Around subscribers the world, watch 18,9 DANTDM’S million Youtube channels, and his videos have been viewed 10,6 billion times. What does he do in these videos? He plays video games. What does he do in his new live show that is selling out theatres on thr
How DANTDM got 10,6 billion views
When he was a boy, Dan Middleton used to dread this kind of thing – having to talk to people, getting attention. Even as he got older and started making his videos and quit his job at the supermarket – and even when he had 1 million, then 5, then 18 million subscribers to the Youtube channels on which he plays Minecraft and chronicles his life – Dan was much more comfortable when it was just him and a camera in his room over the garage. What has he got himself into with these live shows, in front of all those people?
But kids will be here today, and kids give him strength. He knows these kids. He was one of these kids. They’re already here, standing outside in a raggedy line that begins at the locked glass doors and ends somewhere near the parking lot. The kids – it’s almost all boys – run circles around each other to pass the time, or they twirl their fidget spinners, or they plead with their parents for a phone to play with. Some of them carry pictures or posters of Dan.
The glass doors lead in to a 5 000seat theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut, a half hour from the closest city. Tickets for today’s show cost between $63,50 and $150 (R825 – R1 950), and it’s sold out. Almost every show on the 18-month tour has sold out, including two at the Beacon Theatre in New York, four at the Sydney Opera House, and 32 straight shows across the UK, where Dan lives. The North American leg is being promoted by Live Nation, the massive company that put on 26 000 events in 40 countries last year. The parents of the kids who are already here have been standing in line since 11:15 am on a rainy Sunday for a show that begins at 3, because they’ve paid an additional R1 200 for the chance to meet Dan, so that their children can see that the guy who they spend their Saturday mornings watching on Youtube is a real, live human.
Inside, Dan sits in a plastic chair at one end of a large reception room – industrial carpeting, fluorescents. He wears a gray hoodie. Behind him is a black curtain hung from a metal frame, emblazoned with a picture of a Minecraft tunnel. In front of him is a cardboard cutout of a Minecraft cart loaded with Minecraft diamonds, with the words TDM ON TOUR. That’s his Youtube name: DANTDM. “The Diamond Minecart”. You have to play
Minecraft to understand the TDM part, but it’s a clever name.
At the meet-and-greet, 150 kids and their parents hug the walls of the room. When each child gets to Dan, he asks the kid’s name, answers nervous questions, autographs whatever the kid puts in his face and poses for a photograph. At the end, he highfives each kid, and it’s an enthusiastic