Warped Tour

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Warped Tour
Vans Warped Tour Logo.png
Genre Punk rock, pop punk, ska, alternative rock, reggae, hip hop, pop, metalcore, hardcore punk, emo, screamo, post-hardcore
Location(s) United States, Canada, Europe, Australia
Years active 1995–present
Founded by Kevin Lyman

The Warped Tour is a touring music festival. The tour is held in venues such as parking lots or fields upon which the stages and other structures are constructed prior to and for the duration of the event. The skateboard shoe manufacturer Vans, among others, has sponsored the tour every year since 1995, and it is often called the Vans Warped Tour. The tour began as a showcase for punk rock music, but its more recent lineups have featured diverse genres.


The performance schedule for the August 10, 2010 stop in Chula Vista, California, giving stages and set times for each act. Set times are determined on the day of the show and are posted for attendees on a large inflatable board.

As of the mid-2000s, the Warped Tour has featured as many as 100 bands per show. The bands play for up to 30 minutes over approximately 10 stages, with the biggest bands generally playing the two main stages. Bands typically start at 11:00 am and end around 9:00 pm, with several bands playing at once. The individual band times and stages where each band plays are marked on a large board usually centered in the venue. The stages are set up in various locations around the venue to ensure no band's music is disrupted by the others.

Every year there is a "BBQ Band," which, in exchange for the privilege of playing on the tour, must prepare the barbecue held for the bands and crew most evenings. Past BBQ Bands have included Dropkick Murphys and "The Fabulous Rudies".[1] Similarly, one band, Animo (formerly DORK), has been permitted for the past four years to play on the tour in exchange for working on the setup crew.

The tour started as a skate punk and third-wave ska tour, but later began to feature mostly pop punk and metalcore acts. There are also some hardcore and street punk bands, such as the Casualties, the Unseen and Anti-Flag, that still play Warped Tour, as well as older bands that have played the tour numerous times since its inception (Bad Religion, NOFX, etc.)

The tour does not have one way of being set up. Every show (every venue) has a different layout. It is set up early in the morning during the set up crews arrival and taken down usually during the last show of the day. When heading into Canada there is a bus that loads the supplies that heads into Canada and the other bus contains the equipment that stays in the US until the next show. [2]

In 2013 Kevin Lyman decided, because of transportation problems and audience members getting younger every year that their parents would be able to get into the tour for free. They have their own adult day care. [3]


List of Previous Warped Tour bands by year


The Alternative Press/Advent stage (left) and Glamour Kills stage (right) on the 2010 tour, an example of the tour's side-by-side stage setup. Acts play alternating 30-minute set times on the two stages.

The Warped Tour was created in 1994 by Kevin Lyman, who got the idea while working on skateboarding shows such as the Vision Skate Escape and Holiday Havoc which included music with skateboarding contests.

The tour has always been held at outdoor venues though on a rare occasions that has not always been the case. In 1996 due to problems with the venue where the event was to be held, the show was forced to be moved indoors to the The Capitol Ballroom nightclub in Washington DC.[4]

In 1998, the tour went international, including venues in Australia, Japan, Europe, Canada, and the United States.

In 1999, the tour started off in New Zealand and Australia in the New Year. It then started up again in the United States for the northern hemisphere summer before ending up in Europe.

In 2006, the tour started the "Warped Eco Initiative" (WEI). Ways the tour has changed since 2006: Using Biodiesel to fuel the buses, since 2006 the tour has reduced petroleum by 30%. The tour has a solar stage that is run solely from solar power that host 8–10 performers per show. The catering on the warped has switched to use washable dishes, and silverware. They also use compostable corn, and potato-starch take out boxes. The tour gives out free prizes to kids who volunteer to help recycle.[5]

Starting in 2009, the two main stages were condensed into one and bands were given 40-minute sets, as opposed to the traditional 30 minutes across the previous two stages. Despite this, the tour decided to bring back the two main stages concept with 35-minute sets instead for the 2012 tour and beyond.

In 2012, the Warped Tour travelled to London, the first time the tour has left North America since 1998.[6] In the UK and Europe, Warped Tour is operated by English promoter Kilimanjaro Live.[7]

Warped 2009[edit]

On February 10, 2009 details for the annual "Warped Tour Kick Off Party" were announced. The show took place on April 2, 2009 at The Key Club in West Hollywood, California and featured Warped Tour 2009 bands T.S.O.L., The Adolescents, Sing it Loud, TAT, and TV/TV on the bill.[8] The tour won the Best Festival/Tour Award at the Rock on Request Awards.[9]

Warped 2012[edit]

The Warped Tour 2012 kick off party took place March 29, 2012 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Falling in Reverse, The Used, Yellowcard, Dead Sara, Matt Toka and Forever Came Calling.[10] For the first time in 14 years, Warped Tour was held in the UK in November 2012.

Warped 2013[edit]

The Warped Tour 2013 kick off party took place March 28, 2013 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Chiodos, New Beat Fund, Gin Wigmore, MC Lars, Craig Owens, Dia Frampton, Charlotte Sometimes, Big Chocolate, Echosmith and special guests.[11][12] The tour will once again return to Europe for the second year in a row with more tour dates.[13] For the first time since 2001, Warped Tour will also appear in Australia.

Warped 2014[edit]

The Warped Tour 2014 kick off party took place on April 1, 2014 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Bad Rabbits, Issues, One Ok Rock, Secrets, This Wild Life, Watsky, and Wax.[14] The tour is set to return to Montreal for the first time in two years. On February 7, 2014, it was announced that the Warped Tour would visit Alaska for the first time for a pre-tour "The Road to Warped" show.[15] The entire first date (June 13 at Houston) was streamed live on the tour's website. In June 2014 Kevin Lyman announced on Twitter that the UK segment of the 2014 tour would not go ahead.[16] The San Diego stop was sponsored by Waveborn Sunglasses. As a part of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the tour, there have been surprise appearances from two bands, Linkin Park played at Ventura, California on June 22nd, 2014, and A Day To Remember played at Chicago, Illinois on July 19th, 2014.

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Artist, record label, and sponsor tents occupy the central area of the tour stops, selling merchandise and holding autograph signings.

"Warped Tour is a place for teenage kids to go and hear all their favorite bands in one day," says Rob Pasalic, guitarist for the Saint Alvia Cartel. "It wouldn’t make sense for it to be the same tour in 2007 as it was in 1997. These are the bands that kids like, and the tour is smart enough to grow and adapt to that. You still get bands like Bad Religion playing, so it’s not like it’s lost all its roots."[17]

Joe Queer of The Queers stated that

"You play music because there’s something inside of you that says you have to play music. Now you get bands like Fall Out Boy that are basically created in the studio. The Warped Tour changed it. Fuck it. I just don’t like that shit. All the guys in the bands remind me of the jocks I hated in high school. To me a punk gig is a small sweaty club with the audience right in your face knocking over the mic stand and boogying off the energy."[18]

Anberlin preparing for a meet-and-greet at the MySpace tent on the 2007 tour. Performers often meet with fans and sign autographs at the various artist and sponsor tents.

Keith Morris has stated "These kids that are on the Warped Tour, they should have no choice but to go into the military, and go off to some desert somewhere and spend some time in the desert, rather than having some big, ultra mega record company giving them lots of money and paying for their hotels and buses, making sure their hair is trendy, and that they are wearing the proper clothes that all the kids like and wear, and all that fun shit."[19] Morris' band the Circle Jerks would later appear on the 2007 edition of the tour.[20]

In 2013 Oliver Sykes from Bring Me the Horizon took to twitter to pronounce that he was no longer allowed to start a "mosh pit" or "wall of death." Kevin Lyman took to twitter as well to say that audience members can create mosh pits and wall of deaths but that someone in the audience has to be the initiator and not a band member because then they are taking responsibility for any injuries which can then lead to costly lawsuits. [21] [22]

Band conflicts[edit]

Athletes perform exhibitions of skateboarding, BMX biking, and other sports on half-pipes and other ramps during the tour. Attendees are often also permitted to participate.

A few bands have left the tour due to conflicts they had with the tour or with other bands:

  • Both D12 and Esham were kicked out of the 2001 tour. D12 allegedly attacked Esham because he mentioned Eminem's daughter in his song "Chemical Imbalance." Eminem was not present.[23]
  • The band Guttermouth was supposedly removed from the Warped Tour 2004 for insulting My Chemical Romance. The band later stated that they left themselves due to "that '10 or so' unnamed bands didn't jive with Guttermouth's way of doing business, and in some cases, threatened them with violence."[24]

Official compilation albums[edit]

Pennywise have performed on 8 of the 16 Warped Tours.
Attendees moshing in a circle pit on the 2010 tour.

An official Warped Tour compilation CD is released annually by SideOneDummy Records to coincide with the start of the tour. Prior to 1998 the official releases were handled by Vans via Uni Distribution in 1996 and Epitaph Records in 1997 respectively. The compilation includes songs by numerous artists performing on the tour that year. The first few compilations had varying titles, but since 2001 the series has used a standard title with the format "Warped Tour <year> Tour Compilation." In 2002 the compilation expanded onto 2 CDs totalling 50 artists, a format which the series has followed in all subsequent years.

Year Title
1996 Vans Warped Music Sampler 1996
1997 Vans Warped Tour '97 Presents Punk-O-Rama Vol. 2.1
1998 A Compilation of Warped Music
1999 A Compilation of Warped Music II
2000 World Warped III Live
2001 Warped Tour 2001 Tour Compilation
2002 Warped Tour 2002 Tour Compilation
2003 Warped Tour 2003 Tour Compilation
2004 Warped Tour 2004 Tour Compilation
2005 Warped Tour 2005 Tour Compilation
2006 Warped Tour 2006 Tour Compilation
2007 Warped Tour 2007 Tour Compilation
2008 Warped Tour 2008 Tour Compilation
2009 Warped Tour 2009 Tour Compilation
2010 Warped Tour 2010 Tour Compilation
2011 Warped Tour 2011 Tour Compilation
2012 Warped Tour 2012 Tour Compilation
2013 Warped Tour 2013 Tour Compilation
2014 Warped Tour 2014 Tour Compilation

In addition, the digital music service Rhapsody.com has released a regular "Warped Tour Bootleg Series," with each entry focusing on a single artists performing on the tour. Past Bootleg Series artists have included Matchbook Romance, My Chemical Romance, Bedouin Soundclash, MxPx, The Starting Line, Millencolin, Avenged Sevenfold, Gogol Bordello, Motion City Soundtrack, The Casualties, Anti-Flag, Less Than Jake, Rise Against, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Helmet, and The Academy Is...


  1. ^ Charleston.net. Charleston.net.
  2. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3407256/?ref_=tt_ep_ep4
  3. ^ http://www.punknews.org/article/52019/warped-tour-offering-free-admission-for-parents
  4. ^ http://www.freewebs.com/44blinkingangels/tourarchives.htm
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Name * (March 30, 2012). "Vans Warped Tour Coming to the UK". Media Blasphemy. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  7. ^ LickLibrary "Vans Warped Tour to return to the UK for the first time since 1999", LickLibrary, Fri, 30 March 2012
  8. ^ Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party
  9. ^ "2009 Top In Rock Awards". Rock on Request. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  10. ^ Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party
  11. ^ Vans Warped Tour 2013 Kick-Off Party
  12. ^ Vans Warped Tour 2013 Kick-Off Party Announced, Tickets Now Available
  13. ^ Warped Tour Confirms UK Dates For 2013 Festival
  14. ^ "Los Angeles, CA". Vans Warped Tour. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  15. ^ All Time Low, Falling In Reverse, more to play The Road To Warped Tour Alaska
  16. ^ No 2014 Warped Tour UK Kevin Lyman on Twitter. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  17. ^ "Warped Tour Keeps Skating Straight Ahead". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2007. 
  18. ^ The Wire – Joe Queer: the face of punk. Wirenh.com (October 24, 2006).
  19. ^ Circle Jerks: Keith Morris interview | Facebook[dead link]
  20. ^ "Circle Jerks To Join This Year's Warped Tour". Ultimate-Guitar.com. June 21, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  21. ^ http://www.punknews.org/article/52048/warped-tour-act-claims-ban-on-terms-like-mosh-pit-and-wall-of-death
  22. ^ http://www.punknews.org/article/52115/warped-tours-kevin-lyman-comments-on-mosh-pit-controversy
  23. ^ "Rappers Esham, D12 kicked off Warped Tour after alleged attack". 
  24. ^ Guttermouth Quits Warped Tour – Aversion.com

External links[edit]