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Final AZ Van's Warped Tour

On June 28th The Van’s Warped Tour made its way to Phoenix, Arizona. This day was nonetheless full of excitement, heat, and celebration. This punk rock summer music festival is usually catered to teens and young adults, but with this being the tour’s last full country run there was a much more diverse audience of “angsty/outcast minorities”. From the locals, to newbie bands, to Warped veterans, founder Kevin Lyman wanted to make sure everyone had a part in the final cross-country tour.


One thing that made our home base of Phoenix stand out is that on the night before the desert rat’s punk fest, was the 11th Annual Warped Tour Charity Bowling Tournament. This is a charity event Warped has been doing for a while now to support the LTD Foundation as well as the Unite the United Foundation. Although it does change location every few years, AZ has always been known to be its usual stop for the good cause. Many of your favorite bands and some lucky fans that truly believe in helping these foundations go to play against each other for the battle of the title of Warped Bowling Champions. All the money goes to charity and many fans, bands, and roadies all get to network and have a great time.


Another great treat us desert punk kids had was a great handful of surprise guest performances. AZ Punk legends Authority Zero and Alt-loved Metal-core band The Word Alive decided to pay tributes to their favorite summer festival on the main stage. Many fans were enthused with the news as these two bands plus many native AZ bands such as Doll Skin and The Maine were proud to take part of the final lineup. We also had many locals play on the Full Sail University stage. One thing is for sure, Arizona is and continues to be known as a popular state to come out with great diverse music that rise to the top of our alternative music playlist from classic Punk Rock all the way to Indie. We definitely recommend you check out some of our local friends such as After the Calm, Fake a Home, and Sundressed.

One thing I can say about my personal experience at the final Arizona Warped is that it was evident Warped Tour continues to hold a special place in many people’s hearts and not just the “emo” kids— everyone identifies with it. Not going to lie I was shocked with how diverse everyone attending the 110-degree weather music festival. Many people from different backgrounds and generations all came together to celebrate and honor Warped Tour. There were kids as young as 10 to pregnant women and elders all coming together to celebrate music and a safe place for people to be themselves. As a photographer, I love seeing gatherings like this to capture the feelings in a candid moment to share with others that may not get the chance to attend events like this. Thanks to Kevin Lyman, founder of Warped Tour and Think TEI, I found my calling. If you would like to learn about the entertainment business, we definitely recommend you check out Think Entertainment Institute (Think TEI). Think TEI offers courses for people interested in learning from the pros. I personally got my start in photography from taking Lisa Johnson’s Life in the Pit workshop back in 2015 at my first Warped.


It is still surreal to me to come to the realization that Van’s Warped Tour will no longer be the traveling music festival we have all grown up with and learned to love. Although it does suck that we won’t be out drenched in dirt and sweat bonding over our favorite songs with strangers that we’ve come to carry with us through the “Warped Life” anymore in our home town every summer, I am very excited to see how this affects the next generations alternative music and to see what Lyman has in store for us next!


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