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In the video, Green explained he and his brother John Green, the other half of the Vlogbrother’s channel, had been discussing creating a conference to bring together YouTube content creators and their fans. He announced the conference, called VidCon, would be taking place in Los Angeles, California from July 9th to July 11th, 2011. Additionally, Green described the type of programming attendees would enjoy and named several popular YouTubers that would be appearing at the conference, including Charlie McDonald and Wheezy Waiter. As of June 2014, the video has gained over 100,000 views.
VidCon features two “tracks” or programming schedules, a community track for fans of YouTube content who want to meet and see their favorite YouTubers perform as well as amatour YouTube content creators, and an industry track for professional YouTube content creators who want to improve their content creating and marketing skills. Panels range from topics on specific types of YouTube content such as “Writing Comedy for YouTube” to types of YouTube creators such as “YoungTubers.” The conference also hosts a series of open mics to showcase YouTube musicians, signings and Q & As with popular YouTube creators, and a variety show style series of performances by popular YouTubers on the conference’s main stage.
On July 2nd, 2010, Green posted a video to the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel titled “VidCon By the Numbers” which explained the conference, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, was sold out but three live streams would be capturing the conference. He also gave some notable VidCon statics, such as the number of performers and speakers attending the conference (93) and number of tickets purchased (1,227).
The 2nd annual VidCon was also held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza from July 29th to July 30th, 2011, while the third annual VidCon was held at the Anaheim Convention Center from June 28th to June 30th, 2012. The fourth and fifth annual VidCons were also held at the Anaheim Convention Center, from August 1st to August 3rd, 2013, and from June 26th to June 28th, 2014, respectively. By the fourth annual convention attendance had grown to over 12,000 people, and over 18,000 attendees are expected at the fifth annual convention. As of June 2014, the conference’s Facebook page has gained over 44,000 likes.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
In March 2014, allegations of sexual misconduct against popular YouTube musicians emerged online. Most of these musicians were somehow connected to DFTBA records, a label owned by Hank Green, who responded to the allegations in a Tumblr post titled “WTF Is Going On?” published on March 14th, 2014.
Some of the YouTubers accused of misconduct had met their victims at VidCon, leading a call for more protection for minors at the convention. On March 23rd, 2014, teenage YouTuber TheGeekyBlonde, who had attended all four VidCons, uploaded a video titled “Youtube Abuse Recovery.” In the video she calls for the abusers to be banned from VidCon and an expansion of the previously downsized women on YouTube panel at VidCon. Within three months the video gained over 100,000 views.
On May 8th, book blogger Kayleigh Anne published a post on her blog titled “Admitted Sexual Abuser Will Be a Paid Guest at VidCon! DFTB-WTF?” which explained Luke Conard, a YouTuber accused of sexual abuse, would be attending VidCon as a special guest. On May 22nd, YouCoalition, a group dedicated to fighting sexual abuse in the YouTube community posted a statement on their Tumblr explaining:
“We’ve received a number of questions about whether Luke Conard will be attending Vidcon. He is no longer listed as a guest of Vidcon on the official website. EDIT: This means that Luke will not be supported by Vidcon in any way, including being given a guest pass to the conference or spots in signings and panels. No information on the happenings surrounding Luke’s removal from the guest list have been shared publicly. It is uncertain whether or not Luke will be attending the conference as a regular attendee.
Vidcon’s official Code of Conduct explains their stance on harassment at the conference, saying:
“Disorderly conduct includes (but isn’t limited to) any behavior that is illegal, unsafe, disruptive, discriminatory or causes excessive discomfort to our attendees or guests. VidCon reserves the right to permanently ban attendees and guests who do not comply with the code of conduct from future events owned by VidCon LLC.”
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