Youtuber Craze

Natalia Clement, Staff Writer

When you log on to YouTube, you open a door to a website like no other. From the ‘rawr’ comments to exchanging beauty tips, the range of topics covered is unmatched. Regardless of this, a sense of community forms as common interests in YouTube personages are shared. Only then can hipsters and scene kids come together to fangirl. But what happens when what’s on the internet comes to life?

VidCon may be the only thing that comes to mind when thinking of YouTube conventions. California, where VidCon occurs, is a bit too far away for Miami teens. Luckily, the East Coast has Playlist Live.  Since 2011, Playlist Live’s goals have been to connect fans with their favorite Youtubers and strengthen the bond existing in the online community. The popularity of YouTube has skyrocketed in the past two years, making Playlist grow from a one Expo Hall event into a sold out hotel and convention center celebration.

“It definitely was different from what I expected it to be, but I think the craziness made it somewhat thrilling. The amount of people trying to meet one person caught me off guard, and there were times where I would see a group of girls running for no reason. I enjoyed myself even though it turned out to be a way bigger event than I thought,” said freshmen Olivia Field.

As late March came around the corner, Youtubers from around the world packed their bags with all the essentials needed to survive a hectic weekend. The venue for Playlist Live this year was the Caribbean Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center, a four star hotel in Orlando. Between the 21st and 23rd of March, 8,000 Youtubers came together to enjoy what the event had to offer. Some Youtubers went for Business Day, always held on the first day, where there are panels and one can listen in on the tips and tricks of using YouTube. Most, however, stayed for the next two days, where the fun and chaos happened.

When you put a couple of fan-girls together, it can get pretty wild, so one can imagine what thousands of them getting to see their favorite Youtuber would be like. In years past, Playlist has been a relaxed event, where people would be able to walk around and talk to famous Youtubers nonchalantly. This year, however, well-known Youtubers were either being escorted places by security guards, being mobbed, or hiding away from fans, nowhere to be found. Fan-girls became the ultimate stalkers at Playlist, and if you heard a scream, everyone would quickly run in the direction of it. The stress of the event seems worth it as devoted followers get to pose alongside famous YouTube names like The Holy Trinity or O2L during their meetups.

“Playlist Live was pretty crazy. Except for the first day, which was a business insight type of day that not all of the attendees go to, the event was chaotic. Apparently this was the first year so many tickets were sold, which meant a lot of people running around and mobbing Youtubers. I understand that more people want to go, but with more people attending, it’s less fun. The meetups for Youtubers were going on at the same time and there were huge lines of people pushing to get in. Plus, when they got too long, the lines would be cut off. Playlist in general was fun because you get to meet your favorite Youtubers who are really rad and cool – I just think they shouldn’t have sold more tickets than last year because it gives everyone attending a rough time,” sophomore Gabe Marino said.

If hunting down people isn’t for you, there are still Playlist’s music and panels to enjoy, and it’s easy to come across a familiar face or two without much effort. In any case, Playlist Live is a great opportunity to meet fellow Youtubers beyond all the mayhem, and to really connect with the YouTube world