Breanna de Vera is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California, studying journalism and English literature. She previously reported for the campus publications The Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media.
One of the largest conferences for video and digital creators, VidCon will return as an in-person event at the Anaheim Convention Center this fall, after the pandemic forced cancellation last year.
It's one of the early signs that as vaccination distribution ramps up, conference and concert planners are starting to scrap their virtual plans in favor of big in-person events. VidCon's announcement comes as airline travel is picking up and theme parks open back up.
"We know from our fans from the industry and from creators that they really miss being able to get together face-to-face and celebrate the continuing development and future of the creator economy, so we've been really trying to figure out a safe, effective and fun way to do that," said Jim Louderback, VidCon's general manager. "We figured we could do it in October, and so for us it was a great time to be able to really bring our communities back."
The Anaheim Convention Center has been closed for the past year, but right now is "the brightest spot and the most optimistic we've been [about reopening]," said Mike Lyster, a city spokesperson. "It could be any time now, this week or next week, that guidelines from the state of California would indicate when we can reopen for events and how we can reopen capacity limitations and other safeguards, which we've been preparing for for about a year now."
The Convention Center has been tentatively booking events like VidCon over the past year, though it only recently reopened as a vaccine distribution center. Disneyland's announced reopening at the end of April, along with that of nearby Angel Stadium are big indications the Convention Center will open soon, said Lyster.
The last in-person VidCon drew 75,000 people in 2019. Tickets will go on sale this summer, with online attendance options available for the first time. Vidcon has not said they will limit capacity, instead they announced an ambitious line up of stars from EDM artist Spencer X to YouTuber Brent Rivera and other artists.
In lieu of its 2020 convention, VidCon launched VidCon Now, a year-round virtual experience. Since its creation in June of last year, it has attracted 1.2 million attendees all around the globe.
VidCon's organizers also know not everybody is ready to go back to standing around a convention hall with thousands of others. The event is also offering a "livestream ticket," which allows convention goers to attend events in real time from their homes. Louderback said the livestream is primarily for fans who cannot attend for time, distance, money or health reasons. They'll have access to some of the content for creators and industry professionals as well."We want to make sure that we bring the nighttime performances, we bring the stage shows. We bring the interviews, as well as some of the workshops and keynotes, to our fans wherever they are," said Louderback.
VidCon is also providing a subscription service to recorded events from the in person event in October. Louderback said that these events will be more centered around interviews, workshops and keynotes that creators might have not been able to attend or if creators later want to rewatch these sessions.
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