Saturday, August 10, 2013

VidCon 2013

I love cons. No, not conventions for adults looking for a job, but cons, week-long nerd parties. I went to my first convention back in 2010. It was called Infinitus, it took place in Orlando, Florida and it was about Harry Potter. Ever since that fateful weekend, I have had an itch for the con life.  I have seeked it out every year since then and this year was no exception.  About a week ago I made my way down to Anaheim, California for the 4th annual VidCon!
Vidcon 2013 Mainstage with the two wonderful people who made it all happen, the Vlogbrothers.
For those who don't know, VidCon is a convention centered around YouTube.  No, not the viral videos of cats side of YouTube but the vlogging/humor/nerdy side which consists of people rather than animals.  I am continually surprised when people don't know this side of the internet, because I've been knee-deep since my first explorations, but for those of you to whom this is unknown, I would suggest checking out some videos by The Vlogbrothers, Epic Meal Time, Charlieissocoollike, Danisnotonfire, or JacksGap to get a sense of this side of the tubes.
Just glomping on one of my favorite youtubers, no biggy
Anyway, VidCon is basically a mash-up of fans with the YouTubers they admire.  Among the 10,000 attendees I would say at least 2/3 make videos even if just viewed by themselves.  That is a crazy number of creatively driven people, but more importantly, that is a crazy number of cameras.  I'd be willing to bet that every moment of this conference is filmed. I tried to keep track of how many people I caught vlogging and lost count around 20.
My friends and I in the main hotel of the convention.  Do you see the amount of people in the background?
Techinally Thursday was the first day of VidCon but since it is aimed at the professional video makes, I'm going to start a recap with Friday. Friday was amazing.  It is always so surreal to see vloggers in real life. You can finally understand their height! That may sound strange, but you can not tell how tall someone is from a video, trust me on this. On top of that, it is just totally strange to realize that you just walked past Alfie. Like, what?! The one downside, I have to say it, is the screaming fans.  Yes, I geeked the fuck out when I met Alex Carpenter but seeing a wave of hundreds of teen girls following Jim and Joe down the street just seems crazy to me, they are just people.
One of the performances on the mainstage. From left to right: Jim Chapman, Zoella, Caspar Lee, Tanya Burr, Marcus Butler, Alfie
One of the most amazing thing about VidCon is the amount of vloggers that attend.  There are signings all day, wonderful performances on the mainstage, and panels. Seriously, if you wanted to see someone it was simple.  The mainstage was never full, granted you may not be able to see too well but there were two screens on the side of the stage that gave you a better view than the people in front, trust me.  Plus, I don't believe that panels were too crowded.  The two me and my friends went to still had seats available when the presenter started.  Granted, I didn't go to the Becoming YouTube panel and I'm sure that one was stuffed. On top of that, you could see youtubers just by walking around! Two men said 'Hi' to me before the mainstage concert on Saturday when my friend and I sat outside smiling at people walking by, I smiled back and said 'Hello'. 30 minutes later, my friend turns to me and says 'you know those guys were the Gregory Brothers right?'. UM NO! I DIDN'T KNOW THAT! THANKS FOR THE UPDATE! It's just fun.
Charlieissocoollike at his panel on his new short films
Hank Green performing on the mainstage.
As well, as seeing the youtubers I had come to know in the last few years, I saw a lot that I didn't know at all. I went to every mainstage presentation and every concert and I was introduced to so many new-to-me youtubers that I couldn't wait to look-up.  Some of my favorites were Josh Sundquist, Christina Grimmie, The Gregory Brothers, Peter Hollens, Paint, Ze Frank, and George Watsky.  Just because I had this experience with their music, I now love it. This song will always hold a special place in my heart because I heard it live, that's just how it works. However, the best part of the concerts has to be We The Kings.  They kicked some serious booty.
We the Kings after their set Friday night
If you've never been to a con or any type of gathering related to something you love whether it be a concert, convention, or meet-up in the park, I would suggest getting your butt to one as soon as possible. There is something infectious in being with people who have the same interests as you enjoying the same thing and dancing your butts off until the early hours of the morning.  I'll never give it up.
I'll end this post the same way I ended the con, dancing to Michael Aranda's amazing DJ skills!

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