YouFest Launches in Madrid as First Platform for YouTube Stars

Organizers are looking to capitalize on the success of top video artists by moving them from the computer screen to a live concert.

MADRID – The world’s first music festival dedicated to the stars of YouTube kicked off in Madrid this weekend, as YouFest pooled the most successful artists launched by the online video site in a highly professional, first-rate music extravaganza.

More than 200 artists—musicians, singers, dancers and djs-- from around the world, boasting a collective 2 billion clicks on their YouTube videos are on the program.

“This is the We are the World of our days,” says YouFest creator Daniel Eisen. “Back in the 80s, there was no Internet. Now the world shares a common culture with online artists from India to South America, but with the difference that they don’t tour. This is the first format to bring together the stars of YouTube.”

YouTube generation hits like Olympic closing ceremony performer Underworld will play on stage, as will Primal Scream, Kutiman,Buraka Som Sistema, ex-Tequila Ariel Rot, Britain’s Got Talent’s Paul Potts—with more than 100 million clicks--or South Korean Sung Bong Choi.

Eisen and his partners Sebastian Muller and Dario Helman created the event that counts with financial backing from Madrid Networks and support from the regional and municipal Madrid governments, YouTube, Iberia, Terra and Estrella Galicia.

According to Eisen, less than 20% of the 20 million hits the fest’s website has clocked come from Spain, with the rest from the artists’ countries of origin.

Already companies from around the globe were jockeying in Madrid Saturday to move the fest to another venue, with Los Angeles and Mexico looking like the biggest contenders for 2013.

“This festival could happen anywhere,” Eisen told The Hollywood Reporter. “When we created it, we knew it would tour.”