On Saturday, May 2, over 10,000 YouTube fans gathered at Dundas Square in Toronto waiting to see their favourite YouTuber at the first ever Toronto YouTube Fanfest. With YouTubers like Jenna Marbles, Super Women, David Choi, Harley Morenstein, Jus Reign along with Jessi Cruikshank as the host, how could you not be at Yonge and Dundas Square?!
The first YouTube sensation to come out on stage with over 15 million fans was Jenna Marbles. Coming out to a roaring crowd, Jenna was overwhelmed and genuinely excited for the amount of people who came out to show their support that she called out her boyfriend Julian to join her on stage to take a selfie with the audience. While making jokes with the crowd, she was also joined on stage with Harley Morenstein of Epic Meal Time. The hilarious duo had great chemistry on stage filled with harmless flirting. Jenna made a joke of how to put your arm around someone in a smooth way while on a date, and then Harley proceeded with the show by asking Jenna some questions submitted by fans that were in attendance. A great way to open the night, Jenna Marbles looked gorgeous in what she explained to be a “party parrot,” green hair colour.
Second up on stage, with one million YouTube subscribers the artistic, Kina Grannis! Definitely a personal favourite, as she manages to make an acoustic performance so captivating with a full unique sound that surely filled the core of downtown Toronto. Kina played two songs off her album Elements, which included “Dear River,” followed by “My Dear.” Watching her performance, you could see everyone’s face was filled with happiness. It was also nice to see Kina share the stage alongside her husband Jesse Epstein, on guitar as they have collaborated many times on YouTube with his channel Imaginary Future. Kina was the perfect bubbly personality to start the musical performances of the night.
Up next was Lauren Riihimaki, who is better known as LaurDIY. Lauren is a fellow Torontonian who has serious style. With just over 1.5 million subscribers she is a DIY queen. From distressed tees to chicken pillows her viewers look forward to every “do it yourself” video she puts out. As soon as she stepped on stage the crowd went WILD. One fan in the crowd even began to cry after Lauren said she remembered him. Lauren’s time on stage featured a DIY Challenge, however this time we weren’t the one doing the project, but rather three fans show off what they have learned from her channel. Each contestant only had two minutes to cut their shirt. After the two minutes were up, the contestants clothes were modeled by a friend, jefferyfever and even Jessi Cruikshank! Contestant number two won the completion. And while there was no real prize for those fans, being on stage with their favourite YouTuber was the real prize.
Next up, not only is she a qualified nurse, but an extremely talented artist who has been busy writing and recording her next album, Madilyn Bailey. A beautiful and intimate opening to her set, as she played her hit song “Tragedy”, trailed by the song she wrote and sang at her wedding to her husband. The song she played at her very own wedding is titled “Skeleton Key”, and let me tell you that Madilyn sure makes the audience feel a part of her performance rather than just an audience member viewing the show. She evokes such raw emotion while she sings and it was beautiful to witness her perform a song so special to her heart. Madilyn Bailey ended her show on a very uplifting note, with the world premier of her latest single “Congratulations”.
Singer and song-writer Macy Kate along with Kurt Hugo was up next. As soon as they were introduced they launched straight into Macy Kate’s hit song “I H8 That.” Macy Kate’s raw and raspy voice along with her guitar playing fit perfectly together with Kurt’s piano. Directly after the song was over, Kurt reintroduced Madilyn Bailey back to the stage to join him and Macy to sing “The epic patty cake song (I’ll think of you.)” Half way throughout the song, blindfolds were put around their eyes yet there were no signs of slowing down. Even with the blindfolds on they all preformed perfectly. After watching this performance it is easy to see why all three YouTubers have so many viewers.
Toronto native Jasmeet Singh aka Jus Reign, was next to hit the stage with a booming entrance, filled with his crew carrying him out on their shoulders, some drums and a DJ. A very loud crowd welcomed this hilarious Torontonian to the stage, with screams and home made signs. Jus Reign was very interactive with the crowd as he is familiar with city, and made some jokes for the police on site to keep an eye on people from Brampton in the crowd. Jus Reign as well as his crew handed out some t-shirts, followed by some stand up comedy, then a crowd favourite performance of his first single, “Nach Billo” featuring his friend Babbu. A very happy crowd sang and danced along to the song until Jus Reign made his exit off the stage.
Next on the roster was YouTube personality Daniela Andrade. Known for her acoustic pop covers on YouTube, Daniela chose to perform an elegant solo acoustic performance at Toronto’s YouTube Fan Fest. It was a nice transition as nighttime in the city approached. An effortless and intimate showcase filled with red glow sticks in the air. Daniela performed two original songs “Strange,” and “Come Around.”
The last YouTubers we saw are two of the most brilliant minds on YouTube. Michael Stevens of Vsauce and Derek Muller of Veritasium blew the minds of everyone in the crowd. When they walked out on stage there was two blue drums. Derek gave Michael the task of crushing the drum with a pipe wrench however after a couple of attempts there was only a slight dent. They explained that they only way to crush this drum was to extract the air from it only allowing for the outside are to press in and down on it. After about 10-30 seconds the drum made a long bang and began to crush slowly. The first experiment showed just how much gravity is pressing down on us.
Unfortunately due to other commitments the same night we could not stay long to see the rest of Michael’s and Derek’s set. Because of these commitments we also missed David Choi, Bethany Mota and Superwoman. Over all a fun filled night filled with talent from around the world, and with a great host, Jessi Cruikshank!
If you were like us and missed some or all of YouTube FanFest Toronto you can watch the whole show on the official YouTube Fan Fest Channel here!