx’s N announced the winner of the best vocalist, who was the beautiful Trudi. And finally the moment we’ve been waiting for. All the hard work that these finalists went through, the winner of the best performance will be opening up the KCON show at the prudential center where K-Pop groups like Vixx, AOA, Teen Top, and Girls’ Generation will perform. They will also be given an opportunity to compete at the K-Pop World Festival in Korea. And finally, the winner of the NY K-Pop Festival was, ‘The Class’! ‘The Class’ performed an outrageous show as they danced well to every beat of the song, Hyde. Vixx’s N concluded the show as he commented on how impressed and inspired he was to see such talented performers kill it at the competition.

Overall, the 6 finalists did a phenomenal performance as they showed the epitome of a great K-Pop performance. The festival concluded well as the next portion of the night was the KCON concert at the prudential center. Many K-pop fans left with such awe and satisfaction and are already inspired to enter the next NY K-Pop Festival in 2016.

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