Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Asia's First YouTube FanFest! (Day 1)


18 YouTube sensations, with over 3.8 billion views in total.  It’s no wonder Singapore fans got it bad for the YouTube stars. Who wouldn’t when you’ve got TEEHEE master Ryan Higa, Australian comic genius Mychonny, human beatboxer HIKAKIN and super multi-talented Chester See up on stage?

The YouTube FanFest Powered by HP concert held on 20 and 21 May was one of the fantastic events held during the annual Digital & Music Matters 2013, an annual affair featuring key global thought leaders in the digital and music industry.

The four-hour long concert at The Ritz Carlton Millenia, streamed live on YouTube, received an outstanding 5,000 views on the first day itself.  Singapore was undeniably filled with fans of all ages, eager to catch even the tiniest glimpse of their favourite YouTube stars before the curtains were raised.

Press Conference/ Meet & Greet
I was the only relatively calm one in the room when all eight YouTube stars scheduled to perform on the first day of the YouTube FanFest walked in on Day 1 of the YouTube FanFest Powered by HP (20 May, 2013). From their seats, everyone else took the opportunity to whip out their fancy cameras and phones to snap shots, reminding me of the paparazzi. As I  tried hard to calm my inner Seetizen (fans of Chester See, get it?) down, all eight of them got round to answering our burning questions, ranging from the routine ones, to questions like who manages them and whether fans’ requests influence the kind of videos they make.

While most of the questions were answered with a befitting ‘it depends’, the Q&A round quickly escalated into a debate about YouTube regulations between the stars. It was definitely an interesting scene to catch although we wished they could have answered more of our questions. Before we knew it, it was time for us to make our move and head on to the concert.

Just before the press conference ended, each of us reached out to grab a photo with our favourite stars and I, obviously and quite luckily, managed to grab a hug and photo with the good-looking Chester See. I’m quite surprised that I did not end up fainting right then and there!

The Concert (Day 1)

I am not kidding  when I say I sat in the front row, surrounded by a HUGE bunch of screaming female fans  carrying cardboards penning their love for the YouTube Stars. As the night progressed, their screams just got louder – and pretty deafening. . Hosted by Dominic Lau and Paula Malai Ali, the YouTube FanFest Powered by HP concert kicked off with performances by Singapore’s very own Stephanie Koh (aka Steph Micayle) who shot to fame with her acoustic rendition of Psy’s Gangnam Style, and a sit down chit-chat session with John Luc (aka Mychonny) hailing from Australia.

The night’s performances included Malaysia’s home-grown rapper Namewee, as well as David Choi and Chester See from the States singing their popular originals. The crowd was even pleasantly surprised by a girl who went up on stage to personally ask Japanese beat boxer HIKAKIN out on a date!

The Australian duo Marty and Moog of Might Car Mods spoke on behalf of all the YouTube stars and promised that they will all “definitely come back to Singapore again.”

Fans of the duo can expect to see them flying back to our sunny little island much sooner as they will be returning later this year.

The audience were also treated to an exclusive preview of a teaser trailer for a new online drama series called Side Effects (teaser here) starring and produced by Chester See set to be released on YouTube’s AwesomenessTV soon.

That’s a Wrap

I went home feeling beyond exhausted but it was incredibly worth it! YouTube FanFest certainly didn’t disappoint and I, for one, went home with a rekindled and much stronger love for all things YouTube. Maybe, I should create and upload a YouTube love song too, just like David Choi did? Then again, maybe not – my killer vocals would kill all of you, literally.

Curious about what happened during Day 2? Check out Ho Khin Wai’s post, coming soon.

Written by Nur Mirrah Amit, Year 3, Diploma in Mass Media Management

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Mirrah is a Year 3 Mass Media Management student who, as her mother had reiterated, “reads all the time!” She consumes as many as three books a day in her spare time, and enjoys classics and romance novels by authors such as Mari Mancusi, CS Lewis, and Sophie Kinsella. She aspires to write for political science magazines like Time and Newsweek in the future, and also has an interest in fashion writing.

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