“Because the Internet,” there are more cons than ever.
I’m not referring to the many tech companies going public before their balance books are profitable (we’re looking at you, Netflix). I’m talking about the good cons: VidCon, ComplexCon, and RapCon. What’s the red thread? They’re all helping the Internet come to life through real-world experiences.
The 10th anniversary of VidCon was in Anaheim over the weekend and boasted a massive 75,000 attendees. Perhaps the hottest topic this year was TikTok, which reportedly spent nearly $1 billion on advertising last year and has aggressively courted YouTube’s biggest creators. According to The Wall Street Journal, TikTok paid one influencer a million dollars for a single 15-second video. The Atlantic agrees that Tik Tok was the star of the convention this year.”VidCon is the first time TikTok has asserted its dominance in the wider creator culture. It is also the first time top U.S. influencers on the platform have all come together in one space.
The next Con is up in Chicago, where ComplexCon, a catalyst for creative collaboration between the culture’s most influential people and brands, will be held this weekend. The groundbreaking festival and exhibitions bring together pop culture, music, art, food, sports, innovation, activism, and education. Performers and speakers range from Schoolboy Q and Juice WRLD to Allen Iverson and Killer Mike. I’m especially enticed by Complex Community Week, a calendar of events leading up to the festival — including a sneaker drive, a soup kitchen, leadership panels, and anti-gun violence rallies — that help raise awareness and support in Chicago communities.
As it happens, though, the event I’m most excited about is taking place in my backyard: the first-ever RapCon. This is a VIP think tank for first movers in hip-hop to discuss the state of rap and cross-industry collaboration.
The organizers did a great job of curating a best-in-class roster of speakers across various sectors, industries, and disciplines. There will be unscripted fireside chats and engaging keynotes from fearless marketers and influencers, as well as highly curated, limited access events that allow for the exchange of ideas among key movers in the music business and beyond. It features panelists from SoundCloud, Genius, VICE, Audiomack, A3C Festival & Conference, Billboard, and TIDAL.
Yours truly will also be gracing the stage (!!!) so come through July 25th at National Sawdust. RapCon is hosted by indie distributor, Symphonic Distribution.
See you there. Or, you know, online 😉