Saturday evening united a large and excitable bunch of Mumbai teens at the Bandra Amphitheater, for India’s first and hugely anticipated Youtube Fan Fest.
For those of you who don’t already know, the YTFF is a worldwide platform created by our favourite video sharing channel, to bring together established and immensely popular Youtube stars closer to their fans. That’s basically the crux of the whole thing. Another point to note – the fest’s featured personalities (with a combined number of 14.6 subscribers and 1.2 billion views) met a week prior to event so they could create collaborative content for it. Following how successful the Singapore edition was last year, India seemed the perfect place to host the event.
The line up of YouTube stars was interesting and impressive – and varied from musicians, to comics, fashion bloggers. India’s favourite comedy collective, All India Bakchod (AIB) hosted the event with their non-apologetic and intelligent humour that really seemed to get the crowd going. They indulged in friendly and witty jibes at one another and Youtubers who took stage, a refreshing change from the usual ‘safe’ humour we’re all used to.
Mumbai based indie band Maati Baani kicked off the evening, with their well appreciated and catchy funk-sufi sound and even released a collaboration video with another Youtube favourite ||Superwoman||
TVF or The Viral Fever, another big comedy collective took the stage after, with their most popular spoof Barely Speaking – a satirical version of Arnab Goswami’s news debates with faux guest being ‘Arjun Kejriwal’ being grilled in true Goswami fashion.
The performance had its highs and few lows with some of the jokes falling flat on the largely teenage audience and being interrupted by a certain Bollywood star who allegedly came to drop his daughter off at the event. This hardly fazed the comedy group who were greeted on stage with “We want Viral Fever” chants (and cheers) prior to their performance.
Another high point? When fake Goswami asks Fake Kejriwal why he wears always wears mufflers , his answer being priceless – “Hum itne cool hain ki thand ke maare garmi me bhi muffler pehente hain.”
Sherry Shroff and Bethany Mota held some immense appeal with all the wannabe fashionistas in the audience, almost to the point that they got mobbed on stage for pictures and shoutouts. While Sherry connected with her fans by giving them a sneak peak into her collaboration video with Bethany, Bethany engaged her fans in a cute Q&A session. The 17 year old was incredibly nice and happily answered even some of the audience’s more insane questions.
The winner of the night was ultimately(an undoubtedly) Lilly Singh or ||Superwoman|| The YouTube superstar known for her hilarious take on general observations in life.
Only when she walked on stage, did we realise how popular the Canadian born Punjabi actually was. We kid you not, the Amphitheater literally erupted in screams, cheers and general madness, which needed some grovelling and begging from the hosts to the audience for it to die down. We reckon they were a tad bit surprised by this response, as well. The audience relented after awhile, sporadically bursting into cheers every time Lilly did or said something interesting. Talk about stage presence! She filmed some of the audience for her next video and even gave them a sneak peek into a collaboration she did with Madhuri Dixit (!!)
Another notable act of the evening was the internet personality, Michael Stevens creator of Vsauce dedicated for a mix of philosophical and scientific questions about the universe and its contents (including humans). It questions things such as “Is anything real?”, “What if everyone jumped at once?” or “How big can a human get?
So was Shankar Tucker, (American Clarinetist and music composer, whose popularity rose because of his music series called “The Shruti Box’ – which features his own compositions and acapella-esque collaborations with other singers) who performed a few of his infamous compositions and was met with cheers and clapping from the young audience.
The fest came with much more, a cameo from Shah Rukh Khan, on stage banter and comedy by AIB – that kept the crowd thoroughly entertained and of course Superwoman and her enthusiastic fans who cheered for her even when she wasn’t on stage.
Our verdict? The YouTube Fanfest succeeded in bringing together an interesting mix of YouTube stars to showcase their talent and engage with their fans. Gone are the days when only TV or Film personalities get the recognition needed, this fest and it’s immense popularity proved that sitting at home with a camera and a great idea can win you the hearts of many a pre-teen.