Since I miscalculated my trip, I figured I’d need something to do other than empty my wallet in K-town, so I went searching and found something called APOP Festival. So I bought a ticket and went.
APOP Festival seems to be very new. I tried talking to a few people who worked there and I emailed the official site. No word from the site but the two people I talked to seemed to think it was new. I did a little digging on Facebook and found that the official page had been created back in January (2017) so I can only assume that this is the first year of the event’s history.
That being said, for an event so new it did have a lot of people show up. Granted, I had been there since noon (it started at 11) but around 2pm is when it really started to fill up.
The APOP Festival took place in Torrence, CA on the 29th of July between 11AM-8PM at the Torrence Cultural Arts building(s). There were sponsor booths in the front and in the two buildings there were fan-made merch booths, activity booths and an indoor and outdoor stage.
I attended some of the stage events such as the K-Pop Dance Battle, where the top 6 were awarded performance spots in KCON LA 2017, Koshin Taiko performed on the outside stage, I saw Stephanie Yanez perform on the outside stage, the Harajuku Fashion Show held on the outside stage and the main reason I went, Gemini also performed on the outside stage.
I was a little disappointed that Gemini’s stage was so short (Like, less than 10 minutes) but he did stand outside with his mom and sister while they sold his mini album.
Overall, I felt like a lot of stuff was overpriced (keychains, no matter what size were usually $10). I can’t complain though because I bought two at KCON and they were $20 together while I bought three key chains for $20 at a booth here.
There were pins, key chains, posters, prints, bags, drawings, shirts, etc being sold by artists. There was an official shop there (Fickle Wish), and there were street vendors in front of the outside stage.
I ate at the Japanese food stand (Gaja Okonomiyaki), ice cream stand (The Freezn’ Point), the coffee stand (Dough and Arrow), and at the Seoul Street stand that’s always at KCON.
The coffee, ice cream, and Korean food were great. The okonomiyaki felt like it had too much ginger, but it was also my first time having it. That being said, the bites that weren’t laden in ginger were super delicious and I did put mayo and the okonomiyaki sauce on it.
The ice cream from The Freezn’ Point that I bought was Halo Halo, which is a popular traditional Filipino dessert with shaved ice, evaporated milk and other various ingredients of fruit and red beans and such. Mine had clear tapioca squares, mango pieces and shaved coconut with purple ice cream, what I could only assume would be taro (sweet potato) flavored. It was really good.
At the Seoul Street stand, I got cheesy ddeokbokki with chicken bites and cheese
with the apple/lychee drink. Those were also great.
Overall, for its first year, APOP Festival wasn’t too bad. Though it was centered around Japanese and Korean culture, I can see the potential for adding in other Asian cultures as the festival grows. I hope it does, it would also be really cool if it were closer to KCON so I could go to both next year.
View my day 3 vlog here:
View my photos below: