With my feet and legs feeling the consistency of Jell-O, my throat damaged more than a cats scratching post, and enough hours of sleep to count one hand, only one thing could have happened this past weekend… VidCon!
For those that are out of the loop on the internets, VidCon is the weekend of chaos that takes place every summer in or around Los Angeles. There, thousands of YouTube creators, producers, writers, vloggers, stars and fans converge together to share, create, and hug attack one another. Sleep is few and far between, dance parties and ninja battles are everywhere, and most importantly internet friendships are brought to real life.
Honestly I was a bit hesitant going into this year, seeing how fast and large the con had grown over the past years. When I first went to it back in 2009 (its first year), there were barely a thousand of us all crammed into one hotel with only a few things to do. This year the con filled 3/4ths of the Anaheim Convention Center, had around 8,000 attendees, and over 200 guests spanning all levels of internet popularity. Nonetheless, with a few complains about some crazy fan girls and programming overlaps, I must applaud Hank and John Green for putting on the best VidCon to date.
My adventure started on Thursday morning with a whole day spent in the Denver airport waiting for my flight. Instead of taking the bus closer to my flight time, I grabbed a free ride (much) earlier in the morning and spend my day jumping between plugs, friends passing through, and airport bars killing time. Then after finally making my flight to Orange County, it was off to check into the awesome hotel suite we had booked. I can now officially say that I have stayed in a hotel with bunk beds. And with my bags thrown onto my bed of choice (bottom bunk!) it was off to the hotel lobby to hug attack as many people as possible that I had not seen in a year.
For me VidCon is half the events and happenings of the weekend, and half having a yearly excuse to see my internet friends in real life. This year was no exception as I spent until the early morning hours of the first night there party hoping and seeing friends both new and old.
To start off day one I made sure to get myself out of bed in time to make the main stage events that started bright and early at 9am (yes, for this crew, that is way too early). There was my chance to see some of my favorite YouTubers preform and talk about their craft on stage. Not too long after the morning events it was off to various panels to see the likes of Will Wheaton, Felicia Day, John and Hank Green, Ze Frank, and many many others.
I could go into details of every day and night during my weekend spent in Anaheim, with everything from which panels I attended to the pillow fights and ‘that’s what she said’ jokes of 4am, but it would sounds like most amazing record player, stuck on repeat.
A change for the year was that Sunday was spend heading to Disneyland instead of dispersing immediately back to all corners of the globe. This was by far one of the best additions to VidCon in it’s three year history, as I loved having a day to run around being a little kid with everyone I had spent hanging around with at the con (or screaming at them from various queues, confusing other visitors).
Then after some very sad, and a bit rush goodbye (I may, or may not had stayed later than I should), it was time to head to the airport. However for me, getting home is never just simply boarding a flight to the correct city. After staying that ‘one’ extra ride at Disneyland and nearly missing my shuttle to LAX, I got on a flight to… Salt Lake City to kidnap Erin, instead of, you know, just heading back to Denver like a normal person should.
After landing in SLC a bit late around 11:30pm, it was a quick nights rest followed by a delicious breakfast at one of my favorite places before hitting the road. From there, it was just the simple, fantasticly boring 530 mile, 7 and a half hour drive back to Boulder across most of the state of Wyoming. I have done that drive too many times in my life.
Back home now, the annual VidCon depression is setting in. Every year I meet so many amazing and awesome people, spend a non-stop weekend frolicking around with them, and then have to head home knowing I will not see many of them for another whole year. Can’t wait until then.