The summer of 2018 will be the last for the Vans Warped Tour. After 24 years, founder Kevin Lyman has voted to call it a day after a good, long run.
Now that the tour is underway–it started last Thursday–the eulogies for what had become a rite of passage for so many fans and artists continue.
From the New York Times: What was it like to be a woman on the Warped Tour?
On the first Warped Tour, in 1995, the traveling punk-rock extravaganza was so low-budget that its founder, Kevin Lyman, had to buy supermarket hot dogs to feed the musicians. One day, the Sublime singer Bradley Nowell’s Dalmatian urinated on the buns.
“That was my favorite moment,” recalled Donita Sparks of L7, another top band on the bill that year. The other roving festivals of the time, from Lollapalooza to Lilith Fair, had an air of sophistication, but Warped was dirty, D.I.Y., and lacking air-conditioning and proper restrooms — and only three of the 21 headlining bands included women. When the tour sets off from Pomona, Calif., on Thursday for what’s billed as its final full cross-country trek, only six of the 84 bands listed on the lineup posted on the Warped website have women members, or 7 percent, far lower than the 19 percent average on top festivals this year, according to a recent study by the online music magazine Pitchfork.
The Vans Warped Tour, now in its 24th year, has expanded its catering to include gourmet and vegan options. But its core mission remains essentially the same — raging, screaming, punk and metal bands and bouncier emo and pop-punk groups, from mainstays like All Time Low and Taking Back Sunday to promising younger acts on smaller stages, setting up shop at amphitheaters and in parking lots from San Diego to West Palm Beach, Fla. Warped has showcased women stars over the years, including No Doubt, Katy Perry, Paramore and the underground bands on the pink-and-black Shiragirl stage, but its gender imbalance has remained striking.
From the Los Angeles Times: What the end of the Warped Tour means.
Days before Andy Biersack joined his first Vans Warped Tour as an artist, the singer for the L.A. glam-metal band Black Veil Brides got a little overexuberant onstage. His band was playing a pre-Warped warm-up show in 2011 when, in a fugue state over finally making it on the bill, he stage dived off a piece of rigging.
He missed the landing. Biersack fractured several bones and had to spend the rest of his first Warped Tour wrapped in a protective body brace. But he wouldn’t have missed those dates for anything.
“When I was a kid, there was no greater dream than to be on the other side of that fence as an artist,” Biersack said. “It’s next to impossible to describe the importance of Warped Tour in my life.”
A lot of bands, fans and music-industry pros are thinking the same thing this summer. Warped Tour, the traveling punk and skate-culture festival, a teenage summertime fixture since 1995, is finally hanging up its Vans sneakers for good. This summer’s edition — with Black Veil Brides co-headlining among dozens of acts — will be its last as an annual traveling festival.