Vidcon with my daughter

You may wonder where I’ve been for a week; all that new blog activity and then silence. I’ve been out with my kids (2 of them anyway), and I’ll share a little bit about these adventures.

Vidcon is an annual convention held around the various on-line video entertainment stars, shows, networks, tools and activities that make up the new industry on YouTube and other media sites. It’s astonishingly expensive (over $100 per ticket unless you buy them WAY in advance), and it’s in Anaheim this year, so you can count on $6 hot dogs, $5 sodas and at least $15 per day for parking… it may not seem like an appropriate topic for this “frugal” parenting site, but we got there anyway.

My daughter Kylie is a HUGE fan of several vloggers (what these video content creators are called), and saved every dollar she earned or was given for almost a year so she could pay for two “early bird” tickets to this event. We needed two because she’s too young to attend by herself. In addition to the regular halls full of booths set up by everyone from Nickelodeon to candy makers to Adobe software, Vidcon also includes “meet and greets” with the stars. This is where you have a prescribed time to go to a certain hall and stand in line for a minute or so to chat and take pictures with the stars. Because of the huge attendance, this is done by lottery, but Kylie was lucky enough to get four meet-and-greets, including both of her favorite artists. I got to be there with her yesterday for two of those meetings.

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It was hot, but no where near as hot as Arizona (see my other post). We got there early enough to walk the hall for awhile before her first meet-and-greet, and picked up all kids of free candy and even a few glasses of lemonade. Nickelodeon had a HUGE booth that included special chambers where you could put on a poncho and get green slime dumped on you. We declined, but enjoyed watching. I don’t get it.

Our first meet-and-greet had a LONG line, but it moved quickly, and the star was wonderful to each and every fan as far as I could tell. Kylie was especially delighted because “security” had told us “NO AUTOGRAPHS”, but she got her hat signed anyway and no one said a negative word.

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We went back to the hall to look for more stars while awaiting our next meeting, and experienced two fan stampedes (fanpedes?). It looks like a few of the super-popular artists have seized something not seen since the Beatles. While walking the hall, we suddenly heard screaming (by a mob) and the thunder of running feet. Something about the screaming told us this was “happy” and not “terror”, but maybe we were wrong to feel safe. Around the corner ran a tall asian guy with three security guys, all looking somewhat amused. Right behind them were many dozens of teenage girls, screaming with delight as they pursued their idol. Kylie didn’t scream, but she recognized this guy immediately, and joined the rush… so I had to join as well so as not to lose my daughter. Apparently this guy is know for dissing and insulting other artists… I never saw mobs of teenager girls chasing Don Rickles. I guess he was just a few decades ahead of his time.

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This happened AGAIN a few minutes later, only no star was in sight. Apparently there was a report that someone special was “over there”, and the mob headed that way in a dead run. I was a little more concerned this time, as I actually need to “block” for Kylie a few times.

Our second meet-and greet was even better than the first, as the line was a lot smaller (seemed strange to Kyle, as this gal was more popular than the first one based on her site statistics). We walked around the area a little more afterward, but didn’t find any more stars before we headed home.

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Kylie is over there again today courtesy of a friend’s mom, and will likely be there tomorrow too. She’s having a great time, and it was a lot of fun sharing it with her. Memories to cherish forever!

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