VidCon 2021 canceled amid COVID-19 Delta variant surge

VidCon 2021 canceled amid COVID-19 Delta variant surge

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VidCon, the annual gathering uniting online content creators, platforms and consumers, will not take place in October at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Event organizers announced Friday that — for the second year in a row — the convention has been canceled. This time it’s because of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 that continues to sweep across the United States and abroad.

“VidCon’s first priority continues to be the safety and health of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, creators, and staff,” representatives for VidCon said in a statement.

“We also pride ourselves on welcoming everyone to VidCon. Unfortunately, the recent growth of COVID-19 cases — which puts our youngest fans at heightened risk — coupled with evolving health and safety mandates, restrict us from hosting the inclusive event we all love so much.”

Organizers said the next VidCon is planned for June 22-25, 2022, at the Anaheim Convention Center. People who purchased tickets for this year’s event will be granted automatic admission next year, unless they opt for a refund before June 3.

Founded in 2010 by brothers and vloggers John and Hank Green, VidCon is a major gathering of video creators and their fans. The event became so popular that in 2017 organizers expanded it overseas to Amsterdam and Melbourne, Australia.

In 2018, VidCon was acquired by Viacom for an undisclosed price, and the next year it saw 75,000 attendees at its flagship U.S. event.

Prior to this year’s COVID-induced cancellation, multiple members of the online content creator community have drawn sharp scrutiny for their behavior during the ongoing public health crisis.

Some influencers, such as TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray, have been criticized for throwing parties during the pandemic. Hall and Gray were charged with misdemeanor crimes in violation of public health orders last year. They pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to CBS Los Angeles.

L.A.-based Triller in November 2020 planned to host a private launch party with an Irvine-based beauty products company, described in an invitation as an “evening of glitz and glamour,” with “light bites, pampering, and live music.” After The Times inquired about the party, Triller initially issued a statement saying it was “unaware” of the event. Later, the company acknowledged there had been plans but said the event was being canceled.

VidCon started as a place where online video creators could gather as a community. The first event was held in 2010 in a basement of a Hyatt with 1,400 attendees; over time, it has grown exponentially in size.

The gathering became an important avenue for Hollywood studios and brands to reach young consumers.

In the past, the event has held educational sessions where industry or video creators talk about business trends and how to better monetize their content. There also are opportunities for fans to hear from popular online video stars.

Staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.

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