As you may or may not be aware, I attended Summer in the City 2014 and so I feel like sharing with you all my experience of my time there and some advice to share with you if you're thinking of going to the event in the future :)
I want to be honest as possible with this blog post, I don't want it to put you off and I'm not slating the event at all because if you've been on my twitter or instagram recently you will know I had an amazing time- anyhow! There is a lot of queuing at Summer in the City (SitC), now you may be thinking..."well dur of course there's queues, I've already heard about the queues cor I know what queues are, idiot!". What I mean by this is even just to get into the event it is absolute mayhem, my friend Becky and I queued for about two and a half hours to get into the venue. I've been in longer queues, but it wasn't a normal kind of queue where there's a couple of people beside you- oh no there's a massive group of you in this chubby queue waiting to get in and as you can imagine it takes an awful lot of time to ensure not everyone rushes in and that its done in an orderly manner for safety reasons obviously! Again with queues, without sounding dramatic- they are kind of make or break shall we say. If you don't get there early, the less chance you have of meeting your favourite YouTuber's. I mean some crazy dedicated fans were there at 4am, personally I couldn't do that unless I stayed in a hotel overnight. I think this was mainly due to SitC's ticketing system with the meet and greets. So let's just say me and Becky weren't so prepared as we thought we were! If you're not bothered necessarily about the meet ups then you shouldn't have any worries with watching panels- not as that extreme anyway! A bit of important information for you, despite what people may hear in the queue about no food or drink is to be taken in- that's rubbish. Just don't take in alcohol because obviously it will get confiscated, otherwise water, fizzy drinks and snacks you are definitely aloud with you so don't listen to the silly people telling you that you can't because that is untrue! When you get into Alexandra Palace you were given a goodie-bag and a schedule for the day. Sadly we missed Dan and Phil (who are also Radio 1 presenters) because of the tickets being given out earlier than expected, so we decided just to chill around main stage and watch some of the singers and try and capture some photos of Dan and Phil and also Jack and Dean from afar! We weren't surprised about not getting to meet Dan and Phil but we didn't let it spoil our day, we knew it would be slim. So advice to those of you who would like to meet Dan and Phil there, you need to join the 4am gang!
By complete luck and some great spotting from my friend Becky, she saw Ben Cook mooching around amongst some of the crowd.
My natural instinct was "Becky we need to go and see if we can at least say hi to Ben, so we can say we met at least one YouTuber!".
By then, Ben had been spotted by others and he formed his own queue to begin his own informal meet and greet- from which he did for about 6 hours in the end!
Ben was incredibly sweet and greeted you with a big hug and asked how you were and just took his time with you. As you can obviously see above, Ben took two selfies of us on my phone which was awesome! Top tip: Ben tends to prefer meeting viewers informally so he is often wandering around, so even if you're not a big fan of Ben just go and say hi because he is such a lovely guy who gives amazing hugs! :) Saying that this goes for any YouTubers you may see just chilling around the venue, just go and say hi- they don't bite! I do wish more YouTubers could do more informal meet ups, but its completely understandable for bigger YouTubers like Zoella, Alfie, Marcus, Dan and Phil, Tyler Oakley etc to not do these because they would get mobbed!
My next great encounter of the day was buying an Emma Blackery "I like her she has girl balls" t-shirts, to my surprise Emma was actually on her stall selling them to everyone. I spotted her Dad, Mike originally and Becky looked at me and was like "yeah Emma's there too", so obviously I definitely had to get a t-shirt now! Emma is a very down to earth person, despite what some people may think. She's just as funny off screen as she is on, very friendly and appreciative of everyone buying her merchandise too! Here we have below my sneaky picture of Emma and t-shirt which was 104 of 500 that she had made- very lucky to have one and its incredibly comfy and cool to wear!
Me and Becky felt that the space difference between meet and greets and panels were stupidly close together, so if we went to one we certainly wouldn't make it to another just in time unfortunately. So we didn't manage to go to any panels, which when I look back was a bit of a shame. So again my advice would be to check out a mix of panels and meet and greets if you can, take a chance! However I can tell you now, despite you not really doing much you get very tired and I mean very tired! I definitely put this down to all the queuing and waiting around because it is so draining. The last part of our afternoon was queuing for the meetup of Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth, but again (after a few hours of queuing may I add!) we got cut off. It was gutting and annoying because we wasted all that time queuing but that was our own choice. I'm making this sound awfully boring, its really not! You meet all kinds of people in the queues and crowds and around main stage and other venue rooms, so don't think that you won't get talking to others because you do naturally (even if it is because you're moaning about the queues haha). Whilst we were queuing for Emma and Luke, none other than my favourite YouTuber Louis Cole came into the room and formed his own informal meet up like Ben Cook did! So immediately after the disappointment of being cut off from Emma and Luke's queue we joined Louis'.
This picture is slightly terrible on my part but do you know what this was the best moment ever! Meeting your favourite YouTuber is something that I think is incredibly special. Just like Ben, Louis had time for everyone. Despite his long queue he took his time with everyone and made sure he didn't disappoint and as you can tell from my face he certainly didn't! He greeted me with a big hug, asked how I was and if I had a nice day and we just stood there talking for a good 3 minutes and it was simply lovely. Even now I'm still in shock and disbelief that I actually met Louis, he is so genuine and lovely. Not surprisingly he is just as chilled in person as he appears to be in his daily vlogs! After our little chat we took three selfies on my phone and I went in for another hug- purely because I may never meet Louis again (although I hope this is not the case) and because he is a great height for hugging :D Personally if you want to meet any YouTuber it is by luck and patience that you do so, they are busy people and you need to respect that they can't drop everything and please everyone. They're doing them formal meet and greets for around 2-3 hours, and I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to keep a smile on their face and ensure they don't disappoint anyone. Overall my tips are to expect an awful lot of queuing, some disappointments with meet and greet queues, but importantly just enjoy your time there and think that this is an experience that not many people get to enjoy! Make some new friends and if you get the chance to meet any YouTuber, take it and you might find they're even more awesome than you expected! I hope this in some way gave you a rough idea of what SitC is like, and was in some way helpful perhaps? I had a great time and someday I will go back, just not every year I don't think haha!