Extra security helped calm the nerves of anxious social media stars attending VidCon over the weekend, following the death of their fellow web sensation, Christina Grimmie, earlier this month.
The brutal post-concert shooting of Grimmie, who made her name on YouTube before starring onThe Voice,
put a cloud over the annual online video convention and raised questions about the safety of fan meet and greets.
“It’s pretty dangerous [to go to the convention hall],” YouTube sensation Joey Graceffa
at the event. “I did that like three years ago … I walk over and I get swarmed … being pulled at in every direction. … I was like, ‘Oh gosh. This is actually really scary, we need to get out of here.’”
“I think the more security, the better, just to make sure creators are safe, people visiting are safe – it’s a win-win,” continued The Amazing Race
Graceffa, 25, admitted that he has become more hesitant to conduct fan meet and greets since Grimmie’s death.
"Absolutely. 100 percent. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me at all,” he admitted. “That’s been in the back of every YouTuber’s mind – [that] anyone could really do anything to us, and then it finally happened, which is so sad, because Christina was so sweet. I didn't get the chance to meet her, but from seeing her videos and just knowing about her -- she didn't deserve it."
Singer Madilyn Bailey reiterated how close the shooting hit to home.
“It was such a weird personal moment for me because it felt like it could’ve been me,” Bailey told ET. “I’ve been in that position, reaching out to my fan for a hug. It’s so vulnerable.”
Security was doubled for this year’s event, news that made another web sensation, Anthony Padilla
, both relieved and disappointed.
"I felt safe. That was, of course, a worry,” he explained. “It was weird though, because with feeling more safe and feeling better about it, there’s also that thing that bums me out, which is that we can't get as close and personal with our audience and viewers.”
See more about Grimmie’s death in the video below.