VidCon Preview: 5 Things to See and Do

Andy Cohen Bravo 2012
Charles Sykes/Bravo

The annual gathering of web comedians, musicians, vloggers and the people who love them promises plenty of stimulation IRL (that's "in real life").

More than 11,000 online content creators and enthusiasts will descend on the Anaheim Convention Center from Aug. 1-3 for VidCon, a conference that began in 2010 with 1,400 attendees.

Thursday will be dedicated to sessions that will explore the business side of the digital domain, followed by two days of general panels, parties and performances where YouTube stars interact with fans who come from around the world.

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VidCon tickets (which started at $110) sold out last month, but those who planned ahead should look forward to the following activities.

Watch What Happens When Andy Meets Tyler

Bravo’s Andy Cohen gets grilled by his younger, new media equivalent (vlogger Tyler Oakley) on how he turned Watch What Happens from a web series into Hollywood’s favorite late-night cable cocktail party. (11 a.m. Friday)

Learn to Win at Crowdfunding

In 2011 the live-action web series Video Game High School hit its $75,000 Kickstarter goal in less than a day, eventually raising $273,725 to produce nine episodes. Season two premiered online on July 26 after doubling its backers (to more than 10,000) and raising $808,341, exceeding its goal by 127 percent. VGHS co-creator Freddie Wong and other successful crowdfunders will show you how they did it. (12:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday)

Meet Your (or Your Niece’s) Favorite New Media Star

More than 115 of YouTube’s most popular personalities will be on hand to mingle with VidCon attendees in autograph signings and specialized meet-ups, including iJustine (1.7 million subscribers), Shane Dawson (4.5 million) and Smosh (11.6 million, the most-subscribed channel on YouTube). (Various times throughout the conference)

Hear Live Music …

The Internet is a haven for unsigned and independent artists, whose talents will be on display throughout the day and during the nightly festival and concert series. Don’t miss a cappella group Pentatonix (season three winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off), “dubstep violinist” Lindsey Stirling and the group Epic Rap Battles of History. (Various times throughout the conference)

… And Just Dance

The mostly-teen-and-twentysomething crowd turns VidCon into a massive dance party after official events wind down on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a good bet that at some point the DJ will throw on "Gangnam Style." (11 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday)