The imaginary line between online stars and mainstream celebrities is quickly disappearing and with that vanishing divide has come a huge demand for live appearances. Fans aren’t satisfied to experience their favorites only through their lap tops and smartphone screens. They crave physical proximity, live performances, meeting and greeting. That’s why the demand for live-showers featuring YouTube creators has skyrocketed. When it comes to meeting that demand the undisputed industry leader is Digitour.
The traveling Vine and YouTube roadshow has already logged more than 60 performances in 2014 including three national tours. The show is headlined by a host of familiar faces including Vine music duo Jack and Jack (Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky), YouTube supergroup O2L, and omnipresent social media force of nature Tyler Oakley. The tour has even grown to include some headliners that aren’t strictly digital celebs, most prominently X-Factor runner-up girl group Fifth Harmony. The whole enterprise sold more that 120,000 tickets over 60 different shows, an impressive figure considering base ticket prices hover between $30-$35 and it’s also one that Digitour plans to dramatically increase.
Digitour co-founder and CEO Meredith Valiando-Rojas has announced that the tour will offer a total of 350,000 tickets in 2015 spread out across 141 nationwide performances, more than double their 2014 totals. That means twice as many opportunities to see some of the internet’s biggest stars perform live. The expansion is funded by a small group of notable investors including Ryan Seacrest, Conde Nast parent company Advanced Publications, and Allen DeDebovoise, co-founder of gaming-focused MCN Machinima. All told Digitour raised just short of $2 million to fund its growth.
Digitour has been compared in interviews to popular music festivals like Coachella for teens and young adults. Like the massive festivals from which it takes its inspiration Digitour has also begun producing content of its own including concert videos and a tour documentary starring headliners Jack and Jack. It’s a far cry from the early days when informal YouTube gatherings would draw crowds of a few dozen, or even from the early installments of VidCon where a few thousand attendees was considered a staggering number.