SHANGHAI, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius, the convention center queue stretched for miles two hours before its opening in Shanghai. The sweating but eager and expectant young fans gathered patiently for the same destination, Bilibili Marco Link 2017 (BML).
Held by China's biggest entertainment and pop-culture community bilibili, the carnival-style event ended on July 23rd and attracted more than 100,000 people as well as an audience of 10 million streaming online. bilibili is renowned for hosting China's largest fan community of ACG – animation, comics and games, and BML has become a pilgrimage for ACG fans who have a chance to finally meet their peers and their favorite video creators on bilibili.
This year, BML was expanded to a three-day event. During the day, it hosted an exhibition called Bilibili World, where users of bilibili gathered offline to celebrate and share ACG culture while every night concerts were held with various themes, this year's including BML-VR, BML-SP, and BML themes.
BML's concert organisers invite video uploaders from bilibili and other artists to perform, and this year's BML saw a huge surge in attendees compared to a comparatively paltry 800 people just five years ago. Created to build a space where fans can celebrate the culture of animation, BML is not only an opportunity to connect users with uploaders, but also to enrich their experience with ACGN animation. Everyone is part of show, with artists performing on stage while enthusiastic fans wave glow sticks rhythmically.
"Compared with the generation of their parents, those who were born in the post-90s and post-2000s in China are more financially secure and interested to indulge themselves in a colourful cultural life," said Chen Rui, chairman of bilibili.
The three-day event invited nearly 400 guests from within China and abroad, as well as 400 notable video uploaders of bilibili to perform for ACG fans. bilibili has 1 million uploaders whose original creations account for nearly 70% of its content.
"They want a lot more diversified content that suits their individual tastes. The internet has made it possible for them to consume a huge amount of content from Japanese animation, games, to original videos created by fellow internet users," said Chen of the young Chinese generation.
Though ACG was previously considered a sub-culture made up of a minority group, the scale of BML has shown the massive potential within the ACG market. This is representative of a major demographic shift that could well reshape the media and entertainment landscape within China and around the world, as this young generation will become the main consumers of digital entertainment by 2020, according to South China Morning Post.
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