Last year, the world of pop-punk grieved a devastating loss as the Van’s Warped Tour announced that it would be hosting its final summer of shows. For many fans, Warped Tour was a hallmark of summer –a time when all of the greatest bands of the genre came together to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. For those of us who know the meaning of connecting with fellow fans in a mosh pit, the hole left by Warped Tour seemed to be one that would never be filled again. Fortunately for the fans grieving the loss of their favorite summer festival, there’s still hope – that hope is Sad Summer Festival.
While the festival’s name may not sound like an exciting way to spend a Saturday afternoon, the reality is that it might be exactly the cure we need for the Summer blues. Filling the void left by Warped Tour, Sad Summer Festival is bringing some of the best bands in the genre to 17 cities throughout the summer. Sadly, many of those dates have already passed – but fortunately for local fans, there’s still time to experience the new festival when it comes to Denver this weekend.
Other than the Denver stop this weekend, there’s only one other chance to experience Sad Summer before the festival wraps up its inaugural year. However, based on the response from the 15 cities that have already had a sad summer, it’s highly likely that the festival will be back next year. With a variety of noteworthy artists making appearances on the tour, it’s not hard to see why the festival has already been successful.
While the lineup for the first year of the festival is impressive, there will be plenty of other things for fans to look forward to. There will be plenty of opportunities to snag some merch from the bands – as well as an opportunity for meet and greets. Many of the bands making appearances will make the most of all the festival has to offer before the show starts by greeting everyone who came out to the event – so be sure to show up early and say hello to your favorite bands.
So, who exactly are the bands appearing in Denver? We’ve got the lowdown of everyone you’ll be able to see below.
Mayday Parade has been a force to be reckoned with in the pop-punk scene for more than a decade – and we’ve always had a soft spot for them. They took a brief break from playing shows, but they’ve been rocking everyone’s summer ever since the festival kicked off. In fact, they even led a sing-a-long to one of the most iconic songs of the early 2000s, “Mr. Brightside.” The festival may be called Sad Summer, but with Mayday Parade taking center stage, fans will be anything but disappointed.
While State Champs may not have been at the top of the scene during our middle school years, when most of us were delving into the world of pop-punk and emo, their music possesses everything we love about the genre. They’ve toured alongside noteworthy names in the genre, including The Wonder Years and Neck Deep – and they’ve carved out a place for themselves at the forefront of the scene. While many of us may have missed the boat back when they were getting their start, we’ve had 10 years to catch up and we’re certainly glad that we did.
Arizona-based band The Maine has developed quite the following since they made their 2007 debut. They’ve toured extensively throughout the last decade, even starting their own music festival in Arizona known as 8123 Festival. Following a tour with Taking Back Sunday earlier this year, they’ve set out on the road once again for Sad Summer, giving concert-goers another opportunity to see exactly why their fans are so devoted. Sad Summer Festival will serve as an extension of The Maine’s hometown summer festival – with a shared goal of providing fans with a lineup stacked with bands they’ll love. If all the bands appearing at Sad Summer Festival are as good as The Maine, then this inaugural stint of Sad Summer Festival is sure to be a summer we’ll never forget.
If you haven’t heard of Mom Jeans yet, you’re going to wish that you had. The California-based quartet was born out of the DIY punk scene, and has spent plenty of time putting in the hard work to make it in the music industry. They’ve slept on friends floors, spent time touring around in vans and even had venues fall through at the last minute forcing them to play an impromptu show in park. Plenty of bands might have given up after facing so many small defeats, but Mom Jeans isn’t like those other bands – and we’re certainly glad they haven’t given up on their dreams. Anyone who’s listened to Mom Jeans in the past has likely grown to love the band for their vulnerability and honesty, which is clearly present in their lyrics – and we can’t wait to see them take that vulnerability to a large stage for the first time here in Denver.
Stand Atlantic is a relative newcomer to the scene. Though they’ve been around for five years, it took a little while for the Australian-based band’s music to make its way into the American scene. Fortunately for Stand Atlantic and pop-punk fans alike, Sad Summer Festival is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with one another.
Just Friends is hard to place in any single genre, but whatever you decide to call their music, one thing is certain – they write damn good songs. The California-based band has a complex sound that bends genres – but that kind of complexity should be expected from a band with eight members. Just Friends has a big sound for a band with a small reputation in the scene, and their set at Sad Summer is one you won’t want to miss.
Sad Summer Festival is bringing a variety of special guests to different cities throughout their summer of music. These guests vary from city to city, and fortunately for Denver, Emo Nite will be the special guest taking the stage this weekend. Rather than providing attendees with a chance to hear music from one great pop-punk band, Emo Nite puts on the best emo party of the year – giving audiences a chance to hear all the greatest hits of the genre, and rounding out the festival’s Denver line up with everything we love about the scene.
Sad Summer Festival will make it’s Denver debut on July 27 at Sculpture Park. Tickets are available here.