Festival Coverage: Self Help Festival 2016

Coverage by Eden Kittiver

March 19, 2016 – NOS Event Center, San Bernardino, CA


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Self Help Festival 2016 marked the 3rd annual Self Help Festival hosted by Floridian rock band, A Day to Remember. Inspired by their fans, A Day to Remember launched Self Help Festival in 2014. The festival has been steadily growing more and more each year and A Day To Remember sure knows how to deliver an amazing and memorable event. Along with the help of Fly South Music Group, United Talent Agency and Chain Reaction, this years festival has been the biggest one yet.  For fans who couldn’t make it, Aernow had set up a live stream service for the event. Live streaming cameras were set up along the stage based on bands preferences giving fans who couldn’t attend a unique perspectives on the event by being able to choose which camera they wanted to view the stream from!

Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember has this to say about the festival, “Every year we strive to make improvements and this year fans can look forward to the continued evolution of the festival’s production, among other things.”

Our California Editor, Eden Kittiver attended the event and had the following to say about Self Help Festival.

San Bernardino, California’s NOS Event Center was visited once again this spring for what had been the biggest Self Help Festival to date. This is the third consecutive year California has hosted the festival, which was created by Ocala, Florida’s A Day to Remember in order to shine a light on the fans who view music as a form of therapy.

Personally, being able to attend this fest was huge for me. Not only because it was created to support such an important and relevant cause, but because the lineup consisted of bands I used to sit around and literally idolize. Issues, Crown the Empire, Tonight Alive, Underoath… seeing them play brought such a nostalgic feeling. I remembered the lyrics I used to draw in my notebooks and sang along to the summer I got my driver’s license.

But in addition to my favorite throwback bands, the lineup also consisted of some great up-and-coming bands, as well as some bands outside of ADTR’s hardcore genre, like rapper YelaWolf (who was assisted by Travis Barker on the drums and man, they put on such a killer set).

Five bands played indoors on The Black Stage, one of which was letlive., who put on an incredibly unforgettable performance, inviting friends, family and fans to share the stage with them as they ended their 50-minute set.

For most people, the highlight of the event was seeing the recently resurrected Underoath grace the main stage near the end of the night. Their set consisted mostly of songs from They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line and their performance as whole was so incredible, it’s safe to say some tears were shed (I’m not kidding, people cried!)

A Day to Remember really did make it a day to remember, with their headlining performance including pyrotechnics, beach balls and a fireworks display. It was an insane performance, but what do you expect– it is their festival! The band’s 90-minute set included plenty of their older hits, and of course their newest single, “Paranoia” which was recently released on Spotify.

Events like Self Help are so important, especially to the fans in the crowd who see it as so much more than just a concert. Since I was photographing the event, I was able to witness that up close. The kids who get to the venue hours early in order to get a good spot in front of the stage, who are squished up against the barrier for most of the day, just waiting for their favorite band to play. It’s like the music is genuinely helping them, and isn’t that what music should be? ADTR created not only a kick-ass music festival for their fans, but an event that meant a whole lot to the hardcore genre as a whole.

For a comprehensive set of photos of all the performances at Self Help Festival 2016 click here.