The Sad Summer Festival, an emo experience tailored to bring together post-Warped Tour crowds and support local communities

Sunshine and good times are ironically a crucial part of the Sad Summer Festival, a brand new weekend fiesta making a stop in Philly this weekend.

Sad Summer’s inaugural run, which will be taking a season-long tour around the country, will feature Mayday Parade, The Maine, State Champs and Philly’s own The Wonder Years as the main headliners. Providing support will be bands including Mom Jeans, Stand Atlantic, Just Friends and L.I.F.T.

The festival heads to the Skyline Stage at The Mann Center on July 13.

Should Sad Summer thrive after this its first year, it can thank the dismantling of Warped Tour, since the same crowd that would typically flock to the annual event to see many of the acts listed on the Sad Summer bill will have an open weekend. 

All the headliners have a long history of touring together, especially at Warped. They’re familiar with the community the festival brought together and how the festival brought the symbolic start of summer.

“This tour is about putting aside our differences and coming together as a community of people to enjoy music and art,” Derek Sanders, lead vocalist of Mayday Parade, said in a press release for the event.

Music is obviously an important factor, but the community is the reason why this festival is happening at all. The festival organizers have partnered with non-profits from each touring city. 

In Philly, the festival will be working with Philabundance, a Delaware Valley hunger-relief organization, and WOAR, Philly’s only rape crisis hotline. Both organizations will be on-site at the festival, ready to provide relevant information and to represent important issues within the community.

A list of rules for festival conduct is notably posted on Sad Summer’s site. Basically, they advise being respectful to your friends and fellow concertgoers, not harassing other people and getting consent above anything. 

“We pledge to take immediate action — up to and including expulsion from the grounds — against those creating an unsafe space for concert-goers,” reads a statement on the Sad Summer Rules page on its site.

It’s responsible for the festival to highlight these things, no matter how obvious they may seem. Harassment and assault happen often at events like these, and it’s up to the organizers to stand up against it.

It’s not all about drinking Monster and jumping into a pit here. Sad Summer Festival is a genuine place for all ex-Warped lovers — and emos in general — to come together for a greater purpose. 

“Winter is dead. Long live the summer,” said Dan Campbell, lead vocalist of The Wonder Years.


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