Even though pop-punk music festivals have been put on hold, fans can still expect events that showcase their favorite performers—right? The answer is not as simple as one may think.
On January 18th of this year, the internet went wild with the announcement of ‘When We Were Young’, a music festival including some of the most famous pop-punk bands of the early 2000s. Artists such as Avril Lavigne, Jimmy Eat World, and Paramore were confirmed to be headlining. One of the main attractions being My Chemical Romance. Despite the excitement, many were quick to point out the logistical errors of the event and the possibility of it being a scam.
As soon as the initial shock wore down, questions first arose about the scheduling of everything. When the festival was first posted, it was planned to all take place on the 22nd of October. This was unlike past festivals that took place for days at a time. With such a short amount of space, the artists would have to accommodate their set times. Even with the event running all day and night, there wouldn’t have been enough time for every performer to play a reasonable set.
Luckily, the company organizing ‘When We Were Young’ heard fans’ concerns and made sure to bring their aid—by adding two more dates. “Due to the overwhelming demand, we have decided to add a second day,” their instagram announced on the 21st of this month. As of today, the festival is set to last for three days, having the two new dates be the 23rd and 29th of October. However, the apprehension didn’t end there.
The effects CoronaVirus has had on the live performance business were long lasting and ‘When We Were Young’ is no exception to that. When paying for tickets, the sale policy is clearly stated saying that “all sales are final— no refunds or exchanges,” and while these rules don’t just apply to this particular event, it still raised some red flags to fans.
The safety of the performers, workers, and attendees are all put into consideration when debating whether or not this festival should be put on. One thing that many people took note of was the company behind the whole event. Live Nation Entertainment, the organization responsible for the creation of the festival, is infamous for the tragedy that was ‘Astroworld’. During that event back in November, Live Nation Entertainment, as well as some performers (most notably Travis Scott), went under fire because of the harm caused during the festival. At best, attendees walked out injured. At worst, ten people tragically died. This catastrophe had led to Live Nation Entertainment being named in hundreds of lawsuits.
When addressing the worried safety of ‘When We Were Young’, Live Nation stated, “The safety of fans, artists and staff is thoroughly planned for among event organisers and in coordination with local authorities.”
With the 65 bands all playing together, it’s hard to believe it’s really happening. The worries about the way ‘When We Were Young’ will turn out aren’t going away any time soon. Only time will tell and fingers are crossed that the festival will turn out just fine.