HelloWorld took place at the Genting Arena in Birmingham on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October 2017, and featured big names such as Tyler Oakley and Zoe Sugg.
TenEighty was invited to attend the event, and members of our team were able to walk around all day and watch the stage show in the evening. From the beginning, we didn’t know what to expect, as the event’s Creative Director, Paul Caslin, stated he wanted to “create the world’s first fully immersive live show featuring the biggest online and social media talent from across the globe”. As soon as we walked into the arena it was clear this event would be different to any other YouTube conventions.
The event’s lineup read like YouTube’s “most subscribed” list and included Zoe Sugg, Alfie Deyes, Joe Sugg, Caspar Lee, Rose and Rosie, Jim Chapman, Louise Pentland, KSI, and Marcus Butler. HelloWorld aimed to avoid the usual queueing to meet YouTubers, and instead creators wandered around to give fans a chance to take a picture with them.
As we made our way through the crowds we could see all the different smaller stages and activities available. At the Body Shop makeup area many people got makeovers, but our favourite was definitely this dad’s glitter beard. His daughter was definitely loving it! The Body Shop makeup artists gave out expert tips as well as face-paint makeovers and, best of all, it was all cruelty-free.
Another one for the beauty lovers was Em Ford‘s live makeup demonstration. She talked through her routine and showed us her top tips for applying products. Also, throughout the day, Lewys Ball did makeup tutorials and took selfies with his fans.
For lovers of video games, there was the Gaming Stage, where YouTubers battled it out in streetfighter games. The controllers were as tall as some of the YouTubers, though KSI had no problem getting to grips with them. We could have totally taken them on…
One our favourite things was the interview between Tyler Oakley and Tom Daley. These two have so much chemistry that we wish we could have been on that sofa too. Tyler tried to get Tom to do an American accent and then Tyler tried his hand at a British one – and they weren’t that good, sorry boys! They took questions from the audience and answered in their usual witty way.
At the Baking Stage, attendees could decorate cookies, and several YouTubers stopped by to show their wonderful creations. Yum!
Soon it was time for the main stage show. Despite our tired legs we all huddled around the emoji house and got ready. The show started with Marcus Butler’s Wheel of Vom which was too disgusting for words! However, it was all worth it to discover that Tyler Oakley likes haggis… even after hearing what it was made of. Oli White headed up his Very Slimey Show where YouTubers were divided into two teams and asked quick-fire questions. The blue team lost and therefore Tom Daley had to take the forefeit of being covered in green goo! (This meant he had to get down to his swimming trunks, and no-one was complaining…)
Joe Sugg then took to the stage to pull a prank on Josh Pieters where he put mouse traps outside his dressing room – we couldn’t stop laughing! He then introduced Louise Pentland who did a stand-up routine. Louise talked about her pregnancy and told us a story about her neighbour… let’s hope she wasn’t listening. With so many stars coming on and off it was hard to keep track! Louise and Marcus also surprised everyone with a hilarious rendition of Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).
When the lighting changed and the speakers got louder, we knew what was coming: KSI’s performance. Afterwards, The Vamps ended the show with a performance joined by all the YouTubers running on stage.
Despite the range of activities, the community (and some participating YouTubers) gave HelloWorld mixed reviews. While many fans had a great experience, some felt that the event was poorly organised. There were concerns from some attendees that there was a lack of disabled access and that the the quality of the experience they had did not reflect the prices of tickets.
Throughout the event we also got the chance to catch up with some of our faves, and ask what they thought of HelloWorld.
Jack Maynard said that he was most excited to “get out on the stage, have fun with all my friends, play some good challenges, have some fun activities going on, and of course wow the audience”.
“I love the fact that it’s new and it’s more like a concert feel – it’s not a convention, it’s more like a concert,” added Jake Mitchell, “and the fact that there’s something on stage the whole time.”
Speaking about the fan experience of HelloWorld, Niki Albon pointed out that “this is about giving back to the audience that helped us be here in the first place”.
Sammy Albon added, “I think that’s what’s important. Because [HelloWorld] is so immersive, it’s extra for the audience. And obviously no YouTuber would be where they are without the people watching at home. So if we can get them involved in some way… and tonight at the Main Stage you’ll find us in the audience as well!”