Two weekends ago, I attended the Youtube convention Playlist Live in Orlando where I live. As a first timer, I had NO idea what to expect and I don’t think there was anything that could have prepared me for the craziness that was the weekend. While it was chaotic, crowded, and sometimes a mess… it was still a BLAST. I got to meet lots of cool youtubers and I made lots of even cooler friends. I decided to give you all an overview of my weekend and some pointers in case you decide to attend next year! I’m going to break it down by the days, so here we go!
Prior to the event:
Since I live so close to the venue, I got the awesome opportunity to go visit the hotel a few days early (on wednesday) and help “volunteer.” When I say I volunteered, I mean I helped stuff good bags for a few hours and then peaced out because hanging out in the lobby waiting for Youtubers to arrive was much more fun. The days leading up to the event are actually some of the best times to meet your favorites because the hotel is less crowded and the youtubers have a lot more free time to just hang around. My friend Ricky and I ended up making some friends and hanging out in the hotel lobby till about 1 am waiting for Tyler Oakley to arrive. While I unfortunately didn’t get a picture with him, I did get to meet the beautiful Zoella, her brother Joe, and Alfie. There were lots of youtubers just hanging out talking with fans all afternoon! Most of the ones who were there at that time were the British ones. I definitely suggest getting to the hotel as early as possible because the atmosphere is so much more relaxed. Overall though, the best part was being able to make friends that I could hang out with all weekend.
Friday is the designated “business day” where people who are interested in actually running channels can pay for an extra day and get into the convention center a day early to listen in on panels about things like ad monetization, how to build an audience, collaborations and more. I bought the business day pass because while yes, i’m slightly interested in those things I was also told that it is the best day to meet and hang out with youtubers. While the hotel is more calm than saturday and sunday it is still quite crazy and only a few youtubers actually head into the convention center this day as the panels only consist of a handful of the major youtubers and people involved in the youtube business. I honestly suggest you only pay for the business day past if you are genuinely interested in creating and growing a youtube channel. If you’re there to just meet your favorites, I’d go to the hotel Friday and just hang out.
One awesome thing that did come out of business day for me what I made some connections with a company I know from school and they asked me to help the work the VIP Party…. let me tell you, these parties are WHERE ITS AT. They have parties every night and when I went friday night the place was live with awesome music, dancing, and every youtuber you could possibly imagine. Also, this happened there:
(Just as a side note, from what I saw this weekend, Troye Sivan is a STELLAR human being. He is so sweet, genuine and kind. He lights up a room with that smile! You can tell he’s still super humble and it was just great to see, as some youtubers weren’t as down to earth as him. But we will talk about that later!)
Saturday & Sunday:
These two days went by so incredibly fast they just kind of all blur together. I arrived at the Caribe Royale at 10am every morning and left around 2:30am every night and it was intense (I definitely recommend staying at the hotel if possible). There was an overall count of 8,000 people at Playlist and the hotel could barely hold everyone! The meet and greets filled up incredibly fast and were pretty useless to attend seeing as they took up hours of your time and you had the opportunity to meet a lot of youtubers outside of the back of the hotel. Because of the fact that many of the meet and greet lines got cut off a lot of youtubers made a point to come outside and meet fans, which was really nice.
I ended up hanging out the rest of the weekend with some really awesome people I met on Friday night before the party. It was awesome how easy it was to make friends and how easily we all clicked! We had some crazy adventures because we got bored of panels after awhile and decided to walk around the hotel. As it turned into night time the group decided that they really wanted to make it into the party that night so they set off for supplies to make fake VIP bracelets. It was hilarious, we sat in the room diligently working on duct tape bracelets trying to get them to look close enough the real thing. I have to admit to ya, I was a skeptic as I already knew the atmosphere of the party inside and how easy it could be to get caught. But after a few failed attempts about 5/13 of us managed to get in! (Sadly I was not included as my attempt failed miserably) However, the entire experience bonded us together as a group and thats when we decided to nickname our group the totally rad Dream Team Thirteen. I’m serious guys, Playlist is such a cool place to make friends if you are even just the slightest bit open to the idea!
Here’s a small portion of the crew:
I know this blog was a bit lengthy! But to conclude i’m going to give you a rundown of the best and worst parts of Playlist:
- How easy it is to make new friends and bond with complete strangers
- The mainstage shows and music performances. (thecomputernerd01 & SDK’s performance rocked my socks off)
- The overall hangout vibe and high energy that everyone had,
- The Youtubers (like Maz) who went out of there way to meet their fans
- It was moderately easy to see and get pictures with youtubers, however…
The not-so-great parts:
- While it was really easy to see your favorite youtubers, if you wanted to get a picture you had to fight through tons of fangirls. There was little time for conversation.
- Not every youtuber was there to meet their fans, and not all were the nicest when approached by people for pictures.
- The massive amount of FANGIRLS and crowds. (A surprising amount of girls were actually really cool though)
- The severe lack of healthy food options.
- The lack of intimacy (but I mean, how intimate can you get with 8,000+ people)
Overall, Playlist Live was an amazing weekend and i’d recommend anyone even remotely interested in Youtube attend. It was a one of a kind experience and something I will never forget. I’m STILL in a group chat with the friends I met there and we’re counting down the days till next year. I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I’ll leave you with a cheesy collage…..