ComplexCon ’21 gives exclusive insight to LBLN

ComplexCon returns to Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center Nov. 6-7, with the theme ‘Reunite and Reconnect.’ ComplexCon is an innovative festival that integrates brands, people, and trends with pop culture, lifestyle, streetwear, sneakers, fashion, music, conversations, and food. 

“Our first ComplexCon was five years ago in 2016, at the Long Beach Convention Center. We had decided to introduce a new-to-market experience that brought youth cultures’ internet to IRL. Before ComplexCon 2016, most of our audience had only interacted with their favorite streetwear, sneaker brands, and Complex Networks via the internet. ComplexCon redefined community and connection for our audience, and Long Beach was the perfect host city to welcome our global family. When we decided to launch Community Week in 2018, we were looking for ways to say ‘thank you’ to the city of Long Beach. It was apparent the value the city afforded us, and we wanted to ensure that our gratitude was impactful and valuable. The investment in the people of Long Beach is something we take great pride in,” said Complex Networks President, Christian Baesler.

ComplexCon believes in providing fans with a simultaneous experience by showcasing the most popular restaurants, buzzworthy and cult-favorite eateries. First We Feast is collaborating with food culture agency Care of Chan to offer attendees an opportunity to eat throughout ComplexCon by experiencing delicacies from known and legendary restaurants along with new and up-and-coming chefs.

There will be a Hot Ones Boneless Chicken Bites challenge, a special menu item prepared by Burger Scholar George Motz, along with many more vendors.

This year, the festival is hosted by J Balvin and Kristen Noel Crawley. There will be DJs, live performances, special guests including ASAP Rocky, performing his iconic debut album, Lil Yatchy, and many more; as well as a marketplace to shop for new releases, exclusively available at ComplexCon.

ComplexCon is more than just a festival; they are also about giving back to the Long Beach community. Their main initiative is to help amplify the community, which inspired the launch of the Community Week campaign. Community Week is a week-long series of virtual and in-person movements that takes place in the build-up to ComplexCon

“Community Week is our way of always saying, thank you. It’s our way of always saying, you are more than just a location. You’re like a main character in this,” Complex Networks Vice President Communications, Piper McCoy.

“We would not have been as successful as we’ve been, if not for the city of Long Beach. And that is reflective of the people who come and volunteer, the high school students who come and help early to set up the convention center, the team who lead those acts, we could not have asked for a better partner. And, I want to be clear that the partner isn’t just the convention center, it’s the city, it’s the hotels,” continued McCoy.

Complex Networks has always been to support and develop the various communities we serve, such as the sneaker and hip hop communities. In addition to shining a light on them through the content we produce every day, we think it’s imperative to also “give back” beyond that, both on a national level through partnerships with organizations like Common Threads and Last Prisoner Project, as well as to communities on a local level, as we have done around ComplexCon in Long Beach and Chicago,” said Complex Networks President, Christian Baesler.

ComplexCon partnered up with a few non-profit stakeholders like the Long Beach Rescue Mission, The Marshall Project, Common Threads, National Cares, and It’s From The Sole, to give back to Long Beach by contributing items and/or volunteering time.

It’s From The Sole is grateful for Complex and the city’s support to get sneakers on the feet of those in need locally and across the country. Your donation at ComplexCon of new and unused sneakers can help better the lives of children, women, and men in our neighborhoods go to school, work, and live better healthier lives,” said It’s From The Sole Founder, Andre McDonnell.

ComplexCon’s community outreach will continue after the event ends. 

“Complex could easily come to Long Beach, put on a massive show, then just dip. We’re grateful they’ve made an effort to include not only an independent, Black woman-owned business like Reparations Club but to promote literacy and criminal justice reform in the process. Those intersections are powerful undercurrents that are often overlooked in culture. There’s a ripple effect when we all move with more intention in our communities,” said Reparations Club

Founder/Owner, Jazzi McGilbert.

“We are always in Long Beach and we want to give back as much as we can since we’re calling it our home. We will continue to amplify any type of known issues or any type of thing to elevate Long Beach,” said Complex Networks Community Campaign Manager, Sade Lee.

“We’re just really wanting to make an impact and to have a lasting impact even when we are gone,” continued Lee.

For additional information on purchasing tickets, or if you would like to get involved or donate to any mission, please visit here

By Dayna Hernandez

Photo credit:@complexcon