When We Were Young festival: emo Disneyland


The official festival poster shows the several bands playing at the sold-out festival. Photo retrieved from When We Were Young Website.

Audra Gullquist, Layout and Design Manager

In Jan. of 2022, the “When We Were Young” festival was announced, which caused past and current emos to go crazy over this news. The festival producers described it as “an Epic Lineup of Emo & Rock Bands from the past two decades at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.” Over 60 bands are planned to play on Oct. 22, 23 and 29 of 2022 from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.. My Chemical Romance and Paramore are headlining the event. Other performers such as Avril Lavigne, Pierce the Veil, Bring Me The Horizon, 3OH!3, Sleeping With Sirens and many more are planned to play during the festival. Since the announcement of the festival, the tag #whenwewereyoungfest has over 18 million views on TikTok, 88.4 thousand retweets and 101.1 thousand likes on Twitter. Tickets started at $224.99 for general admission, and VIP started at $499.99. Despite the hefty price, tickets sold out immediately. 

This news seemed almost too good to be true to some fans. Some people started to suspect whether or not the festival was a scam or not. Many people are calling the festival the “Emo Frye Fest” after the Frye Fest scam in 2017. The Frye Fest was marketed as a lavish music festival at a deserted Island. Blink-182 was supposed to headline at this festival. Gourmet food and accommodations were also promised to the attendees. It was advertised by Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid so everyone believed it would be a legitimate event. However, when everyone arrived, they saw no bands and nothing but rain-soaked tents for them to sleep in. Blink-182 and other bands had dropped out of the event because the organizer Billy McFarland could not provide what the bands needed to perform. Tickets cost about $500 and attendees spent much more on expenses to fly out to the island. They were only fed cheese and bread. People are suspicious that the “When We Were Young” festival will end up being just like Frye Fest. 

 The tickets are very expensive and non-refundable which caused suspicion among fans, but the organizers promised to keep up their end of the bargain. Live Nation is producing the festival and announced that they have planned 60 acts each day. When thinking about this practically it seems nearly impossible for the festival to fit in 60 acts in one day. Fans are also suspicious about Live Nation producing the event since Live Nation was also behind the Astroworld festival, in which 10 people died, and multiple others were injured due to poor crowd control. With the venue capacity of the “When We Were Young” festival being 85,000, it seems very likely that history may repeat itself and mosh pits will occur. Rock concerts are notably known for mosh pits and since this is a rock festival run by Live Nation, it would not be surprising if we hear about this festival in the news after it occurs. 

The last thing anyone wants is for this festival to be a repeat of Astroworld or the Frye Festival. If you bought tickets for this event, be cautious and read all the fine print. Festivals are not cheap and you should not spend that amount of money unless you know you are guaranteed a safe environment. This festival has gotten mixed opinions and not enough information has been released to give evidence on whether or not it is a scam or not. Live Nation has a tainted image and this could be another scam or a way to redeem themselves. Either way, it is best to do your research and make an educated judgment about this event. Trust your instincts, don’t be naive and be safe out there!

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