VidCon’s annual Anaheim convention, which had been scheduled to take place this week, was canceled because of COVID-19.

In place of the in-person confab, VidCon is launching a weekly programming series — accessible for free — that will include virtual concerts and performances, panel discussions, Q&As, online “meet and greets,” and other interactive events.

The VidCon Now series kicks off on Saturday, June 20, to be followed by new programming each week Tuesday through Saturday throughout the summer, the ViacomCBS-owned company said.

The first two weeks of the virtual convention, sponsored by YouTube, will feature VidCon co-founders John and Hank Green, former Twitter executive Bruce Daisley, BEN Network CEO Ricky Ray Butler, and creators including Emma Chamberlain, Brent Rivera, Calle & Poché, Nathan Davis Jr., James Charles, Eugene Lee Yang and Jasmine Gonzalez.

Other digital creators participating in VidCon Now are slated to include Gigi Gorgeous, Jacksepticeye, DreaKnowsBest, Ambers Closet, Miles McKenna and Vanessa Brasfield.

Initial programming will include:

  • A discussion between top YouTube creator Emma Chamberlain and her father, Michael, about her career journey.
  • Tiltify CEO Michael Wasserman, Jacksepticeye, Kasper, and Pleasantly Twstd leading a workshop on how creators can use livestreams to engage audiences while raising money for good.
  • A fireside chat with the Onyx family on how they turned an online video channel into a multimillion-dollar business.
  • The “ultimate BFF Q&A session” with Brent Rivera, his sister Lexi, and the Stokes Twins.
  • TikTok growth strategist Varshini Satish and breakout creators discussing the opportunities and challenges.
  • A Community track panel featuring Elle Mills and Miles McKenna, moderated by Ad Council’s Lina Renzina.

As VidCon Now’s title sponsor, YouTube will exclusively livestream several Community, Industry, and Creator tentpole events throughout the summer. The first Community tentpole is slated for Saturday, June 27, celebrating Pride and diverse voices worldwide with a lineup of speakers, musical performances and tributes.

In addition, online-chat company Discord will serve as the “official community” for VidCon Now under a sponsorship deal, with channels for each of the different workshops, creator chats, panels, and other events.

Registration for free access to VidCon Now is now open at vidcon.com. The company said it will update the programming lineup weekly in two-week increments. VidCon Now attendees will be invited to support Black Lives Matter causes through donations to Black Visions Collective and the NAACP as well as to COVID-19 relief efforts through World Health Organization and No Kid Hungry.

“VidCon has the unique opportunity during this time to bring our community of passionate fans, emerging creators, and industry professionals together for the same top-tier programming you would expect from our IRL convention – delivered into the safety of everyone’s homes – for free,” GM Jim Louderback said in a statement.

First launched in 2010, VidCon last year drew 75,000 attendees and 120 exhibitors to the Anaheim Convention Center. VidCon was founded by Hank and John Green (of YouTube’s Vlogbrothers channel) and the conference business was acquired in 2018 by Viacom (now ViacomCBS).

https://variety.com/2020/digital/news/vidcon-isnt-happening-in-anaheim-so-its-launching-a-weekly-series-of-online-programming-1234633925/