Kevin Lyman Spills Secrets to Warped Tour’s Success

Kevin-Warped-PicOn May 22nd Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman stopped by Pomona, California at the California State Polytechnic University to share experiences, advice, and motivation with those lucky enough to attend the lecture. He discussed valuable techniques for almost all aspects of the music business and shared some of the reasons the Vans Warped Tour has become so successful. He then opened the floor to an anything goes Q and A. Some of the advice he gave was:

  1. Get Involved

The first major point Kevin stressed in his lecture was to get your name out there! Kevin didn’t just fall into his position randomly, working up the food chain form small clubs to festivals like Lollapalooza gave him the experience with a verity of aspects within the music industry. Exposure opportunities didn’t stop there. Kevin stressed joining record labels and local venues that are as small as possible because surrounding yourself with music professionals is bound to teach you something.

  1. Build Your Brand

“No one can sell you better than you.” Kevin’s all in perspective gave him the passion and motivation to make things work and bypass challenges. Every day you are selling yourself with professionalism and actions so don’t just put on your game face inside the office. Having a plan and a goal in mind helps turn gut feelings into success.

  1. Evolve with your fans

“The music industry is alive and well, it’s just evolving.” Warped Tour has always brought an eclectic mix of bands to the table, but by 1993 it was known as a punk festival. Along with metal the punk scene is changing, but it’s defiantly getting older. Bands like Bad Religion and Pennywise don’t want to stand around in the sun all day, and neither do most of their fans, so new names like A Day To Remember have stepped in the fill the age gap embracing a younger crowd letting the warped tour stick around.


The Vans Warped Tour is arguably the biggest classroom in America and created a generation of thinkers. The show’s constantly changing schedule, deferment promotions, and extra opportunities along the tour make fans think before they even get on the festival grounds. Maybe Kevin’s original plan to be a teacher shows up in more ways than one. The Warped Tour is not just a festival but a full ecosystem letting fans learn about new bands, meet new friends, and have fun all in a safe environment.

This evolution to cater to the younger generation with trendier music styles, free parent admission, and future plans to turn Fuse’s Warped Roadies into a YouTube web show all help Lyman’s “Business” stay relevant and most likely prosper within the future. One thing’s for sure, this writer is headed to the 2014 Vans Warped tour to hang By the Barricade!


If you want to learn more about Kevin Lyman or the Vans Warped Tour check out Soundcheck411’s full interview with Kevin Lyman on  or our coverage of the Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party.

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