The first day of When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas has been cancelled, leaving many of the bands playing free pop-up gigs around sin city. 

The All-American Rejects, Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Amor for Sleep, Horrorpops and others quickly rallied to put on free shows in the area, while Kittie and State Champs opted for free meet and greets.

Promoters were forced to cancel the debut event at the 11th hour due to dangerously high winds of up to almost 100 km/hour.

“When We Were Young Festival organisers have spent the last several days proactively preparing the festival grounds for a windy Saturday,” they said in a statement. “The National Weather Service has now upgraded their Saturday forecast to a High Wind Warning, including dangerous 30-40 mph winds with potential 60 mph wind gusts.”

The statement continued: “Under advisement of the National Weather Service and the Las Vegas Police Department, we have no other choice than to cancel today’s When We Were Young Festival. The safety of our fans, artists and staff will always be our top priority.”

The full statement can be found on the event’s socials.

Bands putting on free shows after event cancellations is nothing new – Australian festival Splendour in the Grass was forced to cancel its first day of programming this year due to flooding, which resulted in free pop-up shows in the surrounding area, including Yungblud, The Buoys, George Alice, MAY-A, Flowerkid, Japanese Wallpaper, Adam Newling and others.

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When We Were Young Festival is set to continue as scheduled tomorrow, with headliners My Chemical Romance and Paramore.

Safety concerns for the event have been ongoing since the announcement, following the Astroworld tragedy in Las Vegas last year. Nobody anticipated the weather would be the thing to stop the event from going ahead, though.

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