posted by Lea Rice

RIP to all the lives lost.

It was through unstoppable sobs and gasps of sadness that Hank and John Green paid tribute to the late Christina Grimmie at VidCon 2016.

22 year old Christina – a supremely talented YouTuber and musician – was murdered by a gunman whilst signing autographs following her concert in Orlando, Florida. She died in hospital from her injuries. Her killer shot himself at the scene. All this a mere day before a mass shooting took place in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring a further 53.

Finishing each others’ sentences when the other succumbed to tears, Hank and John shared VidCon’s fundraising endeavour of the weekend, which was to raise money for the families of the Orlando LGBT club victims, before launching into the most incredible tribute to Christina. Thousands of people were sporting the ‘Love is Love’ wristbands, which were given in exchange for donating to the cause, by the end of the weekend.

Hank said “Her innovation and her generosity will affect this community forever”. Christina’s tribute video – a montage of footage collected throughout her life online – was collated by Christina’s friends, accompanied by their cover of a song written by Christina herself. It’s a tough watch – the VidCon audience were moved to tears, as were viewers all over the world who remembered and loved the singer.  

At the end of the video, through a stream of tears, Hank and John called not for a minute of silence, but a minute of applause, to honour the memory of Christina Grimmie, and everything she contributed to the YouTube community as well as the world of music.

Security measures were increased overall at VidCon this year. Following the shootings, tighter rules were enforced upon the event, including the banning of creators meeting fans after panel discussions, more undercover police presence as well as metal detectors and mandatory bag checks at the entrance of the meet-up halls.