Playlist Live began in 2011 with just 600 attendees, less than a year after the inaugural VidCon – the first events of their kind, bringing online content creators to the 3rd dimension.
Since then, Playlist Live has swelled to a massive event that welcomed 13,000 attendees earlier this month. The event now takes place twice a year, with a smaller event taking place in Washington DC in the fall.
This year marks my third Orlando event, and my fifth total Playlist Live, including 2015’s Washington DC and 2014’s Tri-State events.
Playlist Live continues to blow my mind every year. They go above and beyond standard meet-and-greets, panels, and mainstage performances, creating a full weekend experience that’s sure to keep attendees coming back for years.
Here’s why Playlist Live continues to thrive.
Playlist Live takes place in a hotel, not a convention center or detached expo hall. While some attendees opt to stay at a nearby hotel or travel from their homes, the majority of attendees fill all of the Orlando World Center Marriott’s rooms.
This creates a huge sense of community – you wake up, take the elevator down a few floors, and you’re instantly surrounded by like-minded fans and aspiring creators. Walking through the quarter-mile long hallway towards the meetup rooms, panels, and stages, there’s always something to keep you busy.
Come nightfall when the convention programming ends, Playlist puts on a nightly pool party – this year complete with an actual laser light show, climaxing with a surprisingly impressive fireworks display, all while a professional DJ spins tracks all night. Swim in the heated pool, lounge around on the chairs, or sit around one of the several fire pits on the patio and enjoy the sensory overload.
Oh, and did I mention that the pool has not one, not two, but three slides? And that there are two additional pools around the hotel?
Playlist Live is much more than just a YouTube event – it’s about online video and the diverse collection of platforms that creators of all different types use nowadays. This year both Vine and YouNow had their own stages, and ‘Musers‘ – the term for users of the increasingly popular Musical.ly app – were everywhere. Embracing new mediums has allowed Playlist to grow beyond just YouTube, accessing whole new communities of online video viewers.
For seemingly no apparent reason, popular mainstream artists The Plain White T’s (Hey There Delilah) and KT Tunstall (Suddenly I See, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree) performed as surprise guests on the Epiphone-sponsored stage. Why not!
The Live Streams
Travel is expensive, and many fans just aren’t able to make the trip out to Orlando. For that, there’s the Playlist Live Virtual Experience. A live stream portal featuring 3 different feeds from the main stage, secondary stage, and a panel room, viewers got to experience all of Playlist Live’s programming at home, for free.
The VIP Treatment
Playlist Live is always able to snag an impressive lineup of special guests every year – why? Because the guests love coming back! Playlist knows how to treat their guests right – more than 400 of them this year.
A private cordoned-off tower of the hotel is reserved exclusively for guests, their friends, and sponsors.
Golf cart escorts take talent directly from their tower to the green rooms, lounges, and back entrances to all of the stages, meet-ups, and panel rooms.
Nightly VIP parties taking place right in the hotel make it easy for creators to de-stress with all of their friends and fellow creators, without having to deal with traveling to off-site locations or getting all of their buddies on different sponsors’ guest lists.
And of course…
The Universal Event
Arguably the coolest thing Playlist does for their creators is Universal Moments. An event that began last year, Universal Studios and Playlist Live partner up to give VIP creators and sponsors access to one of the two Universal Studios theme parks in a completely private event – that means no lines, no wait times, and total privacy. Pure fun – and lots of Butterbeer!
Oh, and they even stepped it up a notch this year with a party after the Universal event, right on Universal’s CityWalk.
Playlist Live is an absolute blast that AKT Enterprises does a fantastic job of putting on every year. Hope to see you at the next one!