‘We did whatever we could:’ All-American Rejects host free, all-ages pop-up show in lieu of canceled festival Saturday

The All-American Rejects host pop-up show in lieu of Saturday's music festival cancellation
The All-American Rejects host pop-up show in lieu of Saturday's music festival cancellation(Barclay Fernandez, GRAY TV)
Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 10:01 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - In a devastating blow to tens of thousands of music fans, the first day of one of the most highly-anticipated music festivals in recent memory was canceled on Saturday due to high winds: When We Were Young.

With the way the lineup was structured, many people were single-day ticket holders. Unfortunately, that meant Saturday ticket holders were left without an event to attend. But not all was lost.

Some bands from the lineup put on last-minute pop-up shows: like the band The All-American Rejects, who rocked out at a free, all-ages show for hundreds in the Arts District.

The All-American Rejects were the first to announce a last-minute pop-up performance in lieu of the festival on Twitter. Shortly after the festival’s cancellation, they made their plans known on Twitter that they would perform at Soul Belly BBQ on Main Street in the Las Vegas Arts District.

The band’s frontman Tyson Ritter spoke to FOX5 during the event, and told us he was worried on Friday night that the festival would be canceled after looking at the forecast. At that point, he said he began making plans with the venue’s owner for the pop-up show.

“It sucks for everyone who flew in from a different country, everyone who has been looking forward to this for a year, but it’s not our fault. And uh, we did whatever we could to try to like, ya know, put a band-aid on like this corroded artery,” said Ritter.

A fan told us she was grateful for the band doing this after being devastated by the news of the cancellation.

“I was like, ‘Well that’s it. I guess I’m gonna go home, not see anybody.’ I almost cried. So, this was -- I’m just so appreciative that they did this, I feel like they really care about their fans. It’s just... I love you All-American Rejects!” said Anna Staples, a ticket holder for Saturday’s When We Were Young event.

Ritter said it meant a lot to him to be able to put a spotlight on the Arts District.

“I think what we can do to make up for it, is such like, a gift. To be able to come to Downtown Las Vegas -- the real Las Vegas-- and be able to show people there’s an Arts District, there’s a working class that believes in what they do, they love their town and it’s not just feeding off tourism, there is a soul at Soul Belly and everywhere around it,” said Ritter.

Staples said she enjoyed the show.

“This was probably actually one of the best shows of my life. Super intimate. This is the closest I think I’ve ever been to the stage. I’m just so happy right now,” said Staples.

Other bands from the festival lineup performed pop up shows at casinos in the area, as stunned attendees look for somewhere to go. The Palms Hotel and Casino hosted Bring Me The Horizon, another band from the bill. Lines of people weaved through the casino as people tried to get inside the Pearl Theater to see their performance.