Thursday, March 5, 2015

Throwback to YouTube Fan Fest 2014

Back in May 2014, I scored a free ticket to YouTube FanFest 2014 (YTFF) which featured a bunch of popular YouTube stars from all over the world, especially Asia. This is the second time Singapore is one of the host countries for YTFF and I got to see various big name YouTube stars on stage. There were also some additional treats as well like musical performances during the big event. Find out more about YTFF right below.

What is YouTube FanFest 2014?

YouTube FanFest (YTFF) is an annual YouTube festival organised by Branded Asia, a Hong Kong-based events company, in collaboration with YouTube and tech giant, HP. YTFF features local, regional and worldwide YouTube stars and it's a great opportunity for fans to know more about them even more.

The 2014 edition of YTFF (particularly on Sunday 25th May) featured YouTube stars like Ryan Higa, Bethany Mota, Michael Stevens (Vsauce) along with local and regional ones like Jakarta Beatbox and Shigga Shay. It was held at *SCAPE, a shopping mall in the Somerset district of Orchard area which is also a favourite among Singapore's youth.

Why YouTube?

As YouTube is the world's largest online video sharing site, it's easy for regular people to upload YouTube videos. The hard part is the consistency and the content presented in the videos. YouTube stars regularly update their YouTube channels with great and creative content. They can range from auto to comedy to food and much more.

Most of the YouTube celebrities featured in YTFF started making videos since YouTube started in 2005! It's no wonder YouTube is popular among the youth as YouTube has loads of great content and unlike TV, it's available whenever you want it, wherever you want it.

Waiting In Line

I went on the second day which was on Sunday, 25th of May and thankfully, the place was near Somerset MRT Station. Once I was there, I showed my free ticket to the attendant and she gave me this cool silver paper wristband with the YTFF logo on it which I then proceeded to queue in line. The line was filled with many people with the majority of them being young students. Luckily it wasn't raining and although the weather was quite hot, the holding tent had several fans to cool us off.

The Red Carpet

As I have never been to a Hollywood red carpet event before, this is the closest that I can get. Those who came first and at the front of the line were the luckiest as they got to see the arrival of the YouTube stars and got to take photos and autographs with them. They screamed and shouted with excitement each time a YouTube star arrives to the red carpet.

The Stage

The ushers eventually led us into the air-conditioned venue which was a relief after spending some time in the hot sun. There were lots of pushing and screaming as most of them can't wait to enter the venue. I showed my silver wristband to the attendant and finally managed to get in and enjoy the air-con and the music played over the speakers.

Emcees of the Day

After a short introduction, the two emcees, Dom Lau, a TV host and radio DJ on his own syndicated radio show, Asia Pop 40 came out along with Dee Kosh, a local YouTube celebrity and ex-987 FM radio DJ to officially start off YTFF. They shared jokes with each other, interacted with the audience and talked about all the great things that were going to happen during the event.

There was even one part where they made compilation videos of each other using clips from their TV shows (for Dom Lau) and YouTube clips (for Dee Kosh) followed by a message by a HP representative. The audience had a good laugh from the jokes the emcees shared on stage.

First YouTube Star, Ryan Higa

After the emcees' official opening, it was time to announce the first YouTube star on stage, Ryan Higa. Before each star came out onto the stage, a short clip featuring clips of the YouTube star's videos was featured with a voiceover briefly describing the star (the audience will begin to scream at this part).

Ryan Higa, if you don't know, is an Asian-American YouTube star that makes comedy sketches. He has over millions of views on YouTube and he's one of the more 'veteran' YouTube stars having made videos from the time YouTube started back in 2005. On stage, he was a down-to-earth guy answering questions his fans tweeted to him along with a story about his YouTube career.

He even interacted with some of the audience members and grabbed some items from the stage that his fans threw. One of the items that he picked up on stage was a packet of Oreo cookies which he then ate from. Overall, he was great, his jokes were great and his videos that were featured were also very hilarious. It's no wonder he's one of the most popular YouTube stars out there.

Bethany Mota Is In The House

Up next was Bethany Mota, a 19 year old YouTube star that creates make up tutorials, fashion-related videos and 'haul' videos (videos showcasing purchases the uploader has purchased). Fun fact: She's one of the first people that make 'haul' videos and she has a fashion line at American clothing retailer, Aeropostale. Not bad for a 19 year old YouTube star.

Up on stage, she's a sweet girl answering questions tweeted to her by her fans in a similar fashion to Ryan Higa. She also spoke about the story of how she got started on YouTube and showed a short video of her time when she just arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport with her fans excited for her arrival.

A Small Fun Game

There was also a game where she picked two volunteers from the audience and with the help of Ryan Higa and the emcees, they had to "style" the volunteers using things from a box that was given. Some of the items include a scarf, some funny headbands and a Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch) doll. They were given a time limit to complete the challenge and at the end, they results were funny. Overall, they all had a good time on stage and one of the volunteers event got to take a selfie with Ryan Higa. 

Science and Knowledge with Michael Stevens of Vsauce

After that, it was Michael Stevens from Vsauce to come out to talk on stage. Vsauce is a YouTube channel showcasing science-related videos in an interesting manner. Some of the titles include 'What if everyone jumped at the same time' and 'What if humans disappear?'. The science topics and the way he presents his videos are completely different than regular science videos and they're definitely more interesting than what you learn in your school's science classes.

He even did some science experiments on stage as well with a box of some items and took out some cool stuff to showcase its science powers. One of the items he took out was a tool that can measure the loudness of claps. He asked us to clap as loud as possible and let us know our claps were worth how many decibels while talking about the loudness and the pain threshold. I didn't even know that was there was such a tool.

He also told us a story of his time in Singapore. He toured around Gardens By The Bay and was impressed about the two cooled conservatories along with the architecture of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It was certainly insightful to hear all those cool science facts he shared with us on stage. 

A Beatbox Performance by Jakarta Beatbox

Right after Michael Stevens, a group of regional YouTube stars known as Jakarta Beatbox came out on stage. They hailed from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta and when they came up on stage, they immediately performed and beatboxed to their music and it was simply amazing. Their beatboxing sounded very realistic and almost machine-like. They must have put in so much effort to become what they are today.

After telling their background story, what Jakarta Beatbox is about and a short introduction of themselves, they taught us the basics of beatboxing. They got a few volunteers to come up and taught them the basics of beatboxing. Even us, the audience got involved and tried beatboxing ourselves. Beatboxing although hard and requires lots of practice, it was actually quite fun. 


||Superwoman|| AKA Lilly Singh was up next. Lilly is a Canadian-Indian YouTuber who makes comedy video sketches on her YouTube channel known for her range of hats she wears in her videos and her signature Superman hat (which was how she got her name). Usually, her videos have a theme which is usually about her Indian heritage and her conservative Indian parents.

She shared some jokes with the audience when she was up on stage which definitely tickled our funny bones and shared with us how she got started with YouTube and why she decided to venture into talking about her Indian heritage. She also got to perform some dance moves on stage as well. Her videos on YouTube were very funny and I recommend you to check out her videos on her YouTube channel.

Shigga Shay and Tosh Rock

The final two YouTube stars were the only local YouTube stars to be featured during YTFF on Sunday (some local YouTube stars appeared the day before). One was Shigga Shay, a local rapper and singer who performed various songs including his famous hit 'Limpeh Not Happy' while Tosh Rock, is a local YouTube celebrity, break dancer and a local actor acting in various local movies such as the popular Ah Boys To Men trilogy directed by famous local movie director, Jack Neo.

Shigga Shay came out on stage to perform one of his songs with the stage flashing bright laser lights all over which was pretty cool.

He eventually shared his story about he got into rap and how he eventually became who he is currently. Tosh Rock then came out to speak to the audience more about his life and how he became who he is currently as well. As both of them were friends, they had a great time on stage and entertaining the audience as well.

Before wrapping up the show, both of them performed their hit song 'Limpeh Not Happy' together and since it's a popular song among Singaporean youths, many sang along together with the two performers on stage.

The Red Carpet Event

After the show, audience members still can see their favourite YouTube stars leaving the show. The Red Carpet event at the end was a non-ticketed event which allowed members of the public to see their favourite YouTube stars leaving the premises in their special sponsored cars.

Some of them got to take final pictures and waved goodbye to their favourite YouTube stars. Since I was standing quite far from their cars, I didn't manage to see them up close although it doesn't really matter to me as I got to see them in full during the show.


After all the YouTube stars appeared on stage, they appeared all together all at once to finally close the show with the two emcess, Dee Kosh and Dom Lau officially closing the event. Before leaving the premises, many of the audience members took one last picture and selfie as it was definitely a memorable experience for most of them (including me).

I too had a great time and get to see a variety of YouTube stars which I adore especially Ryan Higa and Michael Stevens from Vsauce up close. Some of the audience members were even lucky enough to be able to see them during the Meet and Greet sessions. Overall, I truly had a great time and I can't wait to know more about this year's edition of the YouTube Fan Fest.

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