Let’s be real. Warped Tour sucks.
Before you stop reading, hear me out.
We wake up at the crack of dawn to arrive three to four hours early to the venue. If you’re lucky, it’s below 100 degrees. If you’re not, well, rest in peace. By 9 a.m., people are dropping like flies. Surviving until gates open is a privilege.
Granted you don’t pass out before the doors open, you rush inside only to find out none of the stages are where you thought they’d be. The gigantic inflatable schedule fills you with disappointment because all the bands you came to see are playing at the exact same time. Then comes the existential crisis you have while deciding to see either Real Friends or Knuckle Puck for eighth time.
Begrudgingly, you decide to see Knuckle Puck, but are instantly filled with regret after a wayward crowd surfer is dropped on your neck and gives you whiplash. After you indefinitely retire from pit life, your severe lack of hydration steamrolls over you.
By the end of the night, your phone is dead, you forgot where you parked, and you can hardly move.
Every year we complain about how terrible Warped Tour is, and yet we find a reason to go back. Warped Tour is the festival we hate to love.
Although you’re tired because you’ve been awake since 5 a.m., the feeling you get when you walk into the festival is unlike any other. There’s a sense of belonging, a sense of pride. None of the stages are in the same place as the year before, but those 15 minutes spent ridiculously running around give us much needed exercise. Maybe you only got to see one of your favorite bands, but you discovered 5 new bands that you really love. Your stomach is cramping with dehydration and your neck feels broken, but the memories you made make the pain worth it.
Sure, Warped Tour sucks. But Warped Tour ending sucks even more.
Warped Tour has been a staple in our community for years. Without it, what are we going to do?
There’s no more waiting in anticipation for the line-up. No more complaining about the line-up when it comes out. No more ironic ‘no moshing, no crowd surfing’ signs. No more “I couldn’t wait for the summer at the Warped Tour” jokes without feeling pangs of nostalgia.
Warped Tour ending is like losing a family member. We might have only gone to Warped Tour once a year, but it was the best day of the year.
Here’s looking at you, Warped. You’ll be deeply missed.
Check out Kiya Gaskin's 2017 Warped Recap: Tinley Park!