Last weekend, Birmingham Genting Arena opened its doors to an all immersive live show event, like ‘nothing else on earth’. Hello World is an event organised by the YouTube community and promised fans an event where they could interact with their favourite YouTube stars within a Disney style village. Two days later, complaints were flooding in, with the Telegraph stating that fans were left heartbroken after their experience. So, what happened, and why do these people hold such fame and notoriety in our modern day?
Children are now growing up with ‘YouTuber’ on their future job list, placed next to fireman or doctor. The occupation, which gains its earnings through sponsorship and views, has seen hundreds to even thousands of young people make a living online, whether it’s in the form of a little extra cash each week, or thousands a month, twenty thousand a month, in the case of Zoe Sugg, one of the largest stars.
Hello World was dubbed as a similar event to that of other YouTube meet and greets, ranging from Vidcon to ‘Summer in the City’, yet, as stated by the stars, was different in the form of they would be walking around the village and would be available for fans to meet, chat to and have pictures with.
VIP tickets came in at £99, whilst standard were around £30, this would get you into the event where you would hopefully wonder to meet your idols. There was also a stage at the end of the arena, where events would be going on.
However, when parents and children reached the event, they found that there was very little to do. Parents have described the event as a shambles, whilst others said they felt disgusted by the YouTube stars, who were clearly exploiting young people for money.
The stalls were simply filled with over priced merchandise, the queues were too long and the stage times were severely mixed up, meaning that shows were late or too early, by the time the guests got to the stage, the stars were leaving.
The VIP area was also strictly off limits and was simply filled with the YouTube stars, which were seen to lounge around back stage with little regard to the viewers.
Staff did not even know about competition winners, who were promised meet and greets, simply brushing them aside and telling them to join the queue with the others.
The stage events were even a severe disappointment, with hit star Zoe Sugg, who has over 11 million subscribers, appearing on the stage for simply a few minutes, stating that her anxiety caused her to leave early.
The event has been dubbed as a money grabbing event of exploitation, with YouTube stars clearly using the naïve attitudes of young people to reap in the rewards.
The organiser, Jason Perry, has now made his twitter account private- clearly unconcerned now he has got everyone’s money.
In many ways, Hello World is simply another example of the commercialisation of the YouTube world. They release books, beauty products, stationary, key charms, t shirts, hoodies and even door mats, whatever they can put their name on- they sell it.
Amidst the claims that the You Tubers are not receiving that much money for the event, is also the information that they had hidden shares in the company, meaning that they are of course lining their pockets nicely from the disappointment of fans averaging at an age of around 13.
Tweets certainly acted as an eye opener, with one mother commenting that the stars were telling her daughter to go away as she asked for a picture, whilst there are countless snap chats and videos online documenting the stars sitting backstage and refusing to come out.
Probably the most frustrating issue in all this is the manner in which the stars have continued on with their lives, simply refusing to comment on the shambles of the event.
No apologies have been made, no statements issued, Alfie Deyes, known as ‘pointlessblog’ on YouTube simply uploaded a new vlog on how he has bought a new plot of land, probably from that tidy slice of Hello World share.
Hello World was exploitation at its finest, clearly representing that it is clearly all about the money for the YouTube community.