It's Not A Phase: Why "When We Were Young" Is The Festival Of 2022


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Dust Off Your Skinny Jeans 

The Black Parade will be marching into Las Vegas this October when the "When We Were Young" Festival takes over two weekends. Emo and pop punk are making a resurgence to the mainstream but for some, this music never went away.

Why is this festival selling out multiple days and why now? In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares why, for fans of this genre, it's not a phase and why the When We Were Young Festival is gearing up to be the festival of 2022.  

Its Not A Phase Why When We Were Young Is The Festival Of 2022

It's Not A Phase

Every year, around this time, the live music world begins to roll out their lineups for all the big summer and fall music festivals. Pre-Covid, Coachella would have lead the charge, selling out whatever passes even remain for weekend 2 by the time the lineup is announced, and then you’d see old faithfuls like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, New Orleans Jazzfest and BottleRock Napa, to name a few, release their lineups. Each one working to be a little different than the others but you’d still see some crossovers on lineups with similar genres. This year however, there’s an outlier that seems to be stirring up more buzz and more demand than any of the major festival players, When We Were Young. This October, fans of 2000s Emo, Pop Punk and Screamo will be descending upon Las Vegas, Nevada for, as of this being written, 3 days to relive the glory days of the genre. This lineup isn’t about the new buzz band or the indie darling who the “cool” kids are getting to a festival to see at 3:00pm (considered “early” to most festival goers even when gates tend to open by noon), this lineup harks back to the 2000s when the emo and punk kids were sharing their music with the masses. Grab your eyeliner, your skinny jeans and your studded belts and lets figure out why the When We Were Young festival is aiming to be the king of the 2022 music festival season.

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The Lineup

The lineup for this festival is what dreams are made of for anyone who used to attend The Warped Tour at any point in their life. To list all the bands of note on this lineup would require a completely second blog post but here’s a few. My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Jimmy Eat World, The All-American Rejects and Dashboard Confessional. Take a second to really let that sink in. All those bands on one lineup and that’s only a small sampling of the 60 bands playing each day. With many big names in this world missing such as Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, Good Charlotte and, Las Vegas natives, The Killers to name a few (hopefully we will see them on the 2023 lineup), this is the fantasy lineup that any fan attending would have scribbled in their notebook if asked to fantasy book a music festival.

When We Were Young Festival Lineup 2022

Credit: When We Were Young Festival

There has been a lot of chatter online worried about how they can manage to get 60 bands to perform on 3 stages in one day without this turing into the next “Fyre Fest”. I remind anyone reading this that this is being run by some of the biggest concert promotors in the world so you should trust they know what they are doing whereas Fyre Fest was run by an amateur who was in too deep too fast. If you ever attended Warped Tour, you know it took 5 or 6 stages to be able to get that many bands on stage but Warped Tour was built to be moved. At the end of the day, they packed up the punk rock circus and moved it all to the next parking lot or dirt field so you were limited in the technology that was available to you. With rotating stages and an army of stagehands, I have no fear in the operations of When We Were Young. Honestly, the biggest concern I have in attending this festival isn’t how they are going to get all these bands on stage but how am I going to manage to see them all and which will have to be sacrificed due to the schedule?

The History

What’s lost to most is that this isn’t a “new” festival. The first When We Were Young festival happening in 2017 in southern California but it looked a whole lot different than the lineup coming in 2022. The 2017 version was headlined by Morrissey and also featured bands like Saves The Day and The Get Up Kids. Bands who appeared on that 2017 lineup that are back for 2022 include Taking Back Sunday, Alkaline Trio and AFI. Other Emo/Pop Punk/Punk festivals have done a damn good job of creating lineups that fans could always get behind. The Vans Warped Tour spent 25 summers heading out on the road bringing an eclectic mix of music to the USA. Without doing the full research on each and every band on When We Were Young, I would venture to guess that every band on the When We Were Young lineup that was around during the years of The Warped Tour probably played it at least once. In the 2000s, The Bamboozle festival appeared in New Jersey and is the closest thing to When We Were Young. Bamboozle was a yearly 2-day festival that brought all the biggest names in the pop punk and emo space to Asbury Park, NJ and eventually grew to the parking lot of Giants Stadium.

Hayley Williams Paramore When We Were Young Festival 2022

Every year they combined headliners like No Doubt, Fall Out Boy and Paramore and then mixed in some eclectic names such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Drake and even “Weird Al” Yankovic. Bamboozle’s last year was 2012 but there was always hope that they would one day return and last year, the festival’s original creator announced that the Bamboozle would return in 2023 but no real details other than that. There was a buzz that started to happen within the community and then, out of the blue, When We Were Young appeared and seemingly stole Bamboozle’s thunder. Only time will tell if there will be another Bamboozle now or not but I say there is plenty of room for as many of these types of festivals as possible!

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Why Now?

So why is this festival creating such a buzz right now with both the fans who lived this life in the 2000s and brand new fans who were children during this genre’s heyday? Well, while some of the biggest names of the 2000s such as Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and Green Day never really went away, we have seen a resurrection of the genre with artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Willow, JXDN, Kennyhoopla and Olivia Rodrigo. Even Avril Lavigne has gone back to her roots and traded in her pop songs and ballads for pop punk tracks like her new song “Bite Me”.

The music world always goes in ebbs and flows. EDM and Hip-Hop have been at the forefront for a few years now but rock is hopefully coming back. Watch out for the black parade as it storms through Las Vegas this fall. Sure, there will be fans there who have “grown up” or are maybe going to think twice about jumping in that mosh pit this time around but those same people have never stopped listening to pop punk, emo, screamo and all the other sub-genres in this world and will tell you that “it’s not a phase”.

Eager To Learn More?

Want to learn more about music festivals and the music industry? Check out these other blogs written by the rest of the HB team.

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