No sooner than the final tour ended in the summer of 2019, music fans asked, “is the Vans Warped Tour coming back,” even though the festival was canned after 25 straight years.
When asked if the Vans Warped Tour is coming back, its founders have stated that it wasn’t due to re-launch soon, although alternative festivals might take its place.
There has been much debate over whether Warped Tour will relaunch in the future despite co-founder Kevin Lyman retiring the format for good in 2019. However, a resurgence in the popularity of pop-punk and the interest of new partners could breathe new life into what is a summer staple of the American music scene. So is the Vans Warped Tour coming back soon?
Why Warped Tour is Missed
Before seeing whether Warped Tour is due to make a comeback, it is best to know why the touring punk festival is so beloved by music fans worldwide.
For 25 years, the Warped Tour brought together amazing bands. Fans sought a solid two-month touring carnival of music, sport, and anything deemed alternative culture.
First launched by Kevin Lyman in 1995, Warped Tour became another of America’s big touring festivals. It hoped to capture the same attention that other shows like Lollapalooza had in the early 1990s.
With punk and alternative bands dominating the charts at the time, fans quickly rushed to the new festival. It took headline acts such as Deftones, No Doubt, and Sublime to all four corners of the US.
It received a massive boost as shoe retailer Vans became the primary sponsor a year later. The famous brand drew even more eyes to a festival that now showcased established bands such as Green Day and Bad Religion.
Moving into the 2000s, Warped Tour’s popularity reached new heights. The mu-metal and emo crazes made the tour a must-see event for everyone.
It had live skating shows, comedy tours, and even professional wrestling events. Warped Tour was a hub for everyone to enjoy the summer no matter what they liked.
It also earned international acclaim with bands from the UK, Europe, and Australia. All bands fought for spots on tour and increased their American market presence.
At the end of the 2000s, other inclusions on cult phenomena such as the Guitar Hero series and sites such as Myspace meant that everyone knew what the Warped Tour was about
The Rise and Fall of Warped Tour
Alternative and emo crazes lost their fire into the 2010s. The success and grandeur of the Warped Tour slowly faded along with it. The following years saw a slew of controversies that plagued the tour and senior officials.
The 2012 edition was marred by the unfortunate death of a 19-year-old woman.
Kevin Lyman was also caught up in a sex scandal involving YouTube singer Austin Jones Austin was due to appear at that year’s edition only to drop out before the official launch.
Lyman had been accused of turning a blind eye to Jones’ charges. This situation added more negative press to the festival.
The End of Warped Tour
in December 2018, Kevin Lyman revealed that the 25th edition of the tour in 2019 would be the last ever to be held. Unlike its regular touring format, only three shows were held that year – in Cleveland, Atlantic City, and Mountain View, California.
It brought together a host of big names from past editions of the tour, with Jimmy Eat World, A Day to Remember, and Good Charlotte all performing.
As the last show finished on the 21st of July 2019, it heralded the end of an era.
The Artists of Warped Tour
The variety fans could enjoy made Warped Tour such a draw throughout its lifespan. You could hear everything from rock to rap to electro in one day.
It didn’t discriminate as musicians got the chance to perform. Many new musicians saw life in front of adoring crowds regardless of genre or style of performing.
Just by reading through some of the acts to play, Warped Tour is a who’s whos of music stars from the 21st century:
- Green Day
- Linkin Park
- Katy Perry
- Black Eyed Peas
- No Doubt
This list is a cross-section of bands that have dominated charts worldwide. All have played at Warped Tour during the peak of their careers.
The Black Eyed Peas and Katy Perry had their first real chance to perform in front of large live crowds. And we all know how far they went from there.
Seeing how some of these talents have been so successful, imagine what Warped Tour could do if it were to return.
It could give the “Olivia Rodrigos” and the “Meet Me @ The Altars” of the world a chance to shine. They could even grab even more followers away from the screen carnage of Instagram and TikTok.
It could give international acts a chance to breakthrough into the American market. Bands such as Bullet For My Valentine and Twin Atlantic took off in a similar vein after their Warped Tour performances. There’s a real knack for artists to appear once again, which is expected.
Who Could Bring Warped Tour Back?
Like anything commercial, bringing back Warped Tour in the same vein as it was would prove to be a difficult feat.
All the commercial rights still belong to Kevin Lyman. He stated his role in the tour is done and was retired from the touring scene.
Metal singer, Chris Fronzak, said he would be keen to re-launch the tour somehow. However, an interview with British music website Dead Press saw Fronzak reveal that legal obligations would prevent Warped Tour from returning until at least 2023.
Fronzak showed there is still interest in the touring festival. However, the wider world could also slow down any plans for it to come back.
Could Vans Warped Tour Return after a Pandemic?
the COVID pandemic has made it difficult for any promoters to hold shows – big or small. So it would be hard to see how a touring festival may work in current conditions.
It would be a red-tape nightmare trying to ensure that band members are vaccinated and crowd caps are in place. Trying to bring in acts traveling from state to state might also be challenging
Given that COVID restrictions change on a per-state basis, the managers would have to adjust for each location. Those chances can occur at any minute.
On the other hand, with everything taking place outside, Warped Tour would be one of the few events that could be held safely.
Authorities and governments give greater tolerance to outside events. Musicians can hold bigger crowds, making an event like Warped Tour the perfect way to trial touring in the new normal.
So Is Vans Warped Tour coming back anytime soon?
With so many fond memories, it is only natural for music lovers to hope that the Vans Warped Tour is coming back – no matter what platform it may be.
Its place in music history is forever defined thanks to defining the cool alternative movement of the early 2000s and showcasing the biggest acts in music.
As its core audience is slowly reentering the mainstream, it would be a great time to relaunch the tour to give new artists a natural place to shine.
Even if legalities prevent the tour from returning until at least 2023, it doesn’t stop promoters from looking at ways to breathe life into a sleeping giant.
Things would still need to return in the real world. The outdoor settings make it a great event to trial in a post-pandemic world and would be a smash hit if it restarted.
So if you are wondering about the Vans Warped Tour coming back, keep your fingers crossed and hope that something comes to fruition!