How “When We Were Young” turned from an “emo fire festival” into a euphoric pop-punk party


NME talked to the artists who came to the secret shows and attended the first emo festival – that’s what happened

When fans from all over the world lined up outside, on October 22, when fans from all over the world lined up outside the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, dressed in their best emo outfits and ready for the first sold-out music festival When we were young, the bad news began. distribute. According to numerous reports, high-speed wind gusts threatened to shut down outdoor events in Sin City, and soon after these reports began to appear, potential participants received a warning in their festival app.

“The organizers of the festival “When we were Young” have spent the last few days actively preparing the festival site for a windy Saturday,” the statement said. “The National Weather Service has upgraded its Saturday forecast to a high wind warning, including dangerous sustained winds of 30-40 mph with potential gusts of up to 60 mph.

“On the advice of the National Weather Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, we have no choice but to cancel today’s “When We Were Young” festival. The safety of our fans, artists and staff will always be our top priority.”

The statement continued: “This was not an easy decision. We know that many of you have come to this area to spend an exciting day with your favorite bands, and have been looking forward to this day for months. We were equally thrilled and devastated to share this news.”

The last-minute cancellation was another blow to the festival, which some dubbed the “emo-fire festival” due to the dense composition of pop-punk bands, which had to be repeated for three days (Saturday, October 22, Sunday, October 23, and Saturday, October 29) in just three stages with a short break between sets.

However, when actors and fans started chatting about the cancellation on social media, an unfortunate turn of events spawned a new plan. Active bands and representatives of the local Las Vegas music scene stepped up and quickly created alternative opportunities for fans.

All-American dregs of “Soulbelly Barbecue”. The free show attracted hundreds of people to an intimate place. “I had the best day of my life,” AAR frontman Tyson Ritter said from the stage. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to show some of these kids where Vegas, the working class, and the arts district are.” He added: “I feel like Vegas is the first to reject me. This is a city to which the Outcasts feel that we belong.”

When Soulbelly reached its limit, fans leaned over the railing surrounding the outdoor patio to catch a glimpse of the band singing along to AAR hits like “Dirty Little Secret” and “Step Together.” Ritter’s new band, Now more than ever, also performed their new track “Don’t Rush, Don’t Wait” for the fans. “Downtown Las Vegas is real shit,” Ritter said from the stage before walking away from the enthusiastic crowd.

Another meeting of WWWY participants on Saturday evening took place in the Sand dollar Lounge in a 300-seat hall, as about 1,000 fans were waiting outside, hoping to get to an unofficial PBR party, where feelings would not work, Thursday and Bayside took the stage.

Another last-minute show attracted fans to the Festival grounds in Strat. “When we got the call and were told that the Saturday festival When we were young had to be cancelled because of the wind, we all obviously got upset right away,” Ronnie Winter of the Red Jumpsuit apparatus told NSV. “We knew we would have two more days to play, but we also knew perfectly well that people were flying in from all over the world, and in some cases they only had tickets for Saturday.”

Winter continued: “It’s good that all the bands at this festival [line-up] came from the homemade punk rock scene. For several hours I’ve been on the phone with many of my friends from bands in Vegas, trying to figure out what we can do to at least play something for people in the city who have nothing to do. We announced the show, and within 15 minutes thousands of people flooded the Strat.”

At some point, the hotel in Vegas had to stop receiving fans due to the rapid overflow. “We played on a tiny stage, mostly used for lounge bands, in a random corner of the casino,” Winter added. “We all played in stripped-down sets to try to keep calm as there were so many people there. We just hope we’ve cleared up the day’s bummer a little bit.”

“Bring me the Horizon.” Frontman Oli Sykes shared on Instagram a handwritten poster announcing a concert at the Pearl Theater with the support of Landon and Barker (son of the drummer on Blink-182, Travis Barker).

“I was supposed to go to the festival “When we were young”, but it was canceled, but at the end of the day I still got a chance to see BMTH, which made my evening much better,” one fan wrote in the caption to the video from the evening. show.

By Sunday (October 23), the wind had died down and anticipation for the festival reached a new high when fans returned to the festival venue. However, despite the extra day to improve logistics, there were still disruptions on the first day. Participants noted that the points of receipt of bracelets were confusing, there were also long queues, which meant a long waiting time for food, drinks, goods and toilets. Despite these problems, the bands and fans took the experience calmly.

“When we were young,” it was as awesome as we hoped,” Ben Jorgensen of Armor for Sleep told NME. “It was an amazing celebration of this music that changed our whole lives, and we are very proud that our fans were there for us.”

The festival “When We were Young” continues this weekend, and Paramor, my Chemical Romance and others are due to return on October 29. Earlier this week, it was announced that Avril Lavigne would no longer be in the lineup, however, a Lethal Taxi for Cutie and Under Oath would be added.

The festival will then return to Las Vegas next year on October 21, and its bill for 2023 will be headlined on Blink-182 and Green a day, along with 30 Seconds to Mars, Offspring, OK, Charlotte, Rise Up Against and others.


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