Here’s What Happened When We Went To A YouTube Convention With Thousands Of Die-Hard Teen Fans

Playlist live
Stacey and Christina, two 13-year-old girls at Playlist. Madeline Stone / Business Insider

YouTube creators have become celebrities in their own right, accumulating millions of views and hordes of fans who follow them wherever they go.

According to a recent survey by Variety, teens worship YouTube stars even more than they love mainstream celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence or Selena Gomez.

We got a glimpse into the world of YouTube fandom when we attended Playlist Live, a three-day convention-style event for online video creators and fans.

The event was insane, with thousands of teens waiting in crowded lines to get autographs and selfies with their favourite YouTube stars.

Plenty of high-pitched screaming was involved.

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title=”We arrived to the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J. in the early afternoon on Saturday. The line to get in stretched down the block.”
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permalink=”playlist-started-in-orlando-in-2011-as-a-three-day-gathering-for-fans-and-creators-of-online-video-this-was-the-first-playlist-event-to-be-held-in-the-tri-state-area-so-we-werent-sure-what-to-expect-2″
title=”Playlist started in Orlando in 2011 as a three-day gathering for fans and creators of online video. This was the first Playlist event to be held in the Tri-State Area, so we weren’t sure what to expect.”
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[slide
permalink=”thousands-of-teens-had-shown-up-to-meet-their-favorite-youtube-stars-the-vast-majority-were-girls-who-had-come-with-friends-or-their-moms-3″
title=”Thousands of teens had shown up to meet their favourite YouTube stars. The vast majority were girls who had come with friends or their mums.”
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[slide
permalink=”soon-after-entering-the-building-we-talked-to-gia-a-12-year-old-who-was-getting-ready-to-meet-missglamorazzi-one-of-her-favorite-youtubers-if-you-post-this-on-instagram-can-you-tag-me-gia-asked-us-that-would-be-so-cool-4″
title=”Soon after entering the building, we talked to Gia, a 12-year-old who was getting ready to meet Missglamorazzi, one of her favourite YouTubers. ‘If you post this on Instagram, can you tag me?’ Gia asked us. ‘That would be so cool.'”
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[slide
permalink=”a-major-draw-of-events-like-playlist-is-the-chance-to-hang-out-and-get-pictures-with-youtube-stars-like-these-guys-its-that-accessibility-that-sets-youtubers-apart-from-mainstream-celebrities-theyre-so-relatable-theyre-just-the-nicest-people-ever-i-love-them-gia-told-us-5″
title=”A major draw of events like Playlist is the chance to hang out and get pictures with YouTube stars like these guys. It’s that accessibility that sets YouTubers apart from mainstream celebrities. ‘They’re so relatable. They’re just the nicest people ever. I love them,’ Gia told us.”
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[slide
permalink=”stacey-and-christina-were-waiting-in-line-to-meet-luke-korns-and-mikey-murphy-this-was-their-first-time-at-a-youtube-event-like-playlist-and-they-traveled-over-an-hour-to-get-there-6″
title=”Stacey and Christina were waiting in line to meet Luke Korns and Mikey Murphy. This was their first time at a YouTube event like Playlist, and they traveled over an hour to get there.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/54738630eab8ea566ff32209″
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[slide
permalink=”mikey-murphy-came-around-to-give-everyone-a-hug-when-his-meet-and-greet-was-over-7″
title=”Mikey Murphy came around to give everyone a hug when his meet and greet was over.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5473855eeab8ea436ff32200″
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]
[slide
permalink=”everyone-was-extremely-excited-to-meet-him-8″
title=”Everyone was extremely excited to meet him.”
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[slide
permalink=”after-hugging-mikey-one-girl-told-us-im-never-showering-again-9″
title=”After hugging Mikey, one girl told us, ‘I’m never showering again!'”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/547386e069bedd476336685e”
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[slide
permalink=”while-some-fans-waited-in-line-to-get-autographs-and-take-pictures-others-gathered-around-the-main-stage-to-listen-to-panels-led-by-youtube-experts-10″
title=”While some fans waited in line to get autographs and take pictures, others gathered around the main stage to listen to panels led by YouTube experts.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”lots-of-teens-had-the-same-drawstring-backpack-bearing-the-playlist-logo-11″
title=”Lots of teens had the same drawstring backpack bearing the Playlist logo.”
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[slide
permalink=”one-creator-remarked-wow-look-at-this-crowd-after-taking-a-snapchat-video-of-the-screaming-fans-12″
title=”One creator remarked, ‘Wow, look at this crowd,’ after taking a Snapchat video of the screaming fans.”
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[slide
permalink=”there-were-also-some-booths-set-up-by-youtubers-or-other-online-video-companies-a-station-from-youtube-creator-strawburry17-had-big-bowls-of-sweets-and-teens-playing-candyland-13″
title=”There were also some booths set up by YouTubers or other online-video companies. A station from YouTube creator Strawburry17 had big bowls of sweets and teens playing Candyland.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/54738550ecad0485739f17b2″
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[slide
permalink=”fans-and-parents-who-needed-a-break-could-hang-out-in-this-lounge-area-though-there-was-obviously-limited-seating-we-talked-to-a-tired-looking-mom-named-kristen-whose-daughter-sarah-was-waiting-in-line-to-meet-youtube-star-tyler-oakley-its-so-strange-to-see-people-who-just-post-videos-become-celebrities-she-told-us-its-insane-14″
title=”Fans and parents who needed a break could hang out in this lounge area, though there was obviously limited seating. We talked to a tired-looking mum named Kristen, whose daughter Sarah was waiting in line to meet YouTube star Tyler Oakley. ‘It’s so strange to see people who just post videos become celebrities,’ she told us. ‘It’s insane.'”
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[slide
permalink=”kristen-said-she-and-her-daughter-once-waited-in-line-for-six-hours-to-meet-youtube-star-bethany-mota-unfortunately-they-never-made-it-to-the-front-of-the-line-im-the-best-mom-she-laughed-15″
title=”Kristen said she and her daughter once waited in line for six hours to meet YouTube star Bethany Mota. Unfortunately, they never made it to the front of the line. ‘I’m the best mum,’ she laughed.”
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[slide
permalink=”we-caught-another-meet-and-greet-with-settle-down-kids-a-seven-man-comedy-group-whose-arrival-caused-a-huge-crowd-of-girls-to-scream-16″
title=”We caught another meet and greet with Settle Down Kids, a seven-man comedy group whose arrival caused a huge crowd of girls to scream.”
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[slide
permalink=”plenty-of-selfies-were-taken-17″
title=”Plenty of selfies were taken.”
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[slide
permalink=”there-were-tables-where-fans-could-grab-some-youtube-star-merchandise-18″
title=”There were tables where fans could grab some YouTube star merchandise.”
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[slide
permalink=”some-of-the-shirts-invoked-a-little-social-media-humor-19″
title=”Some of the shirts invoked a little social media humour.”
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[slide
permalink=”when-the-event-was-over-this-sign-seemed-sad-to-let-us-go-20″
title=”When the event was over, this sign seemed sad to let us go.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-get-to-know-one-of-the-stars-from-playlist-21″
title=”Now get to know one of the stars from Playlist.”
content=”

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