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  • Kristen Petronio

Did You Know? Vans Warped Tour Edition

Anyone who has been a fan of punk or metal in the last 20 years has likely heard of the Vans Warped Tour. Starting back in 1995, the cross-country music festival has made stops in roughly 40 cities, giving music fans a chance to see dozens of their favorite bands in one place and one day. There are a lot of common facts known about the legendary tour by longtime fans of it. But, did you know these facts we’ve found? Check it out and let us know if you learned anything new!

The Start...

The tour started out as an alternative festival in 1995. It wasn’t until they got a sponsorship opportunity from the shoe company Vans in 1996 that the name changed, and the festival began to bring in more punk acts.

What’s in a Name?...

“Warped” almost wasn’t the name of the tour. Kevin Lyman, the tour’s founder, first named it “The Bomb” because, in the 90s, it was a commonly used term for “cool” or “awesome.” Then, in April 1995, the same year of the tour’s inception, the Oklahoma City bombing shook the nation. Lyman felt it would be insensitive to keep the name as it was. So, out of respect, they changed it to Warped.

Something Borrowed...

The name “Warped” was actually borrowed from a magazine that Lyman used to work for prior to planning the tour.

Top Artists...

Some of the biggest artists of the 2000s and the present once played the Vans Warped Tour prior to hitting mainstream. Some of the biggest names include Eminem, The Black Eyed Peas, Ice T, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Bad Religion, and Deftones (just to name a few). Warped Tour gave these artists and more the platform to get their music out to thousands of kids each day and grow, sometimes in a realm outside of the genre they’d been boxed into.

Learning from Lollapalooza...

Kevin Lyman was once a stage manager for the monster music festival Lollapalooza in 1992. It was through his experience managing that tour that he came up with many of his ideas for Warped Tour. For example, he noticed that when the schedule was announced days before the show, early acts would play to smaller crowds because of fans not showing up until their favorite headliners played later in the day. Lyman wanted to combat this with Warped, and he did so by creating a new schedule for every city. That way, fans had to come early to check out the schedule. One could buy a schedule from the kiosk or look up to the giant inflatable announcing the schedule for the day. Coming late could mean you’d miss your favorite artist. Less Than Jake may have played at 5pm yesterday, but they could play at 11am today. Doing it this way not only helped add to the excitement of the day, it also gave smaller bands a chance to be heard while fans were waiting for their favorite bands to perform later.

Traveling City...

Over 900 people traveled with the tour to set up and tear down everything in each city.

Rocking for the Greater Good...

The Vans Warped Tour did a lot of philanthropy. Along with providing great music to thousands of people, they also partnered with hundreds of charities and non-profits including MusiCares, PETA2, and Farm Animal Rights Movement. To help motivate concertgoers to donate to causes, they offered a Skip the Line Pass to anyone who brought three unexpired canned goods, donated an old cell phone, or give $5 to the Feed Our Children NOW! Tent set outside the entrance. This was a surefire way to get concertgoers to give back while giving them an exclusive reward.

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Was there anything we mentioned that you didn’t know? Is there anything really interesting we left out? Let us know in the comments!

Special thanks to The Musical Pros and this Ticketmaster article for helping me find some of these facts.

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Written by Kristen Petronio


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