Crowd surfers, moshing, dehydration and your favorite bands are just a few of the things that are brought to mind when it comes to the Vans Warped Tour. Twenty years ago founder Kevin Lyman had the idea of a tour that brought fans and their favorite music together at a price they could afford. The Vans Warped Tour is now one of the most popular festivals in the United States. It has become more than just a festival, it is more of a culture. Lyman’s tour has only grown, streamlined and evolved to become a launching point for many bands’ music career. Many now well-known bands and music icons such as Blink-182, No Doubt, and Rise Against got their start on the Warped Tour. If you still don’t understand just how fantastic this tour is check out our top 10 reasons the Vans Warped Tour is the best tour on earth.
It’s not just the bands that work their butts off all day. There are literally hundreds of people behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly and safely. Kevin Lyman does his best to make the festival as safe as possible giving fans who may not regularly attend concerts a chance to get in on the fun. In particular, it’s the roadies that keep this tour afloat. Putting up a tour for 4 or 5 bands is difficult enough, but it’s the job of the Warped Tour crew to make sure the stages are set for the 200+ bands expected to play over the summer, but that’s only the half of it. The tour moves from city to city everyday and is quite literally a moving city. The job is so difficult and unique that the roadies even have a TV show on Fuse chronicling their adventures. This yea’s season will air on YouTube so keep your eyes open for future updates.
9 Diverse Bands
It doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into. With Warped Tour’s many stages and tons of bands, attendees can pick and choose a schedule for their day. The show does a good job of picking rock bands of all calibers to fill the stages, and the schedule is set up in such a way that you might just find your new favorite band while traveling between the stages.
8 Bring your own water
If one thing is for sure, it’ll be burning hot for at least part of a day at Warped Tour. Luckily venue security has been instructed to allow backpacks and sealed water containers at all event locations. Water bottles are your lifeline if you plan on moshing for all eight hours of the festival. It even gets tough to walk from stage to stage during the day so make sure to pack an extra water bottle before you get to the front gates. There are also free water refilling stations at every show.
7 Reverse day care
Yep, this is exactly what it sounds like. Since Warped Tour usually attracts a younger crowd, sometimes parents get roped into attending the show. Good thing Kevin Lyman implemented a reverse daycare. Here parents can sit in the shade, drink coffee, cold water, and relax while the Warped Tour fans in the family-run from stage to stage.
6 Cheaper Merch
Along with the lowered price of food and water at most of the Warped Tour venues, most bands lower the prices of everything at their merch booth to appeal to a younger crowd and fight competition. You can also be lucky enough to pick up special editions of several items that bands haven’t gotten rid of yet.
5 Weekly band announcements
Where’s the fun in hearing a festival line up in one day? The Vans Warped tour has come up with a unique system to get the word out about the hundreds of bands scheduled to play across the summer. Unlike usual shows, The Vans Warped tour took to social media releasing five or so new bands every week. It’s inevitable that you don’t like every band on Warped Tour, but the crew schedules it in such a way that you probably like one or two every week. If you bought an early bird ticket before the initial announcements, seeing a fun band is added to the bill is like winning the music lottery every week.
4 Cheap tickets for early birds
Every year, months before the tour starts tickets become available soon after the venues are announced for a reduced price. If you’re willing to take the gamble, and risk that a few of the 200+ bands are worth the $20 it’s a good way to go. The pricing for tickets are tiered and become more expensive as the cheaper tickets are sold, so it pays to be a gambling addict because, with Warped Tour, you always win. The early bird tickets go on sale before Christmas, so they also become a good item to put on your wish list for Santa.
3 Parents get in free
That’s right, Warped Tour is like punk rock Legoland, but better. The venues allow parents to attend the show free as long as they bring a child with a purchased ticket. This perk works both ways because parents who want to attend the show sometimes just act unhappy until they get through the gate and save themselves the price of admission.
2 Big name bands play every year.
Kevin and the Warped Tour crew do a good job of picking at least a few bands to bring in the hold outs that didn’t pick up early tickets. A few weeks before the show the team brings out the heavy hitters, and makes the Vans Warped Tour a “can’t miss event”. All of these bands mill around the festival grounds, so it’s not a rare event to see your favorite and members manning their merch tent if you keep your eyes peeled.
1 Eight stages
How else do you expect the Warped Tour team to squeeze hundreds of bands into each show? Each of the many stages are packed with a particular set of bands appealing to a special audience like an Acoustic Basement, and two staggered main stages. The stages are scattered around the venue so it’s sometimes quite a workout to see every band or your list, but it’s always worth it.
Overall Kevin Lyman has been refining The Vans Warped tour for 20 years, and it is far from its humble beginnings. This tour has become more commercialized as the years go on, but it still leaves space for up and coming bands to shine. This amazing show travails all over the United States so be sure to check out this year’s tour dates.
If you enjoyed this article you can find out more about Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman or the 2014 Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Party and be sure to “Like” By the Barricade on Facebook to hear more information about this year’s Vans Warped Tour.