Fans who attended VidCon in Anaheim in June could’ve saved their money and spent it on airfare to Canada to attend YouTube FanFest, which is expected to draw 15,000 fans to the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto on Aug. 13.
The scope YouTube FanFest is smaller than that of VidCon, which has three days of panels for industryites, creators and fans alike, as well as performances, booths and meet and greets. But unlike VidCon, which can cost several hundred dollars to attend, YouTube FanFest is free.
Hosted by former MuchMusic personality and Hot for Food YouTube creator Lauren Toyota, the YouTube-sponsored event will be headlined by Toronto native (and current Los Angeles resident) Lilly Singh, who will perform her new single “Voices,” which has generated more than two-million views in less than a week. The concert will also feature appearances by Canadian stars LaurDIY, Mike Tompkins, Ruth B, Daniela Andrade, AsapSCIENCE and Humble the Poet,
along with Americans Bethany Mota, Megan Nicole, Tiffany Alvord and Sam Tsui.
In addition to the concert on Saturday, FanFest also features a creator camp and meet and greats, held today. Although it is free, people need tickets to attend, and the event is “sold-out.”
“Canada is a hotbed for creative talent on YouTube, and Canadian stars are some of the biggest YouTube stars on the planet,” said Fabricio Dolan, Canadian marketing director for YouTube, in a statement. “We know how dedicated and passionate Canadian YouTube fans are and the energy here in Toronto is electric.”
Last year, Toronto hosted the first YouTube FanFest in North America. Earlier this year, there were YouTube FanFests held in India and the Philippines, and another is scheduled for Korea on Sept. 2. According to YouTube, FanFests are also “coming soon” to Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.
There are other, independent, international YouTube conferences, including ITATube in Italy, Community Unite London, VidYou in Portugal, Tubecon in Finland and VideoDays in Germany.
VidCon is also getting in on the global action. Next year, in addition to its annual flagship event in Anaheim, it will also mount VidCon Europe at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre (April 8–9, 2017) and VidCon Australia at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Sept. 9–10, 2017).