YouTube Academy: Diving into this year’s VidCon

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Welcome back, loyal readers, to the final installment of YouTube Academy. This week we’re diving into this year’s United States VidCon. My family and I experienced it all first hand, and I’m here to tell you everything that happened in Anaheim this year.

The 8th annual VidCon took place in late June at the Anaheim Convention Center for three days as it has for the past several years. Food trucks lined the walkway outside of the convention center, lanterns hung from the trees over the pavement and a Ferris wheel stood at the end of the long sidewalk. Before the convention center stood a giant fountain, which could easily be mistaken for a large kiddy-pool. YouTube posters and ads littered the front of the massive building, and crowds littered the concrete in every direction.

Inside the center was a huge exposition hall, full of merch booths, activities, and even an arcade. Deep within the expo hall, you’d find four different stages for panels and interviews, and to the right of the hall, you’d find more. Just outside the expo and down some stairs was the Meet and Greet hall, where fans could stand in lines to meet their favorite creators. The Arena – connected to the expo hall by a small walk way – held thousands of fans to watch interviews and variety shows. The arena also held the Twix Prom on the last night of VidCon. Needless to say, VidCon’s staff went all-out this year.

Nothing could have been accomplished without the convention center’s loyal staff. Security worked especially hard this year – as it was the biggest VidCon yet, with over 27,000 guests – and I know we are all very grateful for their tireless efforts to make the weekend fun and, more importantly, safe. Although, one particular guest wasn’t so pleased with their work.

Christian Burns, an aspiring Instagram model, was video taped cursing and insulting two security guards just outside the doors of the convention center. He defended his actions saying he saw security beat down another guest. However, that simply wasn’t the whole story.

Security was detaining a threat to the guests when the man flipped over a security guard in an attempt to escape. They then grabbed hold of and held down the man until more security guards could come and help the situation. Burns’ actions were not justified in any way and were further scrutinized when a different video showed him insulting and threatening another security guard. In this instance, Burns was getting pulled out of the convention for having an invalid pass.

Another creator who could potentially get pulled from the convention is Logan Paul. As a huge name on the platform, it is surprising to most that he could be banned from VidCon. However, the full story makes it much more believable. Outside the center, near the Ferris wheel and food trucks, a huge crowd began to gather around a car passing through the area. Word spread quickly, passing by the ears of myself and my friend Lily, that Logan Paul and his brother Jake were in the car.

The crowd followed the car and soon enough the excitement settled down. A few minutes past and the noise grew in volume again. People ran from every direction, screams were heard everywhere, and everyone was saying the same thing, “There’s Logan Paul!” As if the crowd knew I was looking, the people parted and out ran none other than Logan himself, with a vlogging camera in hand and thousands screaming his name.

He scrambled through the crowd and climbed to the top of the aforementioned fountain, where hundreds easily followed and crowded him. Security then tried to detain him and keep him from the crowd, as this stunt already began to create a dangerous environment. He tried running away, falling to the ground with a few security guards before kicking one away from him and taking off in a sprint.

In the defense of Logan, he was not a “Featured Creator”, and therefore didn’t get a packet with the security guidelines and procedures. For those of you who don’t know, VidCon has different badges up for purchase. The Community badge is meant for fans and community members who don’t necessarily create their own videos. The Creator badge is meant for people who want to attend workshops and eventually have their own fans on the platform. The Industry badge is for, well, industry people. What many people don’t know is that there is a difference between having a Creator badge and having a Featured Creator badge.

Featured Creators are invited to VidCon and given special packets full of security rules, guidelines, and safety procedures. On the other hand, regular Creator badges can go to anyone. Anyone is able to purchase a creator badge if they deem it necessary. Whether Logan is banned from VidCon or not, this story has certainly opened a conversation about the actions of public figures and what they should or shouldn’t do.

Although some controversies clouded this year’s convention, it was still a huge success. The spirits were high at VidCon this year, and I am so very happy I was able to attend once again. If VidCon seems to pique your interests, you can learn more and purchase tickets for next year’s event at VidCon.com

I hope you all have a safe and fun summer, dear readers. From prints on paper to musings in your mind, my name’s Hannah. Thanks for reading.

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Hannah Monson