How Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh Helped Name the Warped Tour

One of the longest-lasting summer concert experiences is the annual Vans Warped Tour, which has been bringing punk and skateboards to the people since 1995.  The founder of the festival is Kevin Lyman, a former employee with Goldenvoice, the company that helped stage the original Lollapalooza shows. 

In 1994, Kevin had an epiphany.  At the time, he was running an event called Board Aid which focused on snowboarding and other extreme winter sports.  Why not take summer extreme sports, add in some punk rock and take it all on the road? 

“We’ll call it ‘The Bomb!’ ”said Kevin. 

Unfortunately, the day Kevin picked to announce the first-ever Bomb tour was April 19, 1995, the day Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  Bad timing.  

Since Kevin didn’t have any money to come up with a trademark search, he called up the publisher of Warp magazine–his favourite extreme sports mag–and asked if he could call his tour “Warped.”  They said “Okay”—and here we are.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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