Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Summer in the City! | Part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, last weekend I travelled down to London with my friend Cara to attend Britain's largest YouTube gathering, Summer in the City. The event was held at Alexandra Palace and around 9000 people came! I had an awesome time, so thought I would share some of my favourite parts here with you.
The day before SitC was set to begin, we had booked with the Megabus to take us down to London. It was a typical Midlands morning; the rain drizzling down from the grey sky. Still, this didn't stump our excitement and we arrived at the stop in time to begin our weekend. Ten minutes passed. Then an hour. An hour and a half. TWO HOURS and we were still at the stop! The bus was incredibly late, and what made this worse was the fact that they didn't tell us at all. I ended up ringing the centre up in Scotland to find out how long we were going to be stuck waiting for. Eventually, it arrived and we were London bound!
After checking into our hotel, we headed out for some food and then got an early night in preparation for the exciting days ahead.

We awoke early to (thankfully) blue skies. Our hotel was situated ten minutes walk around the corner from Ally Pally so it was ultra handy. As we were ascending the hill a gradual noise could be heard getting louder the nearer we approached; the sound of excited chat as people sat on the floor queuing to get in. I couldn't believe the size of it considering it was only 9:30am! However, it moved pretty quickly; the staff and volunteers were so professional and we found ourselves in the venue at 11:10am. Alexandra Palace is HUGE. I loved the style of the building, it has such a classic vibe to it what with the huge rooms combined with delicate dated decor. 
We had looked at the schedule previous to the event and planned the main things we wanted to attend. The first place we went was to the West Hall for Joe Sugg and Jim Chapman's Meet and Greet. The room was packed within the first few seconds. I was surrounded by girls charging through one another to reach queues. As Joe and Jim were scheduled at the same time as Jack and Finn, and Dan and Phil you can imagine the demand for space. It was confusing which queue to get into and for a while we were stood in the wrong one! The queue moved pretty quickly for us though and we got the chance to meet the boys. They were both so lovely! 

Before heading to the Taste and Decency panel, we had the chance to hear both Dave Giles and Daniel Dobbs perform on the main stage. They're both excellent musicians - definitely take some time to check their channels out if you haven't!
I found the Taste and Decency panel very interesting. The panel included comedians who push boundaries within their content, for example Benjamin Cook, Jack Howard, Emma Blackery, Hazel Hayes. The main topics discussed were to do with the amount of freedom content creators have on YouTube as opposed to other media platforms such as television and print and whether this helps or hinders a comedian, and whether this freedom of speech is good or bad. It was nice to get the opportunity to hear about the issues they have had behind the camera since we are so used to just watching them be 'funny.' 
Another debate raised was whether a viewer should be offended by jokes made within comedy. Some excellent points were made on this, especially by Jack and Ben. They were talking about how if something is addressed well, and clearly intended to be a joke then no, it shouldn't really have any offense taken from it. However, there is a fine line that can sometimes become blurred. Comedians have to be careful not to be misleading with their language, as Ben found out in the Becoming YouTube episode directed at the 'Women of YouTube.' If something is worded wrongly, you can have some pretty harsh labels thrown at you.
The panel ended with a focus on the community that is YouTube. Because it is a community and a conversation between creator and viewer, situations can be addressed directly. Therefore, when Ben accidentally offended many women with his episode, he got the brunt of the attacks back directly. That way he was able to address the issue immediately. Other media platforms don't have this. They lack the personality that YouTube has. 
After the panel, we headed back into the Mainstage area where we got the unexpected chance to meet Brad and Liam from World of the Orange and the lovely Jack Howard! This was great as their actual Meet and Greet's clashed with other things we wanted to do, so we had resigned ourselves to the idea of not being able to meet them!

As you can probably tell by the title of the post, I have decided to upload my SitC 'story', if you will, in more than one part so that I don't end up rambling on and on and on. 
If you've made it to the end of this one, thankyou! I hope you'll return tomorrow for Part Two!

Did you go to SitC this year? Have you ever been to an event like this? I'd love to hear from you if you have! 
I'd also be very grateful if you followed me on any of the links below. :)


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