Back in 2016 is when I graduated from middle school. We went out to celebrate with my family for breakfast. I constantly asked my mom what she was going to give me. Every time I asked, she said,”You talked about it a lot, but haven’t in a while.” I thought she was going to get me a MacBook. Well I was completely off. I opened everyone else’s gift and of course my mom had to be last. She had me read off of papers recapping the shows I’ve gone to. Then the last paper said,”Now…” I turned around and there was a big sign she had made.
I got VIP tickets to the 2016 APMAS in Ohio. Which meant I got red carpet viewing and a bag that had the APMAS magazines along with other things. I couldn’t believe it. It’s one of those moments where you know it’s going to happen but it hasn’t hit you yet.
Fast forward to Ohio, the day after I met MGK and Beartooth. It was really cool getting a behind the scenes of what happens on the screen. We went to go check out the venue and we got our tickets and VIP stuff. Since I got VIP, there was special close seating. They gave us a bag full of goodies. Which included all of the magazines that AP came out with for the APMAS, and the rest was sponsor stuff from companies and record labels.
While we were checking out the venue they were setting up the red carpet viewing. It was a wow moment. I remember watching the APMAS in 2015 sitting right in front of the TV. I always say it but never would’ve thought I’d be there in the action. So let’s start with the red carpet!!
It was really cool because a lot of bands came up to the VIP section to meet the fans and I met Rian Dawson from All Time Low first. I asked him to take a picture and he took my phone and we took a selfie! Since a lot of people were trying to take a pictures with him, there wasn’t much room for talking. I did manage to ask if he could sign my VIP laminate and he did. He was a pretty sweet guy.
Next I met Nick Martin from Sleeping With Sirens. Just like Rian, I asked for a picture and he also signed my laminate. It was amazing meeting him because if you know SWS got me into this whole scene of music. So that was something.
After Nick, I met all four members of Of Mice & Men. At that time Austin was still in the band but I didn’t get a picture with him or got him to sign my magazine. One thing that kind of sucked, was that they were getting rushed to do interviews. Which lessened the time they spent with the fans. I didn’t get a picture with Aaron either but I got all four of them so sign my magazine which was super rad. Also, that one girl photobombed my picture with Valentino.
Then the band Issues were getting interviewed right in front of me. Once they were done, they met some fans. Even though the bassist wasn’t on the cover he’s still part of the band so I got him to sign my AP Issues magazine.
Next, I met Chris from Motionless In White. He was super sweet. I remember no one made a big fuss that he was there. I asked him to take a picture. He turned around with a big smile and said “Sure!” And oh look this time 2 people photobombed my picture with Chris!
Second to last I met Cody and Maxx from Set It Off. Both of them were really chill. I took a picture with Maxx first, then Cody. When I met Cody I said his name and he turned around, gave me a hug through the barricade. I told him that I had saw them earlier on their co-headlining tour with Tonight Alive. He signed my laminate and got a photo with him.
Red Carpet was slowing down so last I met Nick Major who was an APTV correspondent. He was really nice. Then lastly I met Derek from State Champs and we got a picture together.
After the red carpet we went inside the venue. We got to our seats and on all of the VIP seats there were mini towels that said APMAS VIP. It was really cool to see how everything was set it up. All the tables where bands were sitting, all the cameras filming. Once the show started it was surreal. I got to see so many bands perform. Beartooth, Of Mice & Men, Andy Black, Good Charlotte, Papa Roach, and A Day To Remember and so much more. With a lot of these performances artists from other bands joined in for performances. Kellin Quinn sang with Good Charlotte. MGK joining in with Papa Roach, they even got a pit started which was funny. It was amazing seeing everyone enjoying themselves. Also seeing my favorite bands win awards. Twenty One Pilots won two awards but since they were on tour they weren’t there. Pierce The Veil won an award. I can’t explain how excited I was to be there. A year ago I was watching this on tv and now I’m here. At the end of the show my dad hopped over the seats to the floor where the bands all sat and he took a plastic record that were on the bands tables.
Earlier that day when I found out I was going to the APMAS. I posted on twitter a picture of the poster my mom made and tagged Alternative Press. Later that day I was freaking out, ran down to my mom saying that AP noticed me. I was mind blown. They personally wrote that for me. They even spelled my name right! Seeing that was like icing on the cake that day.
Overall it was an unforgettable night and to have gotten that opportunity at the age of sixteen was incredible. I really wish Alternative Press would continue the APMAS because I’d definitely go. Until then I will always reminisce on that night.