Live Review: YouTube FanFest – World Trade Center, Manila (27.05.16)

YouTube FanFest Manila 2016

YouTube FanFest Manila 2016 was held at the World Trade Center last week with this the second time FanFest was held in Manila. Building on the success of the 2015 version, this year’s FanFest promised a bigger, star studded lineup and greater fan engagement with their favourite YouTubers.  Fans were in line since 6:30am even though the YouTube fair didn’t start till 10am. Some even came from far away provinces just to attend and see their favorite YouTubers perform live.

The YouTube fair was full of event sponsored booths where you can create your short content for your own YouTube channels and also some freebies to give away such as light sticks, YouTube bag, light up headbands and more. However, there were only two snack booths with the choices of pizza, a hotdog sandwich or popcorn. Luckily, there was free water bottles to re-hydrate all the attendees after running around claiming their freebies and getting selfies with the local YouTubers roaming around the venue and greeting their fans.

Two local YouTubers did catch my eye though. Who were Wil Dasovich (Tsong & Tsonggo) an Janina Vela who tirelessly went around the pre-show stage multiple times so that they can take selfies and give out hugs to all their awaiting fans. Before the main show started, both of them, popularly known as WilNina went to the mosh pit area to greet their fans and Janina Vela even went barefoot so that she can approach her fans faster.

Caleon Twins, 5th Gen and Renee Dominique were few of the local YouTubers who performed on the pre-show stage for their fans and to also pump up the crowd before the main show. YouTube FanFest also hosted a bunch of games on the pre-show stage like copy the emoji, LipSync battle and singing the famous “Ang Tatlong Bibe” while imitating famous singers. There were also some posters up so attendees can swap faces with the YouTubers face on Snapchat.

But once the clock turned 6pm, fans started running in line to the entrance of the barricades for the main show and for a second I thought a stampede was about to break but fortunately it didn’t.

The famous Super Selfie Gab Valenciano opened the show with his energetic moves and then busted out his long locks and his colorful outfit that got the audience scream for excitement. AJ Rafael then came up on stage to slow down the night with his soothing voice while playing the keys as his fans sang with him as he performed,that welcomed us to the Galaxy. After AJ Rafael took us to the Galaxy, Tanner Patrick took us to a beautiful night sky with everyone’s phone up at the sky with the lights on. It is true, h is a YouTube bae with his beautiful voice.

Even though the Chinese-Australian make-up guru YouTuber, Wengie didn’t perform on stage, she did a wonderful job hyping up the crowd as she interviewed Gab Valenciano, AJ Rafael and Alex Wassabi back stage that garnered such loud screams.

Pinoy Boy, Mikey Bustos didn’t fail to make us laugh by singing about his pet pig which is not for eating but only for petting. Such a hilarious guy. Super Pinoy Boy also took Connor Franta (cue deafening screams) out on the streets of Manila to show him the beautiful city and Connor also tried a Filipino favorite; Halo-Halo.

After watching the video of Connor Franta eating Halo-Halo and guessing what the ingredients were, he then joined Pinoy Boy on stage with his fans playing “How Well Do You Know Connor”
The fans didn’t even need the multiple choice answers that was given to them as they perfectly know Connor’s mom’s name, Connor’s 2nd most viewed video and his birthday!
Of course, Connor wasn’t spared from the game. He also had to play “How Well Do You Know The Philippines”. Questions as to what you call the citizens of the Philippines, the famous action star in the Philippines and what’s the famous Filipino food is. Unfortunately, he only got 3 out of 5 questions correct. But why does that matter? He is Connor Franta!

The owner of such angelic voice, Tiffany Alvord is then next to perform. Tiffany was overwhelmed as how much fans she has in the Philippines which made her speechless. Even though it was et second time in the country, the support shown to her was unchanging. She then took out her and asked her fans to raise up their phones and light it up, she then said “Mahal Kita” with her most adorable voice to all her fans which made everyone in the room feel ‘kilig’

The famous meme in the Philippines with his all black ripped clothes matching his dark make-up came up on stage that gained a lot of screams and laughter already, please welcome Lloyd Cafe Cadena! He shared as how special that day was for him because he was speaking in English and was the only one struggling backstage because of the language barrier, which made everyone laugh. He brought Tiffany Alvord and Tanner Patrick on stage to interview them, with his script on his hand, his tongue was still getting twisted in speaking in English and blurted out “love the grammar, darling” as he made fun of himself. Poor Lloyd!
But that’s not where the yummy aching laughs ended. Wengie also hoed the three of them on stage which made the audience crazier! I don’t know how many times Wengie said “you’re so cute” during the whole fan fest but I don’t think she knows that she was even cuter while saying that. Lloyd challenged all three of them to sing “Ang Tatlong Bibe” which was already a hilarious idea but to see them try so hard to do so was simply adorable! Anyone that went wanna agree on me with this?

The Filharmonics, who was featured on Pitch Perfect 2 and was on Ellen made us wonder if what they were doing was even possible but after watching them live, wow! Is all I can say about them.

A Friday night became a Wassabi Wednesday night when Alex was given multiple challenges on stage but the previous challenges wasn’t challenging enough for him so he asked for tougher challenges. The hosts challenged him to eat a Balut with out him holding it, so he brought him Wassabi brother on stage to share the wonderful glory of eating a Filipino delicacy. However, he wasn’t able to fulfill the challenge. It was definitely hilarious to see Alex struggle so much on eating a Balut when it’s a norm to eat one in the country.

Bogart The Explorer came up with his unusual accent and brought back all the YouTubers on stage to play a game of charades. It was such a site to see all the famous YouTubers that we only see on our computer screen to interact with each other right in front of us. Thanks Bogart!

After a game of charades, Tyler Ward was ready to rock our world with his music with the help of his good friend, AJ Rafael on keys. Tyler was so amazed with the crowd that he was speechless and said “I don’t know what to say, you’re amazing so I’m just going to play a song” After performing two songs, Tyler was then joined by the rest of the YouTubers on stage to sing the curtain call song for that night.

Right after, DJ Tom Taus, who will be playing at the Ultra Korea next month started off the after party of YouTube fan fest.

It was definitely a night to remember. Full of fellow YouTube fans, fellow bloggers and amazing YouTubers who was down to earth and appreciative of their fans.

Eighth hours in one roof with all these creative minds collaborating together is such a sight to see and I can’t wait to see how they’ll make next YouTube fan fest Manila better than this year. All we can do is just wait and see.

Photo courtesy of YouTube FanFest Manila