Hello World Live - My Thoughts

I had a post like this planned for back in August after my friend Vikky and I attended Summer In The City for the very first time this year, but I refrained from posting about our experience in the fear that it might ruffle some feathers and honestly, I didn't want any drama. Since the reviews have come spilling out around Hello World however, I feel I can no longer contain my opinion on the matter so let's start off by revisiting August and why SITC was such a disappointment.

The tickets were fairly reasonable, a little expensive for the amount of time we ended up staying at SITC but compared to the whopping £99 for entry into Hello World, £20 something isn't too bad. From the hype that was surrounding SITC, we were expecting a much bigger event in terms of space taken up and things to do when in actual fact, it was a few of the halls in the ExCeL Centre in London that were used. We also expected there would be more interactive bits and pieces floating around, but upon entering the halls if you weren't bothered about walking around loads of merch or going on one of literally two or three rides that were there, you were buggered. There were of course stages set around the halls where YouTubers were playing games or doing Q&A's so we sat and watched JustJodes for half an hour and can honestly say she seemed like a very humble and genuinely friendly girl. She was funny, cute, interactive with the audience and at the end of her talk, freebies were given out to the very end of our row. Seeing people jump up and launch themselves forward for a free £1 Primark lipstick was both hilarious and shocking...the desperation of some people is just insane. I am no longer subscribed to Jodes simply because I felt a bit bored of makeup videos but that doesn't stop her from being a quality creator who is enjoyed by thousands and I happily sat and watched her half an hour Q&A at SITC.

I wasn't expecting to meet anyone at SITC but regardless, Vik and I applied for the meet and greets to see who we may be lucky enough to get. I remember applying for Hannah Witton, Mark Ferris and a couple of others and out of all of them, we only got Mark. In the end, we decided to not even bother meeting Mark because 1) the queues to the meet and greets were insane and 2) we actually saw Mark trying to walk around the hall without being swamped by fans; it's a good job he's so tall because anyone else would have been trampled to death. We decided we didn't want to add to that chaotic madness and refrained from meeting him; perhaps it was my anxiety talking but I didn't want to contribute to making a person feeling trapped like Mark looked surrounded by screaming fans in his face. To add to our disappointment, we saw other people walking around with 4-5 wristbands on for their meet and greets meaning they had pretty much gotten everyone they applied for. We applied very early on, literally as early as we could and we did it together, linking our accounts in order to get the same people and that was no good. There were opportunities to meet YouTubers at their merch stands and as I'm being tighter with money this year, I resisted buying anything but with Vik being a big fan of Evan Edinger, we waited until his queue was closing so she could quickly hand him a little something she wanted to give to him after being a fan for so long. This chump of a man ignored my friend and ran away from us and the two other fans that were stood hoping for a brief hello and I can't even tell you how disgusting this was, to see my friend so disappointed and also this human being who thought he was something else. Oh hell no. Granted he may have had somewhere to be (the gaming stage as a matter of fact) but I feel if he really cared about his fans, he'd have stayed for 1-2 minutes and not feel the need to rush off to the gaming stage 15 minutes early. 'Cause guess what, we went over to the gaming stage straight away and he was laying down on a sofa in front of the audience for the whole 15 minutes he was early for his slot.

We walked around the rest of the merch stands and I was astounded at the prices, it really was daylight robbery and even more sickening that most of the people there were kids. Then we walked into the meet and greet hall where there were barriers up and if you didn't have a wrist band you couldn't get through which was fair enough but we saw from a far some people meetings their idols and what a rushed procedure it looked like. It looked like a bloody cattle market - walk in, quick shot then you're ushered away. After about an hour of doing laps of the main hall, determined to find something entertaining to do, we called it a day and headed into our gorgeous Capital to wonder around and sight see instead. One of the biggest things that upset me that day were there was no bag checks whatsoever and with a building so big holding so many people and this should have been mandatory. Safety above all else. To add to my anxiety, there was actually a thunder storm on the day we went which rumbled the entire building and isn't the kind of sounds you want to be hearing when you know security checks haven't been carried out.

From what I've heard, security was no better at Hello World. Vikky and I had discussed whether or not we thought Hello World would be nicer than SITC and with bigger names attending it kind of leads you to believe that this event would be the dog's bollocks of the YouTube world. But after SITC, I went home and unsubscribed from so many people I had been watching for months, some even years because I felt my eyes had been opened to what is now a money grabbing exploitation. I'm ashamed to say I watched Zoe Sugg on YouTube for around 5 years and stopped watching her just over a year ago when I felt things were getting a bit too big headed. As for Alfie, I can't stand the chap. He behaves like a spoilt brat and as much as I think anyone would love to be in a position to have their own office within their humongous estate and gift their girlfriend the car of their dreams, to post so much so publicly online for young easily influenced fans to sit and be in awe of is despicable. There is just no need in my opinion to be so 'in your face' with what they have achieved. I am in no way disputing that they have worked very hard to get to where they are, but surely there must come a point where you realise where the line should be drawn regarding how much is shared online, especially to impressionable younger audiences.

As for merchandise, I'm even more ashamed to say I still have a few Zoella Beauty body butters in my bathroom that I'm struggling to use up and after seeing the extortionate prices of the ranges, especially the hugely debated Christmas 2017 Advent Calendar for £50 containing nothing but tack, I feel like some bigger YouTubers have seriously gone too far and I won't be buying merch ever again. A lot of the fans as I mentioned are children, it's no secret. And these young fans have parents who a lot of time can't afford to pay these silly prices and let's be honest, do people as successful as Zoe Sugg seriously need to be asking for that amount of money from products? I'm not gonna lie, her range is beautifully designed and very well marketed. The beauty products are cruelty free and they really do attract your attention when you're walking through Boots or Superdrug doing a bit of Christmas shopping. But the prices? No, just can't.

I won't even assume that once people get to a certain status in the YouTube world they turn into assholes because that is seriously not the case. I have been watching Bunny Meyer aka Grav3yardgirl on YouTube now for what feels like at least 6 years and she is now one of the highest paid yet remains one of the most humble and down to earth people I've ever had the pleasure of watching online. Then again, Bunny isn't a part of the clique over here in the UK and I don't need to name names in order for you to know exactly who I'm talking about.

Apparently Dodie Clark pretty much tripled the time slot she was given to meet and greet fans at SITC because she couldn't bare to disappoint fans by turning them away so she stayed to say hello to each and every one. Unfortunately though her merchandise was some of the most expensive at SITC. I just don't understand. In fact, I have an idea of what goes on. Managers perhaps? Do managers create these prices? Most likely. How can a person who seems as lovely as Dodie, both meeting and greetings her fans before performing for them as well in one day, be okay with charging quite a bit of money just for a hoodie. And books? BOOKS?! What's with all the bloody books?!

As for manners and respect when meeting your favourite creators, I feel as though we all need to go back to school and learn a bit of etiquette because chasing someone through a hall and grabbing at their clothes is not the way to say hello or ask for a photo. I actually met Rebecca Brown at SITC and approached her with caution, not really knowing how to behave around my first meeting of a creator I've been watching for a couple of years. But I stood back and let her finish what she was doing (fixing up her more modest, arty merch stand I might add) then I stepped forward and asked if I could quickly say hello. She was so friendly and polite, we had a little hug and a chat about how she was finding the show and how much I liked her perfume she was wearing and that was that. A very nice experience, but there is NO WAY I would ever throw myself at a person the way some people do.

Going back to security, I've noticed that there were plenty of people guarding the creators at Hello World (from photos) and also the only bag checks that were going on at SITC were if you had a meet and greet wristband and were passing through the barriers. Does this mean to say that the creators themselves are the ones needing security and not the general public as well? In this day and age, there is no excuse. Security MUST be everywhere.

It certainly is a bit of a mess right now and that is the only word I can seem to think of that slaps the nail right on the head. Just a huge mess. There are some awesome YouTuber's still out there whose fame hasn't gone to their heads and I still enjoy watching some of the bigger names, but boy has this experience really opened my eyes.

What do you think about Hello World and Summer In The City? Let me know if you've been before and if not, do still let me know what your thoughts are.

Thanks for reading,

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