When We Were Young Festival appears ready to rock Las Vegas despite some skepticism

It is not often that you see about 60 bands on a music festival’s lineup for a single day, let alone this many bands that so-called “emo kids” go crazy for.
Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:23 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - It is not often that you see about 60 bands on a music festival’s lineup for a single day, let alone this many bands that so-called “emo kids” go crazy for. But despite initial skepticism, the Las Vegas Festival Grounds and Live Nation now seem prepared to welcome guests clad in skinny jeans and black eyeliner for the first-ever When We Were Young Festival.

Ahead of its first weekend, the highly buzzed-about emo and pop punk festival is at the center of rumors on social media.

“Typically when you see a festival of this magnitude, it’s over a three-day weekend and they split the bill up, but ya know, they’re gonna do 60 or 70 bands each day,” said ticket holder Cannon Kolb. He said people worried, “it’d be something like the disaster that was Fyre Fest.” For those unfamiliar, Fyre Fest was a 2017 luxury music festival that turned out to be fraudulent.

But workers from inside the event told FOX5 Thursday that preparations are going off without a hitch.

James Thomas Productions is the non-union stagehand and rigging company that has been employed to help set up the stages and tents on the festival grounds. Southern Nevadan Ingrid Rosa is working the event on a contract and spoke to FOX5.

“As far as the build, everything is going very smoothly: the lights are up on mainstage, the audio and everything, video is up. So I really can’t say that anything has gone wrong,” said Rosa.

The festival is sold out, however, several tickets are still available on third-party ticketing sites-- and at a fraction of the original price.

“I’ve seen tickets for under a hundred dollars,” said Kolb. “There’s a lot of people who didn’t think these expenses through.”

Kolb said he paid nearly $600 for his GA+ ticket back when they first went on sale.

“Agh, it’s a pain point for sure,” he said.

Las Vegan Matt Kimball said he paid a little more than $350 for his ticket originally, as well.

But neither are “emo” about it.

“It stinks having paid that much, but you know what, it’s gonna be a good time, so I’m stoked,” said Kolb.

“I’d rather have [my ticket] locked in,” said Kimball. “We’re seeing concerts come back, and I know that’s one of the biggest things that people have said they missed during the pandemic.”

The event is set to return the following weekend, Oct. 29-30, as well. Top headliners include My Chemical Romance, Avril Lavigne and Bright Eyes.

As we reported in January, some artists expressed shock on social media that they were included on the lineup at the time of the announcement.

We asked popular media blog Festive Owl, a music festival commentator, about whether they feel this will impact whether all the artists show up.

“Many times when it comes to artists being booked on festival lineups especially — the band, group or person themselves, especially the bigger acts, simply aren’t always aware of where they may or may not be playing,” said Festive Owl. “This isn’t uncommon.”

They added, “I don’t see it affecting any artists showing up, especially for the amount of money they are getting for these huge single-day events such as When We Were Young.”