Last night, YouTube hosted its annual VidCon party, in one of the Anaheim Convention Center’s large halls, and YouTube executives, top influencers, and industry professionals mingled about the cavernous space sipping beer and eating vegetable skewers and salad in cups as a DJ on a large circular platform in the center blasted pop hits. The party felt like a generic, corporate-sponsored event. Probably because the real party was 1.9 miles down the road, at a private event hosted by TikTok.
Unlike YouTube’s event, TikTok’s party, at Bowlmor Lanes in Anaheim, was for creators only. Marketers and fans were not invited, but everyone still wanted in. Nearly an hour before the event was set to start, people began congregating outside. By 8:15 p.m., 15 minutes after the party started, it was so packed that hundreds of TikTok creators were left standing outside. Sam Ko, who has more than 300,000 followers on the shortform video platform, initially lined up for the party at 7:45. By 10 p.m., she was still stuck waiting to enter. “I’m annoyed. We drove all the way here from Santa Monica,” she said. “I see other huge creators here too and they’re still waiting in line.” Micky Nolan, an 18-year-old with 220,000 followers on the app, said that he couldn’t believe the mob scene. By 9:45 p.m. security guards shouted at people to step back or they’d shut the whole party down.
Despite the mayhem, the event inside was worth the wait, according to attendees. Creators did backflips on the dance floor while the hip-hop singer Ty Dolla $ign performed live. Attendees noshed on finger food like mozzarella sticks and mini burgers, then greasily attempted to win prizes at the free arcade. Groups crowded into an “Old Town Road”-themed photo area complete with cowboy hats and props. Above them, giant screens displayed trending TikToks on loop. Between the bowling lanes, thousands of gummy bears had been erected in patterns, a reference to the #HariboChallenge, a meme that went viral on TikTok last winter.
Vincent Marcus, who has 1 million followers on TikTok, and his girlfriend said the party was the highlight of their VidCon so far. “Every famous TikToker and lots of famous YouTubers were all there having a great time,” said Colin Marais, a 17-year-old whose cat has 1.3 million followers on TikTok. “There were all these lights, people jumping in the air. You …read more
Source:: The Atlantic – Best of