The highly anticipated HelloWorld event took place at the Birmingham Genting Arena on 28 and 29 October, but received mixed reviews from the community afterwards.
Leading up to the event, it was described on its official website as an “epic four-hour, immersive live show like nothing on Earth – bringing the world’s biggest YouTube talent and YOU together under one roof for an unforgettable, shared experience”.
However, during and immediately afterwards, the event came under criticism. Some concerns included poor organisation, rude security, and overpriced tickets, as well as a lack of disabled access. Attendees also mentioned that HelloWorld promised features such as carnival rides and a “house party” at the end, but that these did not materialise at the event.
— Amyyy♡ (@amycrane_x) October 28, 2017
This is the worst money I have ever spent. I’m being denied the ability to make a complaint to management. This is not ok. #HelloWorldLive
— amy (@amzdancexx) October 28, 2017
#HelloWorldLive really badly organised, no meets unless you’ve won a competition, can’t see and no disabled priority. What a rip off!
— Jo Harris (@tillababe69) October 28, 2017
However, some attendees and featured creators took to Twitter to defend the event:
Why is everyone complaining about hello world…you were all told many times what it would be like and that it wasn’t a m&g🙄 #HelloWorldLive
— chelss🎄 (@SmithftMinter) October 28, 2017
I’ve seen a few people saying they didn’t get to meet a certain YouTuber..but it’s never been a meet & greet event :) it’s an immersive show
— Alfie Deyes (@PointlessBlog) October 28, 2017
— Taylor Paige Cook♡ (@TaylorPaigeCook) October 29, 2017
Jana Damanhouri, one of the featured creators at the event, tweeted an open letter to HelloWorld afterwards. It details how she was used in promotional images but when it came to the event, the talk that she participated in was difficult for attendees to find and scheduled at the same time as the main live show:
— Jana vlogs (@Janavlogs) October 29, 2017
Prior to the event, Grace Victory also expressed concerns about the lack of diversity in the event lineup:
— Gracie 🌼 #woke&well (@GraceFVictory) October 28, 2017
Speaking to TenEighty specifically about Jana’s open letter, a spokesperson for HelloWorld said:
“We were surprised and concerned by Jana’s post on Twitter. We were in touch with her and her representatives throughout the weekend and no issues or concerns were raised at any point. Jana was briefed on the day and had staff accompany her throughout the event. We have since been in contact with Jana to reassure her that she was treated just as other talent were. We had 58 creators and a large number of event staff attending who were split across three hotels and multiple backstage rooms. Like all talent Jana had access to a dressing room and a green room. Jana was an integral part of our event and we remain delighted that she attended.”
On the topic of attendee criticism, they added:
“We at HelloWorld want to let you know that we are really disappointed and very sorry to hear that some fans feel they did not get the experience they were hoping for. It is the fans that help make these shows so great and we always want to ensure that everyone has an amazing time. We really appreciate everyone’s feedback and we are taking everything on board.
“The HelloWorld event is designed as a new way for fans to see their favourite content creators on stage and a change from the old ‘meet-and-greet’-style events. The atmosphere at the event was very positive overall and we had venue and event staff on hand to deal in real time with any teething issues on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who has been in touch with our official email address is being responded to on an individual basis and we appreciate fans’ patience during this process.”