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When We Were Young: The Ultimate Emo Renaissance or Nostalgia-Baiting Cash Grab?

Maybe a little bit of both? 🤷🏻‍♀️

By Jane E. Kenney | Freelancer & Writing CoachPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
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Source: When We Were Young Festival/Live Nation

When We Were Young.

This seems to be one of the most sought-after festivals in the emo scene since the days of getting sunburnt and heat-stricken at Warped Tour. The main difference between WWWY and Warped, though, is that one of them was only $40 for one full day of amazing band performances—hell, I remember one of my friends getting last-minute Warped tickets the day of for, like, $25.

And I'll give you one hint: it's not WWWY charging $40 (I wish).

It seems like with the onslaught of new "emo" artists like YUNGBLUD (it's also worth noting the emeregence of Machine Gun Kelly's "punk rock" era with his records Tickets to My Downfall and Mainstream Sellout), all of our favorite emo artists and bands decided to reap the benefits of a comeback.

Let's take it back to October 31, 2019. Where were you that day?

Because that was the day that one of the most legendary emo bands of the millennial generation announced their reunion: My Chemical Romance.

I truly do believe that was the start of the emo renaissance, because all of our favorite emo and punk bands rose up from the ashes soon after, and we saw it with the beginnings of When We Were Young. The very first festival took place in 2022 in Las Vegas, with My Chemical Romance and Paramore headlining for the weekend. Other bands included The Used, Jimmy Eat World, Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce the Veil, and more fan-favorites that we all used to blast in our iPod touch headphones on the schoolbus just to get through the week.

WWWY 2022 was so successful, that there was a 2023 festival, and now, a highly-anticipated 2024 set showcasing more of our favorites playing some of their highest-charting albums in full (hello, The Black Parade?!).

And through this entire process, perhaps one of the most prominent band reunions aside from MCR was Blink-182 with its original line-up (I'm looking at you, Tom DeLonge!). What makes this even more exciitng is that none of these reunions have been one-off instances. For example, MCR is headlining WWWY 2024 and has been rumored to have been in the studio recently, and Blink-182 is slated to embark on their second tour since their initial reunion.

Ahh, my emo heart is so happy.

But not everyone is entirely happy with the price of things, and how bands seem to be capitalizing on the fact that nostalgia sells.

For instance, let's talk about WWWY 2024 alone as someone who participated in the Day 1 pre-sale.

For two GA tickets (no VIP, no hotel bundle, no nothing) the entire payment is slated to be a whopping $933.51 with tax, fees, and all that yucky stuff.

Yes. Almost $1,000 for TWO GA TICKETS for a single day.

Some people simply can't believe or justify this. I, however, being a diehard MCR fan, wanted to fulfill my dream of seeing the band across the country (I had missed their initial LA reunion show and have regretted it ever since). I'm also making it a long weekend trip with my fiancé and another couple, so we're making the most out of it aside from seeing a festival. On top of that, we're looking forward to tons of other bands, so I do believe we're getting our money's worth!

But for some fans, they just can't see putting down $1k or more for a single day of music, and I can totally understand that. Because looking back at that layaway plan right now, both my heart and my bank account are hurting. *chills*

Now, Day 1 sold out so quickly, they immediately posted a waitlist for a potential Day 2 (that we all knew was coming anyway) and so far, tickets are still fully available for Day 2, including GA, GA+, VIP, hotel bundles, and more.

Even with Day 2 being less of a Hunger Games situation than Day 1, people still aren't budging at the prices. At the time of writing, the only GA tickets available are for "Tier 3", which starts at $405. $405??!?!!? According to reports, Day 2 tickets are incur more fees than Day 1, so people are left puzzled and rightfully so.

Is When We Were Young a nostalgia-baiting cash grab at its core?

Maybe.

Here's what some people online had to say. (Facebook names have been erased to keep their identities anonymous.)

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Source: Twitter

So... is it all one big nostalgia-baiting cash grab? Yes.

Is it also a way for all of us now-adult emos to come together and rage and live like we're 16 years old again with all our favorite bands, just so we can feel something again? Also yes.

Either way, I'm excited for When We Were Young 2024. Long Live Emo. 🤘🏻

Let's take it back to one of my favorite When We Were Young Fest moments of all time:

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About the Creator

Jane E. Kenney | Freelancer & Writing Coach

Jane has been in the freelance writing space since 2016. She has grown her freelance career into an empire, working with dozens of brands to write and sell content, establish brands as authorities in their niche, and scale their revenue.

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