|Genre||Rock, punk rock, Pop punk, metalcore, alternative rock, electronic, ska|
|Location(s)||United States, Canada.|
|Founded by||Kevin Lyman|
The Warped Tour is a traveling rock festival that has toured the United States (including 3 or 4 stops in Canada) annually each summer since 1995. It is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and is the longest-running touring music festival in North America. The first Warped Tour took place in 1995, and the skateboard shoe manufacturer Vans became the main sponsor of the tour starting with the second tour in 1996, when it became known as the Vans Warped Tour. Although Vans has continued to be the main sponsor and lend its name to the festival, other sponsors have also participated, with stages or other aspects of the festival sometimes being named after them.
Warped Tour was conceived in 1995 as an eclectic alternative rock festival, but in 1996 began focusing on punk rock music. Although it has continued to be known primarily as a punk rock festival, it has included acts of diverse genres over the years.
The band times and sets are found on an inflatable lineup, or can be purchased from a stand.
Every year there is a "BBQ Band". In exchange for the privilege of playing on the tour, the BBQ Band prepares the post-show barbecue held for the bands and crew most evenings. Past BBQ Bands have included Dropkick Murphys, Art of Shock and "The Fabulous Rudies". Similarly, one band, Animo (formerly DORK), has been permitted for the past four years to play on the tour in exchange for working on the setup crew. The "BBQ Band" for the 2016 tour is the band Reckless Serenade.
The tour started as a skate punk and third-wave ska tour, but later began to feature mostly pop punk and metalcore acts. There are also some hardcore and street punk bands, such as the Casualties, the Unseen and Anti-Flag, that still play Warped Tour, as well as older bands that have played the tour numerous times since its inception (Bad Religion, NOFX, etc.)
The tour doesn't just have one way of being set up; every show at every venue has a different layout. It is set up early in the morning during the set up crews' arrival and taken down usually during the last show of the day. When heading into Canada, there is a bus that loads the supplies that heads into Canada while the other bus contains the equipment that stays in the U.S. until the next show.
In 2013, Kevin Lyman decided to allow parents free admission to the Warped Tour. Citing issues such as transportation problems for minors and the audience member demographic opening up to a younger crowd every year, Lyman determined that parents accompanying their children would be allowed into the tour for free. Parents have their own adult day care. It is called Reverse Day Care. Grown-ups can spend the day waiting for their children in the Reverse Day Care tent. There is ample seating and often fans or cooling devices to keep the parents occupied during the festival.
The Warped Tour was created in 1995 by Kevin Lyman, in production with the short lived Warp Magazine and Creative Artists Agency. The tour began June 21 at the Idaho Center in Boise, Idaho, and ended August 18 in Detroit.
The tour has always been held at outdoor venues though on a rare occasions that has not always been the case. In 1996, due to problems with the venue where the event was to be held, the show was forced to be moved indoors to The Capitol Ballroom nightclub in Washington DC.
1996 was the first year for Vans as a sponsor and they have been the main sponsor ever since carrying their name in the title.
In 1998, the tour went international, including venues in Australia, Japan, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
In 1999, the tour started off in New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii in the New Year. It then started up again in the United States for the northern hemisphere summer before ending up in Europe.
In 2009, the two main stages were condensed into one and bands were given 40-minute sets, as opposed to the traditional 30 minutes across the previous two stages. Despite this, the tour decided to bring back the two main stages concept with 35-minute sets instead for the 2012 tour and beyond.
In 2012, the Warped Tour traveled to London, the first time the tour has left North America since 1999. In the UK and Europe, Warped Tour is operated by English promoter Kilimanjaro Live. The Warped Tour returned to London in 2015.
Warped Tour 2009
On February 10, 2009 details for the annual "Warped Tour Kick Off Party" were announced. The show took place on April 2, 2009 at The Key Club in West Hollywood, California and featured Warped Tour 2009 bands T.S.O.L., The Adolescents, Sing it Loud, TAT, and TV/TV on the bill. The tour won the Best Festival/Tour Award at the Rock on Request Awards.
Warped Tour 2012
The Warped Tour 2012 kick off party took place March 29, 2012 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Falling in Reverse, The Used, Yellowcard, Dead Sara, Matt Toka and Forever Came Calling. During the Toronto date, a fan fell unconscious during Chelsea Grin and died. The band as well as Warped Tour offered their condolences on Twitter. For the first time in 14 years, Warped Tour was held in the UK in November 2012.
Warped Tour 2013
The Warped Tour 2013 kick off party took place March 28, 2013 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Chiodos, New Beat Fund, Gin Wigmore, MC Lars, Craig Owens, Dia Frampton, Charlotte Sometimes, Big Chocolate, Echosmith and special guests. The tour will once again return to Europe for the second year in a row with more tour dates. For the first time since 2001, Warped Tour will also appear in Australia.
Warped Tour 2014
The Warped Tour 2014 kick off party took place on April 1, 2014 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Bad Rabbits, Issues, One Ok Rock, Secrets, This Wild Life, To the Wind, Watsky, and Wax. The tour returned to Montreal for the first time in two years. On February 7, 2014, it was announced that the Warped Tour would visit Alaska for the first time for a pre-tour "The Road to Warped" show. The entire first date (June 13 at Houston) was streamed live on the tour's website. In June 2014, Kevin Lyman announced on Twitter that the UK segment of the 2014 tour would not go ahead. The San Diego stop was sponsored by Waveborn Sunglasses. As a part of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the tour, there have been surprise appearances from two bands, Linkin Park played at Ventura, California on June 22, 2014, and A Day to Remember played at Chicago, Illinois on July 19, 2014.
Warped Tour 2015
The Warped Tour 2015 kickoff party took place on April 7, 2015 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by As It Is, Bebe Rexha, New Years Day, Knuckle Puck, Metro Station, Candy Hearts, and New Beat Fund. The tour once again visited Alaska for "The Road to Warped" show. The entire first date (June 19 at Pomona) was once again streamed live on the tour's website. The tour returned to Europe playing at the Alexandria Palace in London, UK on 18 October.
Warped Tour 2016
The Warped Tour 2016 announced the lineup on March 22 at the kickoff party at Full Sail University in Florida, featuring select performances by 2016 Warped bands. Headliners of this tour included Falling In Reverse, Less Than Jake, Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens, New Found Glory, and others. The tour kicked off on June 24, 2016, in Dallas, TX and hit 41 cities throughout the summer, ending in Portland, OR on August 13, 2016. In addition to the 41 cities, there was a "Road to Warped Tour Alaska" on June 22, 2016.
Impact of Warped Tour
Warped Tour has become a launching pad for a lot of up and coming artists. The festival has been attributed to bringing unknown artists like Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, MGK, Katy Perry and Yelawolf to the spotlight.
The Warped Tour has given artists like Will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas a chance to perform. Black Eyed Peas were featured on the 1999 Vans Warped Tour. According to Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas were the first group not categorized as "punk" to play at Warped Tour.
The Vans Warped Tour appeals to a slightly diverse audience. Warped Tour started as a tour that centered punk has evolved into a festival that includes ska, pop and hip-hop. The skate scene has attracted many people to Warped Tour. The tour includes a half pipe for skaters to skate on.
Tours By Year
- (1995) Warped Tour 1995
- (1996) Warped Tour 1996
- (1997) Warped Tour 1997
- (1998) Warped Tour 1998
- (1999) Warped Tour 1999
- (2000) Warped Tour 2000
- (2001) Warped Tour 2001
- (2002) Warped Tour 2002
- (2003) Warped Tour 2003
- (2004) Warped Tour 2004
- (2005) Warped Tour 2005
- (2006) Warped Tour 2006
- (2007) Warped Tour 2007
- (2008) Warped Tour 2008
- (2009) Warped Tour 2009
- (2010) Warped Tour 2010
- (2011) Warped Tour 2011
- (2012) Warped Tour 2012
- (2013) Warped Tour 2013
- (2014) Warped Tour 2014
- (2015) Warped Tour 2015
- (2016) Warped Tour 2016
Musicians on the Vans Warped tour give lessons. Percussive Marketing Council has teamed up with the Vans Warped Tour and has given free drum lessons to the concert goers. The lessons were given at the Lesson Lab tent. These music lessons are for people who are learning to play drums for the first time. The lessons utilize electronic drumsets and acoustic drumsets. According to PMC Advisory Board Member Billy Cuthrell, having drum teachers from other percussion stores is the "key" to the free lessons program.
Music education is a big part of the Vans Warped Tour. Throughout the years, the Warped Tour has utilized the John Lennon Bus to achieve this. The John Lennon Bus was started by Ben Roschild and Yoko Ono in 1968. The goal of the John Lennon Bus is to educate people about music who attend the Warped Tour. Brian Roschild is the executive director of the John Lennon Bus. Essentially, the John Lennon Bus is a mobile studio. The demographic that the bus is trying to educate is the younger generation. Not only do people from the public participate, but artists do as well. Artists like Eminem and Bowling For Soup have visited the tour bus. Other celebrities to use the bus include Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Natasha Bedingfield, and John Legend.
Battle of the Bands
The Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands takes place at Warped Tour every year. Over 10,000 bands tried out for the battle of the bands in 2005. The bands perform at their local Warped tour date and are judged by professionals from the music industry. If the bands do well in the competition, they get to perform as a side stage act on the Ernie Ball Stage of the Vans Warped Tour.
Criticism and controversy
"Warped Tour is a place for teenage kids to go and hear all their favorite bands in one day," says Rob Pasalic, guitarist for the Saint Alvia Cartel. "It wouldn’t make sense for it to be the same tour in 2007 as it was in 1997. These are the bands that kids like, and the tour is smart enough to grow and adapt to that. You still get bands like Bad Religion playing, so it’s not like it’s lost all its roots."
You play music because there's something inside of you that says you have to play music. Now you get bands like Fall Out Boy that are basically created in the studio. The Warped Tour changed it. Fuck it. I just don't like that shit. All the guys in the bands remind me of the jocks I hated in high school. To me a punk gig is a small sweaty club with the audience right in your face knocking over the mic stand and boogying off the energy.
Keith Morris has stated "These kids that are on the Warped Tour, they should have no choice but to go into the military, and go off to some desert somewhere and spend some time in the desert, rather than having some big, ultra mega record company giving them lots of money and paying for their hotels and buses, making sure their hair is trendy, and that they are wearing the proper clothes that all the kids like and wear, and all that fun shit." Morris' band the Circle Jerks would later appear on the 2007 edition of the tour.
In 2013 Oliver Sykes, lead vocalist and occasional guitarist of Bring Me the Horizon took to Twitter to pronounce that he was no longer allowed to start a mosh pit or wall of death. Kevin Lyman took to Twitter as well to say that audience members can create mosh pits and wall of deaths but that someone in the audience has to be the initiator and not a band member because then they are taking responsibility for any injuries which can then lead to costly lawsuits.
On July 1, 2015, it was announced that Front Porch Step would be playing the Nashville, TN tour stop, despite allegedly sexually harassing numerous young girls through explicit text messages, nude photographs, and phone sex. Many bands, including The Wonder Years, Senses Fail, Handguns, and Beartooth asked attendees to not go to Mcelfresh's set. The Wonder Years' lead singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell, who was supposed to perform after Front Porch Step on the Acoustic Basement Stage, asked fans to go see Man Overboard at 1:15pm, the time the acoustic set would take place. Lyman responded by saying,
He was only supposed to be here long enough to play his show but the weather today has been putting us behind schedule. He wasn't added to the tour, so those claims that he was ‘added to sell tickets’ are completely groundless.
On July 11, 2016, Vans Warped Tour announced that Virginia pro-life organisation Rock For Life would be one of the vendors on their 41 tour dates. Rock For Life are known for co-opting punk aesthetics with their logo of a fetus playing a guitar, t-shirts with the phrase “All Lives Matter”. Bands such as Safe To Say and Old Wounds have spoken out against the organization, with Safe To Say, replying to Rock For Life's tweet, saying
Yes. Everyday. We are a pro choice band. A tent telling young women what to do with their body has no place here.
A few bands have left the tour due to conflicts they had with the tour or with other bands:
- Both D12 and Esham were kicked out of the 2001 tour. D12 allegedly attacked Esham because he mentioned Eminem's daughter in his song "Chemical Imbalance". Eminem was not present.
- The band Guttermouth was supposedly removed from the Warped Tour 2004 for insulting Simple Plan. The band later stated that they left themselves due to "that '10 or so' unnamed bands didn't jive with Guttermouth's way of doing business, and in some cases, threatened them with violence".
The Vans Warped Tour is sponsored by Vans, and in recent years Journeys joined as sponsor. Kevin Lyman was offered sponsorship from Calvin Klein before eventually working with Vans. The tour has also had the opportunity to be sponsored by Samsung, which allowed the bands and fans to interact with one another. The schedule for the day was sent out to the fans the day of their show. Samsung has also sponsored a reverse day care for the Warped tour, which allows parents to cool off and their children to watch their favorite bands. Warped Tour has also partnered with other technology companies like Cingular Wireless, Apple Computer and many others. This allows these companies to reach to younger audiences. The communications manager from Memorex stated that Warped Tour allows them to reach a younger demographic due because of the music that these people are "passionate about." At one point in time, Warped Tour also provided the attendees internet service while at the festival. Chaos Mobile was formed by Kevin Lyman and John Reese of Freeze Artist Management. This is an important part of warped tour because it increases fan interaction among alternative rock fans and keeps ticket prices down.
Activism is a major component of the Vans Warped Tour. Warped Tour allows for non-profit organizations such as Invisible Children, To Write Love On Her Arms, Shirts for a Cure and Keep A Breast Foundation to advocate about their cause. Other causes that are represented at Warped Tour are Music Saves Lives and Earth Echo. Earth Echo promotes recycling. They also provide a solar powered stage. Keep A Breast is another organization on the Vans Warped Tour. Keep A Breast educates women about Breast Cancer and preventative measures against the disease. This organization worked in conjunction with the Girlz Garage on the Vans Warped Tour. People who donate to the cause are given T-shirts signed by artists on the tour to spread awareness of Breast Cancer.
The Vans Warped Tour contributes 25 cents from every ticket sold to an organization called Hollywood Heart. Warped Tour also gave money to the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. Warped Tour and the Taste of Chaos, (a festival) worked together to contribute $500,000
The bands on the Warped Tour bring their own musical equipment. However, Industrial Sound has been providing equipment for bands to use while on the Vans Warped Tour. Daniel Bonneau, the lead sound engineer, stated that Industrial Sound is a company that he "relies" on to provide equipment for the festival. Bonneau also states that the bands are not able to do traditional soundchecks and bands have to do line checks.
Official compilation albums
An official Warped Tour compilation CD is released annually by SideOneDummy Records to coincide with the start of the tour. Prior to 1998 the official releases were handled by Vans via Uni Distribution in 1996 and Epitaph Records in 1997 respectively. The compilation includes songs by numerous artists performing on the tour that year. The first few compilations had varying titles, but since 2001 the series has used a standard title with the format "Warped Tour <year> Tour Compilation." In 2002 the compilation expanded onto 2 CDs totalling 50 artists, a format which the series has followed in all subsequent years. The Warped Tour compilation album in 2002 charted at number 55.
|1996||Vans Warped Music Sampler 1996|
|1997||Vans Warped Tour '97 Presents Punk-O-Rama Vol. 2.1|
|1998||A Compilation of Warped Music|
|1999||A Compilation of Warped Music II|
|2000||World Warped III Live|
|2001||Warped Tour 2001 Tour Compilation|
|2002||Warped Tour 2002 Tour Compilation|
|2003||Warped Tour 2003 Tour Compilation|
|2004||Warped Tour 2004 Tour Compilation|
|2005||Warped Tour 2005 Tour Compilation|
|2006||Warped Tour 2006 Tour Compilation|
|2007||Warped Tour 2007 Tour Compilation|
|2008||Warped Tour 2008 Tour Compilation|
|2009||Warped Tour 2009 Tour Compilation|
|2010||Warped Tour 2010 Tour Compilation|
|2011||Warped Tour 2011 Tour Compilation|
|2012||Warped Tour 2012 Tour Compilation|
|2013||Warped Tour 2013 Tour Compilation|
|2014||Warped Tour 2014 Tour Compilation|
|2015||Warped Tour 2015 Tour Compilation|
In addition, the digital music service Rhapsody.com has released a regular "Warped Tour Bootleg Series," with each entry focusing on a single artists performing on the tour. Past Bootleg Series artists have included Matchbook Romance, My Chemical Romance, Bedouin Soundclash, MxPx, The Starting Line, Millencolin, Avenged Sevenfold, Gogol Bordello, Motion City Soundtrack, The Casualties, Anti-Flag, Less Than Jake, Rise Against, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Helmet, and The Academy Is....
- List of Warped Tour lineups by year
- Warped Tour 1997
- Warped Tour 1998
- List of punk rock festivals
- List of historic rock festivals
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