Over this past weekend I had the opportunity to check out the first ever Complexcon held in downtown Long Beach at the Long Beach Convention Center. I have to say overall I had a pretty dope time. There were some highs and lows from this major event and even a few WTH (what the hell) moments. Let me just jump right in…
First, I just want to stress that I had a really dope time man. Like I can’t stress it enough, it really was a great experience. You could tell they put a great deal of time and effort into carefully curating an event for the Complex Magazine culture. I ran into a bunch of the homies there, ate a lot of food and got to check out a lot of cool one of a kind activations. Some exhibits that really stood out to me would be the Adidas HU Pharrell, Nike AirForce 1, BAPE, Takashi Murakami art installation, BAIT, The Seventh Letter art stop, and the BeatsByDre booth. The Nike and Taylor gang locations (depending on the time) were probably some of the most lit stops. On Saturday, D.R.A.M. performed a few songs and had the whole convention trying to get into the Nike booth. They were debuting the new Airforce 1’s and also hosted a free sneaker lottery giveaway. They stayed pretty lit both Saturday and Sunday.
Wiz Khalifa made a special appearance at his Taylor Gang stand and made sure everyone blazed up in his honor. Jessie Williams, Pharrell, John Singleton and a gang of other key influencers hosted discussion panels that covered everything from politics to art and racial issues. These panels were really informative and opened the public up to more than just the entertainment side of the convention. It was really inspiring to see these influencers speaking on things other than their particular revenue streams. Jessie Williams also stopped by the Ebroji booth and chopped it up with fans.
The food experience was aight! I thought it was going to be way more food trucks than what was available but nonetheless it was still pretty cool. There were about 8 food trucks in total with a variety of foods. Anything from Mexican, to Asian and Southern Californian cuisine were found just out front. The Monster Food truck was probably my favorite, those damn short rib sliders went so hard!
I have to say though, the Kid Cudi come back was on point! I think he may have had the best performance of the whole convention aside from Snoop Dogg. Can I just say this was Snoop’s very first time ever performing in Long Beach! How is that even possible? He performed all the classics and had everyone feeling it for the whole night.
Now on to the not so cool things that I noticed at the convention. First of all, I know Complex is a magazine that focuses on style and culture but I think there were some missed opportunities when it came to the shopping experience. Most of the clothing brands that were featured at the convention seemed to have brought their most expensive garments to sale. Pacsun for instance, showcased their Vans and Fear Of God collaborations which (if you are familiar) are probably the most expensive items in their arsenal. Quite a few stores were selling teeshirts with prices that ranged from $50 to $250. I thought that was odd since most of the people attending this convention were young people. Most of the clothing sold at the event didn’t even have price tags (so you know it was something crazy.)
The Urban Outfitters, BAPE and Billionaire BoyClub booths were overrated and over priced. Pink Dolphin had to be one of the worst, they had two different shirts on sale the whole weekend. Thats it! Like two racks with the same two shirts on them, literally the whole weekend. Most booths were sold out of merchandise by 1pm (which sucked). At the Complexcon gift shop, just about everything sold there was extremely overpriced. The Takashi Murakami pillows and toys ran for about $325. Of course the fanboys still bought it, because basically the fanboys will buy anything (so they say lol). I’m guessing this is why the prices were so hiked up.
If there was anything to be learned from this event, I would say to Complex, next time provide a better shopping experience for your event goers, more food options and more SoCal based food trucks. I’d also recommend for the night concerts, provide a more diverse group of performers. Not everyone is into trap music and underground rap artists. Advice to future fans and attendees, don’t invest in the weekend passes. I’d just devote one full day and night. Not much of a need for the whole weekend. There isn’t much change in the events or booths between each day.
Hopefully next year’s event will be even more engaging than this years. Like I said, I had a dope time especially being that this was the very first one. Practice makes perfect and I know the Complex team learned a lot from this first go round! I promise I will be up in there next year though!