Fans question safety of 1-day 'When We Were Young' festival announced by Live Nation

Some fans are saying Live Nation organizing the upcoming festival is a major red flag. 

 Attendees raise their hands during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 5, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

 Attendees raise their hands during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 5, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Omar Vega/FilmMagic

Nostalgia hit for many Tuesday when the first annual "When We Were Young" music festival was announced. The massive lineup featuring over 40 emo and pop-punk bands and artists from the mid-2000s and early 2010s, such as Paramore and My Chemical Romance, quickly went viral.

However, for some the excitement of October's Las Vegas throwback concert turned to skepticism after learning Live Nation would be organizing the event. 

The entertainment company was also behind the planning, staffing and communications of the now infamous Astroworld Festival on Nov. 5 that ended in the deaths of 10 concert-goers and hundreds of injuries. Live Nation now faces multiple lawsuits seeking damages in excess of $10 billion alleging the organizer failed to provide adequate safety for fans.

A congressional panel also recently launched a probe into Live Nation's role in the tragedy. In a letter addressing Live Nation on Dec. 22, the House Oversight and Reform Committee stated "the tragedy at Astroworld Festival follows a long line of other tragic events and safety violations involving Live Nation.We are deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies.”

In response to the investigation, Live Nation released a statement saying, "We are assisting local authorities in their investigation and will of course share information with [an ongoing federal committee investigation] as well. Safety is core to live events and Live Nation engages in detailed security planning in coordination with local stakeholders including law enforcement, fire and EMT professionals."

The deadly events of Astroworld are also still under investigation by the Houston Police Department and FBI, who on Friday asked the public to submit photos and video of the venue on the night of the crowd surge. 

On TikTok, user @thebatmer questioned the safety and planning of the upcoming one-day festival after discovering the new event's ties with Live Nation. "I've been to my fair share of festivals and it just seems like so much can go wrong with this," she said in the video that now has over 280,000 views. "I would be so ready to throw my money at this if it was a two-day festival. But I just can't justify spending close to $300 on something that seems like it's going to be Fyre Fest 2.0."

@thebatmer #vegas #lasvegas #emo #poppunk #whenwewereyoung #music #festival #vegastiktok ♬ original sound - Mere?’?

Another user @thehardpillguy questioned if the event was a massive scam. "I don't believe the artists performing have malicious intent, but this is being put on by Live Nation," he said in the clip which has garnered over 345,000 views. 

@thehardpillguy IS IT ANOTHER SCAM CASH GRAB? We will have to see! #whenwewereyoung #musicfestival #scam #livenation #CloseYourRings ♬ original sound - FERO

On Twitter, some users accused Live Nation of using the event to help pay for legal fees they have accrued and urged fans not to attend. "This is 100%  Live Nation tapping into millennial nostalgia to pay their Astroworld stampede legal fees," tweeted @gingersnaaped. "Don't be suckers, we'll live to enjoy our oldies longer if we just stay the f--- home."

Another user tweeted "I'm gonna be real with u guys after the whole astroworld incident a few months ago I think putting so many bands with huge fanbases in one place for a single day seems like a very questionable idea."

Even the Twitter account for the popular Chicago-based punk festival Riot Fest got in on the criticism, tweeting a sideways jab at the one-day length of Live Nation's new festival.

Live Nation has not disclosed what changes, if any, have been made to improve safety at its concerts since Astroworld. However, the organizer increased the age limit at its Rolling Loud California event in December to ages 18 and older, alluding to the deadly night in Houston as the reason for the change. The company did not respond to a request for comment at the time of this writing. 

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