After over twenty years, the cross-country Vans Warped Tour has officially ended. Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman, did not spare any expense for this last round of the tour. With bands such as Mayday Parade, We The Kings, Real Friends, State Champs, and several more, Lyman made sure to include some of the most popular bands in the scene today. However, he did make sure to include some Warped Tour veterans such as 3OH!3, Simple Plan, and Pennywise.
Emotions were high as everyone felt the tour’s end approaching. It was clear that bands were sad to see it go, but also ready for it to start slowing down. The vibe of the Vans Warped Tour is always fast-paced and exciting, which can take a toll on everyone involved, not only the performers. A large portion of those who help to put on the events of the tour, both behind and in front of the stage, are volunteers. Passionate about the music industry and the Warped Tour specifically, hundreds of new volunteers came out each day to dedicate their time to the festival they knew and loved. Watching these amazing people selflessly work day after day to make sure all those involved in the tour are having a great time really shows the passion for music and festivals that Warped Tour was built around.
The hardest part of the tour coming to an end was saying goodbye. At each date, it was not difficult to find fans, volunteers, and bands alike all shedding tears for the final round of the tour that brought so many people together over the years. One fan referred to the tour as his “escape,” and, “the only reason” he looked forward to the summertime. Unknowingly to outsiders, the Vans Warped tour was not only a happy place, but a safe place to so many people of all ages; it was a place of togetherness and support, where everyone shared the same love of live music and rock & roll.
From the melancholy feelings to the hard work and dedication, the Vans Warped Tour was an amazing feat, and one of the best events of the summer. Rumors are swirling regarding the possible continuation of the event but solely in California, which has fans and artists everywhere on their toes. Regardless, the memories of past years will live on, and the Vans Warped Tour will be talked about and reminisced for decades to come.
Photography and Feature by Erin Lafferty.