If you’re over 15 and don’t have kid, there’s a great celebrity industry at work these days that’s completely invisible to you. Every weekend, somewhere in the country, 10,000 tweens are packing into convention centers and fairgrounds, camping out for hours or even days to catch a glimpse of people like Jack and Jack, Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, Connor Franta, Brent Rivera… I could name probably 50 others, but suffice it to say, there are a lot of kids with dumb bangs you’ve never heard of who are drawing a lot of water in many American towns, almost all of them named Taylor. Here’s what I’m talking about in a nutshell:
They have millions of YouTube, Vine, and/or Instagram followers, and some enterprising folks, Ryan Seacrest and Rainn Wilson among them, are figuring out how to make lots of money with/off them. There are nationwide tours, either centering specifically around Vine and Youtube stars, or just regular concerts headlined by acts whose main claim to fame is social media.
At this point, I understand that such people are famous, but it’s that word “act” that raised some big questions. Namely, when you’re famous for making, say, six-second videos of nothing in particular, what the hell does your tour consist of? We were wondering aloud about such things on the last Frotcast, and it just so happened that one of our listeners is a security guard at a venue with many such events (he sent me some paystubs and call sheets to verify) and was able to shed some light on the subject.
I work for a security company and we sometimes work those shows for vine and youtube people, mostly at an indoor boardwalk arcade place that also has a big venue hall for concerts and things of the sort.
For one show, we had girls waiting outside starting at 8am to get into a show that didn’t start until 6pm. Since the guys didn’t have any actual talents, all the girls would follow them around the amusement park and watch them go on rides and we all had to hold them back from getting close. When they went to the concert hall, they just had a DJ playing music for them on stage, and each of them just spent a turn dancing around and saying hi and that was pretty much it. There were at least 1200 people there. At the front of the barricade, there was hysterical crying and having to take people out of the crowd because they were having panic attacks. A lot of other girls were just crying in the crowd in the front of the stage but didn’t want to be taken out, so they would just rub their eyes with one hand and while dancing around throwing their other hand in the air.
After the show was the worst, because the girls where all waiting in the back for them to leave the place. So two of us had to go in the back parking lot and tell them to leave cause “performers” weren’t coming out and they weren’t allowed to wait for them back there. At that point all hell broke loose. Some of them the boys were leaving out the front and starting running there. The rest stayed, and started yelling at us that the vine guys said they were coming to meet the fans. I was being simultaneously berated by 300 screaming 12-16 year old girls. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen and I’ve been deployed to Afghanistan. Just figured you should know about how crazy the mass hysteria of a tween show is like from the perspective of a 26-year-old security guard.
I spent four days in an RV with no one around for miles except Juggalos, where multiple people died, and this sounds a thousand times scarier.