In a very bold move, nearly six of the UK”s biggest YouTubers (Jim Chapman, Tanya, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, Caspar Lee, Joe Sugg etc) decided to not attend Summer in the City–the UK’s largest YouTube convention–because they will be busy working on their own festival, Amity Fest. For those of you whoa are not academic~~, amity means “a friendly relationship”. Something the British YouTubers all want to maintain with their fans (but perhaps not Summer in the City creators)
Last year, in case you forgot, SITC creator Tom Burns called out Alfie Deyes for making “outrageous” demands and generally being awful to work with. Was it professional? Probably not. Was it entertaining? Absolutely! Especially when Alfie cautioned his fans on Twitter to not buy SITC tickets because he was unsure if he could attend and Tom responded with this:
This week with Zoella, Alfie, Marcus Butler, Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee etc, all announced they will not be attending SITC. It was a massive hit all at once that clearly set a tone of oppostion towrads SITC. Tom had this to say, and I respectfully agree:
So what exactly does this mean now that some of the biggest YouTubers are shunning the first UK event to bring together YouTubers and fans? Exclusivity, as Tom points out, for one thing.I highly doubt Amity Fest’s duties will conflict with SITC but it’s a nice slap in the face of SITC’s creators who work very hard each year–for very little money–to bring together this event. It also shows that many YouTubers are more interested in money than fostering community. Perhaps this is a harsh and too hasty of a statement to make, but this is not about bringing people together or even meeting fans: this is about money. The British YouTubers in question want more money–money which SITC could not pay them, so they have started their own festival.
Amity Fest is built on the idea of friendship, but I see it built more on greed. What good does a festival do attacking another festival that seeks to promote the exact same ideals? Some of the YouTubers involved in this festival were the first I found in my journey down the YouTube hole so it disappoints me that they are doing this. I met many of the SITC creators last year and they were wonderful to talk with. I can’t imagine however burned the Amity crew feels, that this justifies burning a larger bridge with Summer in the City.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not seeing the full picture or I am too quick to judge, but my gut tells me this was a malicious decision made to hurt SITC. For a group of YouTubers who pride themselves on their sense of community, I find that sad and hypocritical.