You are currently viewing When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas: essential guide (2024)

As a veteran of the iconic Vans Warped Tour, I absolutely could not believe it when an epic event was announced: When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas. I was there at the first edition in 2022 and had such a great time that I returned in 2023 (and I’ll be back in 2024). So I can share my experience with you.

Here are all the details about the When We Were Young (WWWY) Festival in Las Vegas.


Overview — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Here are the basics:

  • Annual music festival
  • Emo/punk/pop-punk music
  • 1-day festival with multiple dates
  • Around 80,000 attendees per day
  • 50+ bands on 4 stages
  • At the Las Vegas Festival Grounds
  • Held every year since 2022
  • There was an edition in 2017 that was very different

Here are the basics of the 2024 edition of When We Were Young Festival:

  • October 19, 2024 AND October 20, 2024
  • Special full album sets (with a few exceptions)
  • 61 bands
  • Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance as headliners
  • US$325 for General Admission
  • US$550 for GA +
  • US$650 for VIP
  • Plans available for US$19.99 down

Here are the logistics of traveling for When We Were Young:

  • Flights to Las Vegas (LAS) are usually very affordable 
  • Start looking early to seize a good flight deal
  • Hotels can be pricey (and don’t forget the shitty resort fees)
  • It’s easy to get around if you stay in the Strip area, including downtown
  • Any other location will involve pricey Ubers or pricey parking for a rental car
  • Food options in Vegas can be very cheap if you know where to go
  • There are plenty of other attractions in Vegas, even if you don’t like gambling

Here are the basics of traveling for any festival or event:

  • Don’t fly the day of (even the day before is risky depending on the airline)
  • Plan a buffer in case of a postponement or cancelation (#WindWeWereYoung)
  • It’s almost always cheaper to book flights and hotels on your own
  • Hotels will be more expensive due to the festival
  • Book hotels as early as possible
  • They’re almost always fully refundable if plans change or prices go down
Amazing experience I really can't recommend this festival enough. I had an absolutely great time both years!
Me at When We Were Young Festival 2023 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Basics — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 

When We Were Young is an emo/punk/pop-punk music festival that is organized by Live Nation, one of the biggest companies in this industry.

The festival broke the internet when it was first announced in early 2022. There were so many amazing bands that it seemed too good to be true. After the Fyre Festival scam, so many were skeptical. I almost had to pinch myself, too, when I saw all the band names.

It was true, and it was very good. It has been described as the Woodstock for the emo scene. It was so popular they added 2 days. It has been quite the phenomenon. It returned in 2023, albeit for 2 days instead of 3. It’s now back for 2024.

WWWY is a one-day music festival that offers 2 possible dates to choose from. To be clear, the dates are ticketed separately and are just duplicate dates — all bands play all dates.

Crowd at When We Were Young Festival 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Dates — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 

The 2024 edition takes place Saturday, October 19, and Sunday, October 20. All editions have always taken place on weekends.

Giant bear at When We Were Young Festival 2023 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Location — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 

The 2024 edition, like the 2 previous ones, takes place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

That is located directly on the Las Vegas Strip, at the very north end of the Strip, opposite the SAHARA Las Vegas. Fun fact: the Strip isn’t technically in Las Vegas, Nevada. The festival, therefore, takes place in Winchester, Nevada.

Location of When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas (image credit: Google Maps)


Lineup — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 

In 2024, there’s a new theme: almost all bands will be playing a full album.

When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 2024 lineup (image credit: WWWY)


In 2022 and 2023, most bands got a 30-minute set, while the headliners played longer sets. I’m really not sure how the logistics will work out for 2024 with the full album concept. The precise schedule is always announced in advance so you can plan out your day.

I included the 2022 and 2023 posters at the bottom of this guide if you’re interested in past lineups.


Tickets — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 

This is the 1st year that tickets haven’t sold out instantly. You can still buy official tickets  for Day 2 on the When We Were Young Festival website.

You can also check official resale tickets:

Both years, I ended up going with resale tickets I bought on those websites the day of or the day before, for a lot cheaper than face value. But I’m more risk-tolerant than most, and there really is no guarantee that the prices will be lower.


Hours — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

The first concerts usually start just before noon and end just before midnight, for a solid and intense 12 hours of epic music.

Doors usually open 1 hour before the first show. 


Access — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

The main entrance is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, just north of the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Las Vegas Strip.

If you’re staying relatively close, the simplest option is really to walk. If you’re further, the Las Vegas Monorail can take you all the way to the SAHARA across the street.

The best way to get around the Strip is The Deuce double-decker bus. It goes up and down the Strip continually 24 hours a day, every 15 minutes. It is very affordable. 

If you use Uber/Lyft/taxis, there is a designated dropoff area but it can get pretty chaotic as you’d expect. It might be faster to ask to be dropped off a little further away from the actual official spot.

If you are driving, there is no parking at the venue. Casino resorts around the venue offer paid parking.


Entry — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Lineups and wait times to get into the general admission area can be lengthy, so be there early if you want to catch the first bands.

Entering WWWY venue (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


In past years, there has been a priority lane for those who had their tickets on their Google Pixel phone’s Google Wallet. But that didn’t work with resale tickets — and honestly, it didn’t seem to be that much faster than regular lanes.

There are multiple stages to enter the venue: security check (they don’t really look at bags thoroughly, but they could), ID check (if you wat a bracelet to get alcohol inside), and then finally the ticket scan.

You are allowed re-entry during the entire day, but just make sure you get a bracelet upon exit.


Layout — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Festival Grounds is a pretty big venue and apart from the main stage area, didn’t feel too crowded despite the astonishing number of music lovers in attendance.

Here’s what the set-up looked like in 2023, which was a bit different than 2022 so there could be some changes.

When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas 2023 layout (image credit: WWWY)


Stages — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

The 2 main stages are in the northeast corner, side by side. Bands alternate on both stages for minimal downtime in between sets.

 Blink-182 at WWWY (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers) 


The 2 other stages in 2023 are a quick walk away, along the northwest corner of the venue. These are further apart and in a slightly different orientation, so bands would play simultaneously on these.

Unless you go to the very front of the main stages area, it’s really easy to move around to go to the other stages: I must have went from one to the other a dozen times effortlessly in both years.

Secondary stage at WWWY 2023 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Shade — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

There are designated areas for shade and even misty water sprays, which is particularly useful in the sunny afternoon hours.

Don’t let the desert setting fool you though: at night, Las Vegas can be very cold. I was freezing in 2022, whereas 2023 was okay at night (and very hot during the day). Both were on the 3rd weekend of October so the weather can vary really quite a bit in Vegas.

Shaded area (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Merchandise  — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Lineups for merchandise were positively insane both years. I didn’t even bother trying to get some and miss out on so many bands due to the hour-long wait. But the merchandise booths are at least all conveniently located in one spot.


Food — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Food is expensive, as is the case in all festivals. Among your options, there are tacos, burgers, fries, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, chicken fingers, turkey drumsticks, etc. A variety of vendors are on location, so the quality really depends on what you choose.

Food lineup (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


As for beverages, water is offered for free throughout the venue. Alcohol and soft drinks were readily available in multiple booths. I’m a sparkling water enthusiast, so I can tell you a large can of Liquid Death was $5.

Liquid Death can (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Activations — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

There were plenty of brand activations and various booths if you wanted a break from the music.

For example, in 2023 Tony Hawk came out to skateboard at the X Games section.

X Games ramp (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


There was a Google booth where you could create your own album cover, among other things.

Google activation (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


There are also spaces to just chill.

Alternative area (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


There was a Netflix booth.

Netflix activation (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Restrooms — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

There were plenty of restrooms near each stage, and at least as a male, there really wasn’t much of a wait to use them.


VIP experience — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

If you want to splurge, the VIP tickets come with special designated areas at each stage.

VIP area (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


Lodging — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

There is no shortage of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip or very close to it. If you’re like me and prefer a slightly less touristy experience than the artificiality of the Strip, there are also plenty of options. Don’t miss our guide soon.


Flights — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

I’ll have a detailed guide specifically for this event, but in the meantime, you can read our 31 tips to save on plane tickets and try those that apply to this situation with fixed dates.

Slot machines at Las Vegas airport (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


2023 edition — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Here is the 2023 lineup.

When We Were Young 2023 lineup (image credit: WWWY)


It was almost as epic as the original edition. 


2022 edition — When We Were Young Festival Las Vegas

Here is the 2022 lineup.

When We Were Young 2022 lineup (image credit: WWWY)


It was the best festival I have ever been to. It was quite the adventure too, as I held tickets for all 3 days at some point.

At first, I got tickets for Day 3, thinking bands and logistics would be better after 2 trial runs. But then I was invited to speak at travel rewards conference on that date, so I changed to Day 1 because they were the cheapest.

Then, Day 1 was canceled an hour before the doors opened, to our collective dismay. I got a refund at least. But resale prices for Day 2 immediately skyrocketed and were over $1000 for general admission (I had paid $250 for my original tickets).

I waited for Day 2, withdrew $400 cash at the ATM (with my Wise Debit Card), headed to the venue, and scoured the Facebook groups for available tickets. I couldn’t believe it when I found someone willing to sell me a ticket for $100 at the door!!! I ended up saving money and still getting in. It was perfect.


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Featured image: When We Were Young Festival 2023 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)


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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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