“Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour. I sit here reflecting on the tour’s incredible history, what the final run means for our community, and look forward to what’s to come as we commemorate the tour’s historic 25th anniversary in 2019.”
These is what the founder of The Vans Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman had to say yesterday(read full statement HERE). The mobile festival that had been running for well over two decades across the entire world has come to its final most tour next year, the farewell tour that is. When it started back in 1995, it was mainly a punk rooted festival and over the years the festival expanded its taste on every spectrum of music thus making it an exceptionally well received summer extravaganza among the teenage and young people of the nation. Warped has helped a lot of artists shoot to fame and now are pretty big fishes in the pond. Punk(or pop punk) bands like NOFX, BAD RELIGION, SICK OF IT ALL, BLINK-182, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, FALL OUT BOY and THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, along with others from across the genre palette like KATY PERRY, BLACK EYED PEAS, and other pop and hip hop sensations have been featured in what is one of the biggest running summer festivals.
Kevin Lyman added, “Touring many summers with my friends and peers like – Pennywise, Social Distortion, NOFX, Bad Religion, The Descendents, Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphy’s, The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag and The Offspring are just some of my fondest memories. More include, having Blink-182 travel on my bus in 1997 when the world opened up to them and made them the superstars they are today.”
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. After two years, 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. The Vans Warped Tour also boasts of being environment friendly by using bio-diesel for the production buses.
Controversies have never left The Warped Tour alone. Right from the initial heydays of the festival, some stories have cropped up. The tour series was on the receiving end of some flak when it started out from the punk and rock community as they deemed it to be more of a marketing venture, taking away businesses and the scene from local promoters and agencies. In 2015, Lyman was raised eyebrows at because of allowing Jake McElfresh a.k.a. FRONT PORCH STEP perform at Nashville’s date, despite several allegations on him soliciting nude pictures and sending lewd text messages from and to minor girls on social media. To which Lyman responded that “McElfresh had still not been formally charged with any misconduct,“. He added, “If he was a danger to anyone, he simply would not have been here.“
Last year, Vans Warped Tour announced that Virginia pro-life organization Rock For Life would be one of the vendors on their 41 tour dates. This outraged a few bands, 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.“
This summer another debated ensued, when a video doing the rounds of the internet depicting Leonard Graves Phillips, front-man of the punk band THE DICKIES, calling derogatory names to a female audience member, such as “fat cunt”, and leading the crowd with the chant “blow me”.
But, most importantly a major festival has chose to bid itself farewell and the final tour dates for summer 2018 are already out. Kevin Lyman said that the reasons for hanging the boots on the festival were plenty, some of which included low ticket sales among the concert goers, poor roster of bands and an ever changing face of summer tours. Despite the thick and thins, The Warped Tour has certainly offered a lot of moments to cherish in this two decade period of maddening party and loud music, not to mention the rising of many now famous artists to whom the Warped Tour served as a launchpad. We thank the entire team of the Warped Tour for all the years of excellent music!
Kevin Lyman opines nostalgically, “It will be bittersweet each morning when I see the sun rise and then watch it set knowing that this will be the last time I get to witness it from that exact spot.
Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams, and the fans that come through at every stop.”
The dates for the final tour for next year are out. Check below for the dates and click HERE for ticketing details,