Failed Youtube Conventions
An addiction to Youtube can be a dangerous thing not only for your own sanity but also for your bank account. Being so dedicated to a specific Youtuber can end up with you losing your hard earned money on pointless merchandise, you feel inclined to buy whatever it is.
YouTuber’s are often granted the opportunity to attend conventions such as Hello world, Vidcon, Big Beauty day out and Amity Fest but with these events comes big ticket prices of poorly organised events, as we will discuss down below.
Hello World Live was billed as “an epic, four hour, immersive live show like nothing on Earth” offering fans the opportunity to mingle with Youtubers Zoella, Alfie Deyes, Joe Sugg and others.
VIP tickets cost the extortionate amount of £99!!, with the selling point of being able to hang out with the stars (I would certainly not pay that).Instead children were left heartbroken after having to queue hours on end in the hope of meeting their idols.They were also turned down when asked for a selfie or a signing of the Youtuber’s own book. Being told that taking a selfie takes up too much time?!
“My 12-year-old daughter idolises these people and she came away feeling so let down by the whole event.”
Zoella who has over 11 million subscribers, was headlined to be the main influencer but her appearance on stage only lasted a couple of minutes due to her anxiety. She did however later apologise for not being comfortable on stage. Some may argue that she shouldn’t have put herself down for the event anyway, perhaps the money offered was just too good to turn down…
A case study explores Darren Day who spent short of a week’s wages to take his daughter and a friend there for her 13th birthday. he states
“There was absolutely nothing to do there, the advertised carnival rides weren’t there, some stages were completely empty of Youtuber’s and the giant arcade game that drew many fans to the event was broken”.
‘Helloworld’ was meant to be different in the past previous meet ups have been difficult to manage with youtubers needing tighter security.
“We wanted to avoid a standard meet-and-greet scenario where you guys queue for ages” said Youtuber Jim Chapman on Helloworld’s official website.
Chapman also published a video advertising the event to his subscriber.
“Along Main Street you might bump into a YouTuber or two,” he said at one point. Then, later in the video: “Maybe we’ll film something together, who knows?
Now this moves me onto Tanacon… Tana Monegeau has over 3.5 million followers, and organised her own alternative to Vidcon (another Youtube convention).With that ‘Tanacon’ was born… and very soon died.
The event was only 6 hours in when it was shut off by officials for overcrowding. Free tickets to the event went on sale in May. They sold out in two minutes. If you didn’t manage to get your hands on one — VIP tickets were alternatively available for $77. The price promised a concert, gift bags, private signings, and personal pictures. Once at Tanacon, VIPs discovered the bags contained just stickers and a condom. (How classy Tana not sure people wanted to pay $77 for that!).
Although I am a frequent user of Youtube as I have explored in my previous blog post. I have never bought any Youtuber’s merchandise mainly because I believe the money is simply not worth it. Most Youtuber’s take no consideration into who their audience are and what they would actually like as merchandise. Oli White was criticised for not putting any effort into his hoodies and T- shirts. The piece of clothing just had the name ‘Oli’ on it. There is no time gone into creating them. Alfie Deye’s book was also received negatively as you had to fill it out the journal yourself and was pretty much ‘pointless’. However this is not always the case Dodie’s merchandise was unique and creative, whereas Oli’s simple wasn’t.
Youtuber’s are upholding capitalistic ideologies encouraging their own fans to buy their products, to help put money in their own pockets.
The biggest scandal that came to the media’s attention in regards to merchandise was Zoella’s beauty advent calendar for 2017. The product was £50 and included items such as a pen, stickers and confetti. Zoella originally remained quiet about the complaints. However she later posted a video vaguely apologising and explaining the pricing was ‘simply out of her hands’ instead set by the retailer. Boots announced they would be slashing the price down to £25, this is still expensive in my opinion.
Has all the controversy around the product potentially put people off buying Youtuber’s merchandise full stop?. Lets hope she releases a calendar with better products this festive period or maybe just sticks to Youtube.