Vans Warped Tour is a traveling rock festival that has toured the United States and other countries since 1995. For almost 25 years, it has been a way for people in the alternative and underground community–people who listen to music that is less mainstream–to come together to see their favorite bands in action.
The tour built its reputation by giving some of the most legendary bands in history a platform to launch their career including the bands Sum 41, Green Day, and Good Charlotte.
The tour has also helped rising bands make more of a name for themselves.
2005’s Warped Tour helped launch the careers of more emo artists like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and Panic! At The Disco when they were just starting out on the scene.
Bringing over 60 different bands to the festival each year, Warped Tour has always had very successful runs.
However, on November 15th, 2017 it was announced that 2018 would be the Tour’s final run. Kevin Lyman, the creator of Warped Tour, issued a statement saying, “I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour.”
When this news broke, many fans were shocked and distraught, including junior Lauren Nicolella, who shared her opinions on this being Warped Tour’s final year.
“I was surprised because I knew that it had been around for a long time. When it was announced, my friend said that we should go considering the fact that it would be the last one.”
Nicolella’s thought was shared by others including Roman Catholic High School junior Michael Golassa.
“I decided that I need to go this year because it would be the most memorable experience ever,” Golassa explained.
Golassa and Nicolella may be setting themselves up for fantastic adventure given that those who have gone to the tour in the past describe it as being one of the greatest days of their lives.
Biochemistry teacher Stephanie Sessa experienced the tour first hand and couldn’t stop raving about it.
“I went to a show in 2002. That year I went for Alkaline Trio, Anti-Flag, and Flogging Molly. Alkaline Trio to this day is still one of my favorite bands,” Sessa exclaimed.
Sessa shares the most memorable moments from the festival were the mosh pits and crowd surfers.
“I don’t mind big crowds. I try to stay away from moshing. I like going through the crowd and getting as close as I can to the performer.”
Unlike most festivals, Warped Tour has smaller stages and tents for non-profit organizations. f you donate to the festival, you can earn backstage passes to meet your favorite band or various other prizes.
Due to their work with nonprofits and a sponsorship from the popular skate-wear company Vans, Warped Tour is one of the few festivals that allow people to see many of their favorite artists at a fair price.
“Warped Tour is coming at a more affordable price. It’s an all-day event that has multiple performers and stages,” Nicolella explained. “In comparison to festivals like Made in America, Warped Tour artists aren’t mainstream or always played on the radio so the tickets aren’t outrageous.”
The scene of Warped is different because people go because they have a genuine interest in the music.
“Coachella is really well known, and I feel as though people really just want to go for the aesthetic. All you see are celebrities or Instagram influencers there and you see posts about their fashion, not about the show,” Nicolella said.
Although many people rave about Warped, there are some downsides to attending the festival.
Sessa explained that “The heat was my least favorite part.”
There is also conflict with scheduling due to conflicting performance times.
“While there were only a few bands that I wanted to see, sometimes they play at the same time,” Sessa described.
Although Warped might have some minor flaws, it is inevitably a safe space for fans of the alternative rock genre so they don’t feel ostracized for their style or music preference.
Roman Catholic junior Michael Golassa said, “I feel as if it more inclusive because, a lot of the people who go like the genre and can relate to the music since they have gone through some emotional or physical turmoil and just find a good place with each other at the event.”.
Overall, many would agree that no other festival can compete with the atmosphere of Warped by the way everyone goes to specifically see pop-punk bands in their true element.