When We Were Young Festival

When We Were Young Festival

Picture by Brandon Kim

Throughout our childhoods, every generation of teens experiences that odd phase where it seems no one can ever understand what is going on inside their dark minds. Hey, we’ve all been there. But the thing that seems to best help us during this time is music. Specifically, for some, it was the early 2000s punk scene. 

Announced initially on January 18,  the When We Were Young festival featured a lineup of Paramore, Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World, and even Pierce The Veil, plus so many more. They even included Lil Huddy….Interesting, but ok! As the internet buzzed about their favorite bands performing together, the questions began to roll in.  

Like how 65 bands are all performing on one day, all starting simultaneously. One Instagram user worked out the logistics saying, “65 bands in 12 hours on three stages means each band plays for like 30 minutes, and then the next one immediately starts?” They then go on to suggest a second date get added. Initially, the one-day festival sold out (obviously). But as time passed, more and more people grew suspicious of the event.

Some even went as far as to suggest it was the next Fyre Festival- which is an insult in itself! During pre-sale on January 21, with a fee of $78.99, the ticket prices began increasing to $300; the public was outraged. Most thought this was very pricey but were still willing to pay the money for a ticket. When tickets went on sale, there was such high demand the website sent people to a waiting lobby, and many were frustrated, fearing they would not get tickets. However, 30 minutes into the pre-sale, a second show–with the same lineup–was added! 

To most buyers, this screamed disorganization. They were outraged that the second date was not offered before. Offering additional dates upfront could have allowed fans to see all of their favorite artists and enjoy the festival. The second day then sold out in hours. And resellers began driving up ticket prices on various apps for desperate buyers. 

The worst thing about this disorganization is the anticipation it brought. Thousands grew up with these bands and spent their youth enjoying their music, so it is frustrating for many fans when a festival of this nature doesn’t realize how in demand it will be. By January 21, the entire festival had sold out with an Instagram caption that read, ”…When we began working on this concept, we had no idea it would get this big.” 

Many were taken aback by this statement because they had taken some of the biggest punk bands ever and brought their performances to one venue. Especially during a time of nostalgia today, many wanted a spot in the festival. With such high demand, A THIRD DAY WAS ADDED. Again the anger poured in, and it would have been so simple to organize a weekend-long festival and spread these bands out at the beginning instead of adding additional days. Keep in mind, as tickets sold out, some people were still waiting to purchase their tickets.

So far, no more news has come out, but then again, the festival is being put on by Live Nation, the same company to organize Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. 

The worst part about the festival to me is capitalizing on groups that have been put down and milking money out of people who just want to see a childhood hero perform. Since the beginning, this fandom has received so much hate, but they soldiered on and made it to their adult lives, only to be ripped off three times over a month. 

It should have been organized from the beginning. Live Nation should have known the interest would be high from the beginning. I can’t wait to see how the actual festival turns out; I can only hope everyone gets to enjoy some music and stays safe.