Not All YouTuber Events Are Cons


ANAHEIM, CA – A general view of atmosphere at the 9th Annual VidCon at Anaheim Convention Center on June 22, 2018. (Photo credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

TanaCon was a literal hot mess with some conference-goers escorted away in ambulances to be treated for heat stroke. FouseyTube’s “Hate Dies, Love Arrives” free concert on July 15th failed in the most prankster way possible with a fake bomb threat. With these two high profile YouTuber events making the news for all the wrong reasons, it’s understandable if any parent or fan is thinking twice about attending a YouTuber event that isn’t VidCon — and even VidCon has some issues.

It turns out, TanaCon and FouseyTube are more the anomalies than the norm when it comes to these kinds of YouTuber events — most YouTube-centric conventions are run by professionals and have been for years. Hardly any of them are company-based and most were created by smaller-time YouTubers.   

RTX, a convention in Austin, Texas, that focuses on video games, animation and internet culture, runs from August 3rd to August 5th. Rooster Teeth, currently at 9.5 million subscribers, first created RTX in 2011 but it has since exploded in popularity with an estimated 65,000 people attending last year.  RTX has had some controversies in the past, though all minor and nothing on par with TanaCon: an attendee was kicked out in 2015 for slapping “Fake Geek Girl” stickers on women’s behinds and last year saw some minor logistical and planning issues. Besides the US, RTX also runs in Sydney, Australia as of 2016 and in London, England as of 2017.

The UK-centric online video festival Summer in the City, from August 10th to the 12th, is turning 10 this year. Summer in the City was originally created by small-time creators Tom Burns (61K subs) and Dave Bullas (27K subs) with help from Liam Dryden (124K subs) and Jazza John (25K subs). They sold it to the same folks that run MCM London Comic Con in 2016 and their festival has been headline-free of any mismanagement or safety issues since inception. This year Summer in the City is also expanding its Gaming Zone after a successful trial run in 2017.  

If G-rated, faith-based creators like family vloggers are more your speed, or you have young children that primarily watch younger creators, CVX Live is a good one to attend. Now in its fourth year, CVX Live 2018 runs from September 21st to the 22nd and is being held in Provo, Utah, an hour drive south of Salt Lake City. CVX Live was created by the folks behind the Bored Shorts TV YouTube channel, a mid-to-small tier YouTube channel with about half a million subscribers.    

Also on those same dates is Playlist Live, doing a kind of pop-up performance in Secaucus, New Jersey.  Their main event was in April in Orlando, Florida, where they’ve hosted it every year for the last 8 years. Incidentally, Tana Mongeau is a featured creator at the upcoming Pop-up Playlist. Playlist Live has been marred by minor controversies in the past, from creators spitting on fans from stages to fans attacking creators. Playlist Live is run by AKT Enterprises.  

The Streamys, an annual award ceremony for online creators by Dick Clark Productions and the YouTube media outlet Tubefilter, is happening this year on October 22nd. No major fail at the Streamys since 2010, but 2010’s was bad enough to warrant an apology.

Not quite YouTuber despite crossovers, is the California-based TwitchCon. Now in its third year, Twitchcon runs this October 26- 28 and is the streaming giant Twitch’s official convention. So far, everything has been good.  

Beautycon is another perfectly run YouTuber convention worth attending, but it already happened this July in Los Angeles. Even Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg attended this year! Beautycon calls its events “festivals” and travels to other cities — it was held in New York in April, London last December.   

VidCon, as mentioned above, was this June and its London reiteration runs in February. Created in 2010 by the YouTubers known as the vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green, the convention was sold to Viacom this year. VidCon’s new GM Jim Louderback told Beet TV in an interview one reason why VidCon is worth attending is that it “3 conferences, conventions rolled into one in online video.” I would argue this is its weakness,  but businessmen and ad agency types trying to sidestep the stampeding teenagers does make for entertaining people-watching.

Prior to TanaCon, the only other Youtuber event that failed in such a spectacular fashion was last year’s Hello World Live. The four-hour music show in its inaugural year had big name creators in attendance (Zoella and Tyler Oakley) but was so badly organized refunds and apologies had to be issued to angry parents.

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