ANAHEIM, Calif. — In its first decade, VidCon, a conference for social media creators and their fans, was a celebration of all things YouTube. But in 2022, don’t expect to see many of the OG YouTube stars at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The conference, which returned in-person on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, was created in 2010 by “Vlogbrothers” and authors John and Hank Green. It has since become the premiere destination for influencers and creators across all platforms.
This year, for the first time, TikTok is the primary sponsor of VidCon. Platforms like Twitch and Discord also have a large presence at the conference.
Here’s a look at which creators are actually going to be around and who is notably absent from this year’s line-up.
VidCon first timers
In 2019, TikTok had already been established as a serious social media competitor. But D’Amelio, its biggest star, had yet to emerge. At VidCon this year, D’Amelio has top billing. Her meteoric rise to the upper echelon of influencers shows how quickly TikTok has dominated the creator industry.
The biggest YouTuber who is slated to attend VidCon this year is Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast. With nearly 100 million subscribers, Donaldson has been able to avoid some of the scrutiny his earlier YouTube peers received. He’s known for expensive stunts and viral charity projects.
Another TikTok star who wasn’t on anyone’s radar in 2019 is Khaby Lame. As of Thursday, Lame has just surpassed D’Amelio at VidCon to take the top spot as the most-followed person on TikTok. Lame rose to viral fame by silently mocking complicated life hack videos.
While there may not be hordes of screaming vlogger fans at this year’s VidCon, the Minecraft player community has its own massive fan base. Tommyinnit, a UK-based video game streamer, will be meeting fans of Dream SMP, a Minecraft community built around the player Dream. Dream himself isn’t expected to show up at VidCon, but other stars of the community will be there.
As TikTok began its cultural ascent in late 2019, Broski became one of its first viral comedians. Best known for her “Kombucha girl” video, Broski has since proven herself to be a wide-ranging creator with a lasting following. It wasn’t until early 2020, before VidCon went on hiatus, that Broski’s stardom peaked, so her introduction in summer 2022 could be considered overdue.
Other creators new to VidCon this year:
- Hyram Yarbro
- Drew Afualo
- Kouvr Annon
- Eddy Burback
- Chrissy Chlapecka
- Louie Castro
Notable creators who are returning
- The Merrell Twins
- Brent Rivera
- Rachel Levin
- Nia Sioux
- Elle Mills
- Kat Blaque
- Molly Burke
- Jon Cozart
Missing from the featured creator list
These creators, who are not on VidCon’s featured creators list this year, did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding their absence.
Mongeau has a contentious history with VidCon. In 2018, after the YouTube “Storytime” star was snubbed from the featured creators list, she held her own competing conference a few blocks away. TanaCon lasted one day, and it lives on in infamy: Attendees complained of long lines, disorganization, and sunburns. In 2019, Mongeau was officially invited to VidCon, and she went onstage with her former flame Jake Paul, who has more recently become known for his boxing career. Neither creator is expected to show up in 2022.
David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad
In 2019, VidCon was full of Vlog Squad members. The YouTuber friend group includes Jason Nash, Heath Hussar, Zane Hijazi, Toddy Smith and Scotty Sire. In 2021, Dobrik faced his biggest controversy yet when Insider published an investigation into rape allegations against a former member of the Vlog Squad. Since then, Dobrik has returned to vlogging, but he isn’t on the list of creators attending this year.
Dawson, one of the earliest YouTube stars, was an original featured creator at VidCon. In 2018, Dawson planned to make an appearance at TanaCon. But before it was canceled, he stated he hates conventions and large crowds and said he doesn’t plan to attend any more.
Charles, a beauty YouTuber, was a featured creator during VidCon’s virtual 2020 conference, where he answered fan questions during an online panel. In 2021, Charles said he exchanged flirty messages with two boys who Charles said lied about their ages. After the controversy, YouTube dropped Charles’ makeup reality competition series. He isn’t expected to attend VidCon this year.
Neistat is one of YouTube’s earliest creators to make a successful transition into traditional media spaces. But he has continued to make YouTube content, too. At the SXSW 2022 conference in Austin, Texas, Neistat debuted a documentary he directed about Dobrik’s 2021 scandal. Still, Neistat is notably not among the VidCon attendees.