It’s the end of an era. An era that may not seem directly related to the dance world, but to the festival world at large. The Vans Warped Tour was started by Kevin Lyman as a traveling summer festival back in 1995, hosting what now are considered some of the worlds most renowned rock, punk, metal, and even pop acts. For many of us, it was our first music festival and carries a plethora of memories that immersed us in a diverse community of extremely dedicated fans.
The tour saw many transitions in the music industry- ska and punk, the rise of late 90’s pop-punk, the very distinct emo phase, metal, hardcore etc. It is truly exceptional to see a consistent platform that genres of all shapes and sizes can flourish for the world to witness and be a part of. Artists like No Doubt, Sublime, Blink-182, Green Day, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Katy Perry, Kid Rock, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, and Ice-T all were esteemed veterans of the fest, clearly showing the diversity in talent that it brought to devoted crowds over the years.
“What has always made me proud was when I read that Warped was the most diverse show of the summer where you could find Eminem and Ice-T on the same stages as Sevendust, Pennywise, and 7 Seconds. I am so grateful to have worked with more than 1,700 bands over the last 23 summers. I wish I could thank every band that has played the tour” Lyman states.
The festival’s fearless leader has made several statements speaking on his decision to end on Warped’s 24th year. Although Lyman does not explicitly state why 2018 will be the festival’s last run, he does discuss the major changes in the music world since Warped began back in 1995. It clearly was not an easy decision to make. Closing such a profound chapter brings floods of nostalgia and feelings to the surface, which are embedded in his words.
“Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams, and the fans that come through at every stop. The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th-anniversary celebration in 2019. I truly look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during this final cross country run, and getting to thank you for your support on this wild adventure. Until then, take care and be safe.”
Whether you attended Warped Tour or not, it is always sad to see something like this come to an end. It was a gathering place for people to escape and be whoever they wanted to be. I think that is something we can all resonate with, ex-emo kid or not.