This year was my fourth year going to Summer in the City and boy oh boy have the organisers upped their game. The Excel is bloody huge, I had no idea where I was most of the time. This was probably my favourite SitC to date and I wanted to share with you what went down and some of my favourite moments.
Friday was ‘Creator Day’ and I was speaking on a panel called ‘The business of being a YouTuber’ which was all about working with brands, MCNs (networks), agents and management. Lots of really interesting stuff came up that I could talk about for days but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time for questions. I was thinking if you are curious about any of these topics, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and I’ll try to answer them in a future blog post.
On Saturday I chaired the ‘Relationships Online’ panel. I’m still baffled as to why they asked a forever single person to ask YouTube couples about their lives and work. But I loved this panel! Bry and Candice, Vinny and Luke, and Tom and Jaime Jo are all wonderful people and said some really grounded things about sharing their relationship with their viewers. And then I professionally made a joke about my water bottle being full of vodka. I think I’m hilarious. Seriously though, if you ever see me on a panel I try to make jokes that in my head are super funny but then no-one in the room laughs and it’s really embarrassing. Remind me to never try stand up comedy.
Sunday was the day of two back to back panels! ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ and ‘Education on YouTube’. You may have seen on Twitter that the sex panel was not the best and not exactly what the panellists were expecting. But a lot of you told me you enjoyed it so thank you very much for the support. Education was a wonderful panel. I want Jazza to moderate all the panels I’m on because he is brilliant and really puts you at ease.
Thanks if you came to the sex panel! I'm really sorry that it was non-inclusive & heteronormative. The questions weren't what we expected.
— Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) August 16, 2015
I'm really sorry about the Lets Talk About Sex Panel everyone 😓. It wasn't what I expected & I hope next year it goes in a diff direction..
— Laci Green (@gogreen18) August 16, 2015
This year was my first time selling merchandise at Summer in the City and I was so surprised at how well it was received. I sold ‘Do I Look Like A Slut?’ posters and the Drunk Advice tote bags and it made me so happy when I was wondering around the expo hall and could see some of you wearing the bags! SUCH A COOL THING TO SEE. A few of you said to me at the event and some of you have said this to me online too, and it’s that your parents wouldn’t be cool with you having a poster with the word ‘slut’ on it. I totally understand. So when I’m coming up with my next piece of merch I will make it super PG so that anyone can openly have it displayed on their bedroom wall. How does that sound?
— Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) August 15, 2015
You. Oh you, yes you. Thank you so much for coming to meet me this weekend and saying hello. I had such great conversations with you and I felt so so truly loved. This year was a real game changer for me. I know that my subscriber base has grown over the last 12 months but this was the first time that I was physically presented with evidence of it. Usually, at conventions I can walk around get stopped by one or two people and move on. This year was definitely different. There was just a lot more of you. Which was so overwhelming but also so amazing! I hope you enjoyed meeting me as much as I enjoyed meeting you.
This deserves a special mention because…well it was just so special. Dodie and I have known each other about 3 years but only in the last 12 months have we hung out so much more and I would now call her one of my best friends. Myself and a bunch of our other friends were watching from backstage and basically all tearing up. The whole set just felt so emotionally charged and like a massive F YOU to her past abusive relationship. A lyric from the last song she played, ‘One for the Road’ goes “leave me alone, because I’m not alone” – and that felt like the theme of the set. This year she had a band, her sister and friends sang songs with her and we all came up on stage at the end to sing the final chorus with her. This woman is going to be a superstar and I am so proud of her!
Speaking of friends, Laci Green was at Summer in the City this year! I know Laci because we both make videos about sex! Yay! We’ve met at every VidCon I’ve been to but VidCon is a crazy place so it’s usually a hi – brief catch up – bye and then you don’t see them again for a whole year. But at SitC we hung out LOADS. I showed Laci around some of my favourite bars and food places in Soho, we went across the Thames in a cable car (which I didn’t know existed and you can use your Oyster on it!), partied, had multiple DMCs and then finally crashed and burned at the end. I wish I lived closer to this lady!
HEADING TO THE SEX PANEL WITH LACI pic.twitter.com/XTgazBieaQ
— Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) August 16, 2015
Okay, so this was insane. Niki and Sammy called out my name and I went up on stage with everyone screaming to be presented with my Silver Play Button for reaching 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. And then loads of creators got up on stage to talk a huge picture with everyone and there was a confetti explosion, more screaming, lots of selfies and just wow wow wow. There was so much love up on that stage, for each other and for everyone watching. I know YouTube is bigger than all of us now but Summer in the City was founded by and is still run by YouTubers and members of the community and you can tell. The emphasis on the community shines through and I LOVE the UK YouTube community. I’m all about it. It feels like a slightly dysfunctional but extremely happy family.
And on that note I leave you. This has been quite a long post so I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Did you go to SitC? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments!