Vloggers and stars alike gather for YouTube Live
NEW YORK (AP) — Maybe there's something to face-to-face interaction after all.
On Saturday, YouTube will host the first official "YouTube Live" at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, where the site's popular bedroom vlogging stars will share the stage with the likes of Akon and Will.i.am.
Though YouTubers have been gathering informally for years, the event is the first one sanctioned by the Google Inc.-owned video site. The two-hour event begins at 5 p.m. PST and will be streamed live (a first for the site) at http://youtube.com/live.
Much as popular amateur videos play on YouTube alongside professionally created ones, YouTube Live will feature a melange of Internet sensations.
Besides Akon and Will.i.am (whose "Yes We Can" video has been watched by more than 20 million people on the site), Soulja Boy Tell 'em, Katy Perry and Discovery Channel's MythBusters will also be on hand.
Among the purely YouTube-bred stars will be "Canon Rock" guitar virtuoso Funtwo and the "Vlog Squad," a group of prominent YouTube community leaders including LisaNova and Tay Zonday (famous for his "Chocolate Rain" video).
"Major productions are very top down," said Chris DiCesare, head of marketing at YouTube. "YouTube itself is very bottoms up."
DiCesare called it a "very egalitarian" environment that will differ from most concert experiences in one notable way.
"Obviously, there are no signs posted 'no filming allowed' in the venue," said DiCesare, laughing, in a phone interview Thursday.
The audience — largely partners and prominent members of YouTube — will surely be toting video cameras to document their experience. Videos chronicling the journey to YouTube Live have already been popping up in recent days.