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Grace Stanley

VidCon 2023: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Imposter syndrome, gatekeepers, and egomaniacs are a constant in the entertainment industry.

 

Grace Stanley

Internet Culture

Passionfruit

Instagram Night Out is an invite-only VidCon event where 800 creators peacock, network, and hope to make agency and industry connections that will lead to better business deals. The splashy VidCon event occurred at a boozy music venue, the City National Grove of Anaheim, which has seen the likes of Prince, Stevie Nicks, Ray Charles, and other legends on its stage.

But on a Friday night in June, creators like the newly reformed Try Guys, Louie Castro, Angry Reactions, Celina Spooky Boo, and Safiya Nygaard walk the red carpet or huddle in exclusive corners of the room. Plebeians like me enter as they would any industry party: awkward and alone, praying to run into someone they know.

At a party full of egomaniacs where imposter syndrome is contagious, it’s worth questioning who the new gatekeepers of the media landscape are. Does the entertainment establishment still reign? Sort of. Although Hollywood is 34 miles away and media giant Viacom owns the convention, “non-traditional” media is still king at VidCon. Instead of studio bosses solely setting the rules, the top 5% of creators and TikTok, Meta, and YouTube executives are calling the shots on who gets to make money, what stories to tell, and exactly who gets invited to parties like these. …


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