Over the past weekend I attended ‘Summer in the City’ (SitC) at the ExCel Centre in London, and had a pretty darn fabulous time. This year the event turned eight years old, and continues to grow in popularity amongst YouTube creators and viewers each year.
As this was my first year attending, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I have been watching YouTube religiously since I was around 14 years old so I knew what the craic was, though understandably had no clue what format the event would take and just how many people would be attending. When I first arrived at the ExCel I was astounded at the multitude of young tweens, teens and adults, all anticipating a fabulous weekend; if they’re thinking in any way like me, they will most certainly not have been disappointed.
The security provided at the event was astounding, both at the entrance to the event as well as inside the arena halls. SitC successfully managed to create a safe haven for YouTube creators and viewers alike, as well as a fair few number of parents and guardians who more often than not were seen enjoying a coffee by the main stage.
Through the ballot system, I was most fortunate enough to meet two of my favourite YouTubers, Rose and Rosie. After waiting around two hours to meet them, both women still had so much enthusiasm and energy as if I was the first member of their ‘internet family’ that they had met. I have so much respect for them – their kindness and general awesomeness was just amazing and I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to thank them for just how much they have helped me.
I was also lucky enough to meet Laci Green, Hannah Witton, Hazel Hayes, Sav Brown, Bertie Gilbert, Alex Bertie and Jake Edwards across the weekend, whom were all extremely welcoming and loving (I have so much respect and love for all the people I met this weekend lol words can’t exactly describe).
Though the conference isn’t solely meet and greets; merchandise tables dominated the expo hall, followed by three panel rooms which seated well over 100. Across the weekend, creators had the opportunity to discuss certain topics with their fellows. I attended three panels across the weekend, and was particularly in awe of Riyadh Khalaf and Melanie Murphy – having heard of them before I generally knew the content on their channels but hadn’t watched many of their videos. After watching them speak on the ‘Importance of Coming Out online’ panel, I decided to check out their channels and watch their videos – SitC allowed me to find new faves and I appreciate that so much (Riyadh and Melanie you are both mega awesome).
All in all, SitC 2016 was such a fantastic experience (currently facing all the blues). Bring on next year!