Warped Tour began in 1995, although it wasn’t just music. It included skate competitions and even wrestling. The genres have changed quite significantly throughout the years. Bands such as Sublime, No Doubt, NOFX, Blink 182 and Reel Big Fish were some of the very first headliners, eventually evolving into Eminem and Katy Perry and after that A Day to Remember and Bring Me the Horizon. The Original genres of the Festival included Ska and Ska-Punk. Today the genres include anything from Hip-Hop to Metalcore and everything in between. Over the years, Warped Tour has traveled to many other countries such as Australia, Japan, and Europe. There are typically 5-7 stages and each band is assigned a specific stage throughout the entire summer. Besides music, there are also many vendors that show up to Warped Tour where people can buy clothing or other sorts of merchandise. Think TEI Workshops create meaningful experiences between the artists and fans that range from instrument lessons to in depth conversations about touring, life hardships, creating music, and much more. Warped Tour also offers many opportunities to new and upcoming bands and helps them make contacts and really promote themselves.
None of this would have been possible without Kevin Lyman. Lyman is the founder of Warped Tour, 4Fini, Inc.(A Live Production Company), Watcha! Tour, and many more notable tours. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona California. His goal and mission is to help bring people from all around the music industry together. Lyman started promoting shows in college when he would rent out fraternity house backyards and charge people five dollars for five bands and unlimited beer.
Lyman has been honored at award ceremonies such as the Grammy’s, MusiCares MAP Fund Gala and inducted into the Top Dog Touring Hall of Fame. Lyman has done up to 320 shows a year, and is continuing to grow his vast portfolio. Warped Tour is something very close to his heart; he hopes to turn kids onto live music. Lyman has brought in vast charities in hopes to help get people excited about making a difference in their communities. He has gotten several emails from kids around the world in hopes that they will be able to help contribute to various charitable acts on their Warped date. Lyman encourages the youth to act within their communities.
This year’s Warped Tour lineup is chock full of seasoned Warped Veterans and first-timers. This juxtaposition of new and old bands is Kevin Lyman’s subtle way of expanding his demographic and allowing younger generations to develop an appreciation for the bands that defined this scene.
Set It Off | Phoenix Warped Tour 2016 | Photo Credit: Nahnalah_G
When the lineup was first released this past March, reactions were split along generational lines. Older fans applauded the lineup as it returned to the roots of the festival. Younger fans, many of whom were unfamiliar with the bands playing, caused an uproar. Many of them took to Twitter to express their distaste. Kevin Lyman used their outrage to spark a teaching moment. Instead of changing the lineup to appease the majority of people who attend the festival, Lyman told fans that he wanted to challenge them to discover something new.
Since Kevin Lyman spoke out about the lineup, the backlash seems to have subsided.
Falling In Reverse | Phoenix Warped Tour 2016 | Photo Credit: Nahnalah_G
Too Close to Touch, Boston Manor, and Andy Black are some of those making their first Warped Tour appearance. Anti-Flag and CKY are of the bands coming back to Warped Tour for the first time in a while; these bands played their first Warped Tours in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Regardless of generational differences, this year’s festival has something for everyone. Click here to see the full lineup.
Valiant Comic Book Heroes stand center-stage this summer at Warped! Valiant's most iconic heroes including X-O Manowar, Faith, Bloodshot, Livewire, Ninjak, and more will adorn posters, promotional pieces, merch and more. “For 23 years, the Vans Warped Tour has been such a great platform for bands, brands, and creative minds,” said Vans Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman. “It’s always fun to be able to do collaborations, and this partnership with Valiant Entertainment is very special from a creative standpoint.”
Since the beginning of Warped Tour, there have been many changes implemented into the festival each year. From the music genres, to nonprofit organizations, to even creating a parent daycare. Kevin Lyman has brought changes to Warped to help make the festival a safe, affordable, and fun place for crowd-goers.
Ice Nine Kills | Phoenix Warped Tour 2016 | Photo Credit: Nahnalah_G
One of the largest changes to Warped in recent years is the sponsorship of non-profit organizations. Warped Tour has one of the largest independent blood drives in America. It also does food drives, book drives, and even old cell phone drives. All of these drives not only help those in need, they also reward the participant by giving them prizes such as free t-shirts or even backstage passes to meet their favorite band. The food drive also lets people go into the venue early if they bring three cans of food.
Kevin Lyman has also brought other entertainment to Warped, such as wrestlers, human cannonballs, Asylum for Wayward Girls, and more. He also has activities for people to do like cooling down on a slip and slide, going to acoustic tents, and watching the entertainment. A really cool part of Warped is that festival goers can meet artists at “The Entertainment Institute” (TEI) workshops where they can learn, for example, how to play drums, listen to a lecture, learn about concert photography, etc. For parents, there is a special tent called the Reverse Daycare. It’s an air conditioned tent where they can chill out, crack open a drink, and take a break while their kids enjoy their day at Warped.
A big change to Warped Tour this year is that there will be no stops in Canada. Unfortunately this is due to trouble with crossing the border and expenses, but there will be a Warped Tour Mexico. There is also a Warped Rewind cruise that goes from New Orleans to Cozumel. Not only do fans get to hear music from their favorite bands, they get to travel as well. What a deal!
Assuming We Survive | Phoenix Warped Tour 2016 | Photo Credit: Nahnalah_G
Vans Warped Tour would not be as big as it is without their sponsors. Every year, Warped Tour brings more sponsors into the Warped ‘roadie family’. They support many up-and-coming businesses, as well as well-known corporate companies such as Vans Off the Wall, Monster Mutant Super Soda, and Journeys.
Many small businesses supported by Warped Tour from the start are now so associated with them, that when their names are mentioned, people automatically think of Warped Tour. Examples of such businesses include Black Craft, Full Sail University, Cool Gear, and Orange Amplifications.
Warped Tour is also sponsored by numerous record labels such as, SharpTone, Epitaph, and Fearless. This is how many of your favorite bands play Warped. What is great about Warp’s sponsors, is that Kevin Lyman and his team always do research prior to each Tour and select businesses that interest their audience. Some examples for this year are AP Magazine and Skullcandy. They also have a large group of other sponsors on a mission to help people and build community. Most of these sponsors are also non-profit. You can see them set up in booths all around the Warped Tour sites reaching out to fans.
Nonprofits are a key part of warped tour. Warped caters to the people who attend the show by having organizations that bring the community closer. Support Tattoos and Piercings at Work is an organization that raises awareness about discrimination of piercings and tattoos in the workplace. Many artists performing on Warped Tour and a significant amount of the people attending Warped Tour are vegan and strongly believe in animal rights. Groups like Action for Animals, FARM, Peta2, and We are the Oceans all work to educate attendees about the principle that animals do not exist for humans to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. These organizations offer informational packets on veganism, preserving the environment, and a “vegan starter kit”. They will also be selling vegan and animal liberation merch to support their cause. Warped also reaches out to organizations that help with people's physical and mental health needs. To Write Love on Her Arms and Hope For The Day offer information to help people suffering with depression, self harm, suicide and to help get them to recovery. TWLOHA uses the money from merch sales and donations to carry out annual campaigns, programs, and invest some of the proceeds into treatment and recovery. Truth is an organization made up of those who are and those who aren't smokers who have come together to end smoking. They try to accomplish this goal by using factual information and fun games such as basketball, giving away free merch, and also having a silent DJ. Feed Our Children Now has been with Warped Tour for 11 years and has collected and donated 1,581,000 lbs of food to charities all across the USA. Music Saves Lives is another organization that offers help to people in need. This group gives VIP meet and greets to people who donate blood at one of their blood drives. For those fans who struggle with terminal illnesses, there are organizations like Living The Dream that gifts VIP experiences to see their favorite bands. A Voice For the Innocent is a group built to offer support for people affected by rape and or sexual abuse. Jamie Sivrais founded A Voice For the Innocent to give victims the voice they deserve. Warped Tour is a great platform for these organizations to spread their message and make our society a better place.
Miss May I | Dallas Warped Tour 2015 | Photo Credit: Nahnalah_G
Another company doing great things at Warped Tour is Ernie Ball. Each year, Ernie Ball gives local bands the chance to perform on the main stage at Warped Tour in their city and a shot at the grand prize. This year’s grand prize consists of getting the opportunity to record a three song EP with John Feldmann, a $10,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center, and numerous other prizes. A few bands who have benefited from Ernie Ball’s contest are PVRIS and Waterparks. The grand prize winner will not be determined until after Warped Tour, and official results for the contests are not in, but a few of the bands finishing in the top 10 on the leader-board are: Arizona’s own local band After the Calm, Heart Means More, the band who was number one on the leader-board, and F for Effort. Every band in the competition put in hard work, and now it’s time to show off their skills. To see the leader-board and find out which bands are taking the main stage this summer head to Ernie Ball’s website.
It may seem that Warped Tour has a lot going on, but the organized chaos is the fun of it all. Check back here for more previews of Warped Tour 2017, and chin up, kid, Warped Tour begins in 15 days!
YouTube | 2017 Vans Warped Tour Lineup Announcement
This Warped Tour Overview was co-written by TPForce team members Kiya Gaskin, Mickey Johnson, Eema Siddiqui, Brie Sullivan and Nahnalah_G. Look for the team on the ground and in the pit this summer at Fear Farm Festival Grounds in Phoenix, AZ (6.22) and at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park, IL (7.22)!!
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