How Does the Warped Tour Manage to Work Year After Year? Here’s How.

Although the Warped Tour is bypassing Canada this summer, organizers have made vague promises to come north of the border next year. Meanwhile, though, Warped keeps steamrolling through the US as it has for more than 20 years. What’s the secret to its success? Forbes took a look.

Kevin Lyman is the founder of Warped Tour, the festival that has been bringing punk rock to the masses every summer for over 20 years. After getting his first taste of working at music festivals in the early 1990s at Lollapalooza, Lyman began Warped (officially titled Vans Warped Tour, due to the shoe company’s longstanding support) in 1995. It continues this year starting on June 22nd. You can see dates and get tickets here.

I called Kevin in late May to find out how he has kept a huge, multi-stage festival running for so long, and to check on his plans for this year’s tour, and for the future.

As a side note, I personally got to see how Warped Tour works first-hand many years ago, as a musician on the tour’s 2004 run – a fact we occasionally make reference to in the interview.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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