It’s the end of an era. Music lovers across the country are saying goodbye to the now 23-year summer tradition of the Vans Warped Tour.
The first Warped Tour was held in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1996 that Vans began sponsoring the tour. It originated at an alternative music festival and gradually shifted into a celebration of pop-punk music. While pop-punk still remains the tour’s main focus, a wide variety of genres are featured each year from metal to rap.
However, on Nov. 15, the tour’s founder, Kevin Lyman, announced that the summer of 2018 would be the final cross-country run of Warped Tour and said, “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.”
Warped Tour has been providing fans with the opportunity to see a wide spectrum of bands in one place for 23 years now. For some attendees, it has become a summer tradition. Keene State College junior Jordan Pierce began going to Warped Tour in 2014, and will be attending the final one this year. Pierce has been to the tour multiple times and explained why 2015 held her favorite memory. “When we were waiting to get into the venue, it was pouring rain. The minute the doors opened and they started scanning tickets, the rain stopped and it turned into a super sunny day,” Piece said. “Pierce the Veil was performing much later in the day. When they were singing their first song, it started pouring. The rain lasted until they were done performing. It was surreal; it kinda felt like a movie. The rain added to everyone’s excitement and made the concert that much more wild.”
On March 1, the final Warped Tour lineup was released, which left the public overwhelmed with an array of emotions. While some stated online that they were disappointed with the lineup, first-year Paige Mickiewicz expressed her approval of the lineup, claiming it reminded her of her first Warped Tour back in 2016. “I think it’s a really good line up. It’s a lot like 2016 Warped Tour. There’s a lot of new bands and still some old bands. It’s a good line up, I’m excited,” Mickiewicz said.
Pierce was also happy with this year’s lineup. “Personally, I am pleased with the lineup. Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, We the Kings, All Time Low… they are all bands that I grew up listening to. It will be extremely sentimental,” Pierce explained.
While the experience of Warped Tour has become a ritual for some, others will be experiencing the concert for the first and the last time. Sophomore Janis Gaudreau will be attending her first Warped Tour this summer, but is no stranger to those who have performed. “I’m obsessed with Paramore, so I always watch their old [Warped Tour] performances on YouTube,” Gaudreau said.
Although she has yet to attend the event, Gaudreau expressed the sadness she, as well as others, feel about the end of Warped Tour. “I’m very sad that it’s their last year, but they’re definitely going out with a bang. I have a good feeling they’ll bring it back in 10 or 20 years,” she added.
When Mickiewicz was asked how she felt about seeing the tour come to an end, she responded with a similar feeling that most fans have been expressing since they heard the news. “I’m really f—— sad. I want it to last forever.”
When Pierce was asked the same question, she responded with the same sadness, but a hopeful outlook for the future of the legacy Warped Tour has been created. “The end of Warped Tour could be the beginning for something just as amazing. I am so excited to experience this last year, knowing that the crowds are just going to be that much better.”
Erin McNemar can be contacted at email@example.com