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ComplexCon Returns to Long Beach with Musical Guests, Brand Collabs

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ComplexCon returned to the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on Nov. 6 and 7. The convention, hosted by Complex Networks, re-emerged after a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event featured live music performances, exclusive product drops, brand collaborations, artist exhibitions and an outdoor food festival sponsored by online food-culture magazine and YouTube channel First We Feast.

Since its inception in 2016, ComplexCon has been a leading venue for showcasing streetwear and hypebeast fashion, as well as hip-hop and pop art demonstrations. This year, brands on display included Adidas, Lego, Crocs, Prada, Champion, Hypland, Sanrio, Ray-Ban and Saucony.

The live music stages featured performances by A$AP Rocky, Turnstile, a DJ set by Lil Yachty and more. In addition, a booth hosted by Kerwin Frost featured a smaller stage with more intimate live sets from Onyx, Kero Kero Bonito and Mac DeMarco.

“It was somewhere that I probably wouldn’t have wound up if I wasn’t friends with [Frost], but I’m happy that I got to come and play my guitar for a little bit. It was cool,” DeMarco said of the convention to the New University.

In light of the pandemic, the event featured mandatory health checks and increased safety measures.

ComplexCon attendee Chris DaMore was impressed by the public safety regulations at the convention. DaMore was attending the convention for the third time with his son, a self-proclaimed sneakerhead. 

“I love the health policies and I’m really glad that they had the health screening, the mask-wearing and keeping people six feet apart,” DaMore said. “There’s also more security than in previous years.”

Alexander Millimeter, a videographer representing Soto Worldwide, thought the convention was “dope,” but was disappointed that some larger brands were not represented.

“It’s a pity that you don’t have the big brands like Nike. You know, you have Adidas but you don’t have Nike. I was expecting to [see] them,” Millimeter said.

Millimeter went on to say that the food at the First We Feast Lagoon was one of the convention’s biggest draws.

“Definitely the food at the Lagoon — I think that was dope as f**k, and the whole Lagoon is awesome. You can eat a lot of food,” Millimeter said.

ComplexCon concluded with impressive musical performances and sold-out attendance. The event is expected to return next year.


Josh Cain is a Photo Intern for the fall 2021 quarter. He can be reached at jbcain@uci.edu.