When We Were Young Fest (WWWYF), initially a one-day festival scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, was announced earlier this month to the surprise of die-hard music fans. The lineup is what one could call a Warped Tour setlist dream come true.
Emo legends My Chemical Romance were listed at the top of the poster in a large purple box, indicating they were headliners of the show. Once you picked your jaw up off the floor, put your eyes back into your sockets and read on, other bands included A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, The All-American Rejects— even 3oh!3 and Boys Like Girls. Memories of long black hair, sarcastic t-shirts, iPods, fingerless gloves and the feeling of being an outsider, yet superior to the preps on the basis of music taste came flooding back.
It seemed too good to be true.
Once everything was broken down, the logistics made little sense. Sixty-four acts, three stages, one 13-hour day and set up time in between: was that physically possible?
Warped Tour needed between seven to 17 stages per show over its 25 years of festivals. Would our favorite bands even get ten minutes of play time? WWWYF recently said headliners will play for an hour or more while openers’ set lengths will vary, but that leaves even more questions to be answered.
With ticket prices ranging from $225 to $420 before fees for General and General+ Admission, all the way up to $12,500 for a VIP Cabana, was this once in a lifetime event worth it? Adding in travel and lodge costs, it amounts to a ridiculous price for the average young adult to spend on a one-day event, especially considering all sales are final. So, if you change your mind — or worse, catch COVID-19 — refunds are not offered.
Several bands in the lineup disclosed they didn’t know when, where or what they were asked to perform for until the announcement of WWWYF was made to the general public. Was this event a sloppily-put-together, doomed-to-fail cash grab shooting right for the heart of Millennial nostalgia? Recollections of the magical thinking, empty promises and trickery of Fyre Fest misted the air.
It didn’t take long for the internet to explode with debates on the legitimacy of WWWYF and TikTok skits hilariously depicting possible worst-case scenarios. Among hashtags and trending topics, When We Were Young Fest drummed up immediate mass attention.
A few weeks ago, TikTokers found a line of code on the WWWYF website indicating there was a second date, possibly even a third, to be announced. Both of those predictions were correct. Dates for Oct. 23 and subsequently Oct. 29 with the same set list were added.
With how quickly these extra dates were secured and tickets released, it begs the question: was this a scam found-out and covered in bandages or a genius marketing ploy? Perhaps we fell right into their trap.
This entire event is shrouded in the unknown. Organizers have yet to release all the information on stages and crowd layout. After the monstrous disaster that was Astroworld, the worry of insufficient crowd control is ever present. In addition, there are no Covid testing or vaccine requirements to date, with festival goers agreeing to assumed risk. Money aside, that’s enough to keep many, like myself, from attending.
The issue of logistics still stands, but if the organizers, stage crew, performers- and yes, even the festival goers — all pull their weight, they could actually pull this off and safely put on a festival for the history books.