Tens of thousands of punk and emo music fans were left bitterly disappointed on Saturday, when the opening day of the inaugural “When We Were Young” festival in Las Vegas was canceled due to 60 mph wind gusts. But local concert promoters put some of the wind back in their sails. They placed more than a dozen orphaned bands onto Las Vegas stages, taking some of the sting out of as many as 85,000 ruined vacations.
Max Adler was one of dozens of Las Vegas concert promoters who stepped up. He helped book Kittie, Anthony Gree, Alkaline Trio, Senses Fail, Thursday, Bayside, and Saosin into a free show at Sand Dollar Lounge.
“I felt horrible that this happened to so many people,” Adler said. “I know so many fans who came out with tickets only for Saturday only, and it didn’t seem fair they would get to see any of their favorite bands play.”
As soon as word of the cancelation got out, Adler – a former exec with Live Nation and AEG Live in Vegas – put out the word on social media to his venue connections: Whatever performance you’re hosting tonight, you need to try and replace it with one of the bands orphaned by the cancelation.
An Hour’s Notice
Live Nation, which organized “When We Were Young,” canceled its first day only an hour before doors were scheduled to open to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, which holds 85,000 people. Not all festival attendees received the cancelation email at the same time, with some finding the statement in their inboxes as late as 10:30 a.m.
“This was not a decision that came lightly,” read a Live Nation statement. “We know many of you traveled to the area to have a spectacular day with your favorite bands and have been looking forward to his day for months. We were equally as excited and are devastated to have to share this news.”
Bands scheduled to perform included My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, and Jimmy Eat World. Ticketholders who purchased their tickets directly from the festival were told they would receive refunds in less than a month, the statement said.
Other Consolations for Cancellation
Also on Saturday, free shows were performed by festival performers HorrorPops at the Double Down Saloon; the All-American Rejects at Soul Belly Barbecue; and Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Armor For Sleep at The Strat.
“The whole Las Vegas concert community worked incredibly hard today,” Adler said. “Even though the cancellation was nobody’s fault, we felt it was our responsibility to try and make it better for at least some of the fans.”
According to Live Nation’s statement, the remaining “When We Were Young” concerts on Sunday (Oct. 23) and next Saturday (Oct. 29) remain on the books and “are moving forward accordingly.”
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