If you were a kid who was in any way into punk, emo, or heavy metal, in the late 90s and early 2000s, The Warped Tour was a music festival that you definitely looked forward to every year.
Beginning in 1995 and finding sponsorship from the Vans shoe company only a year later, The Warped Tour quickly grew to a massive festival, spanning dozens of cities in the U.S. and even branching into Canada.
It’s really easy to see why it blew up the way it did too; looking at a list of the bands that have been featured at the festival basically reveals a who’s who of alternative music. Bands like Deftones, Sublime, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Rise Against, NOFX, Limp Bizkit, Bad Religion, Incubus, Hatebreed, Kid Rock, Rancid, My Chemical Romance, and AFI were all prominently featured at the festival, sometimes all in a single day!
While we all loved going to this tour as teens, it unfortunately looks like, much like a lot of other things from our childhoods, that all good things must come to an end: Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman has announced that the tour’s 2018 run will be its last cross-country run…
Read his statement on the whole thing…
Releasing an extensive statement on The Warped Tour’s official website, Lyman states:
“Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour. I sit here reflecting on the tour’s incredible history, what the final run means for our community, and look forward to what’s to come as we commemorate the tour’s historic 25th anniversary in 2019.”
He does make several points of mentioning that the tour will still exist in some capacity (hence the 25th anniversary thing), but it will likely be much smaller, or possibly even a single festival in a single area, as opposed to the country-wide trek the tour is known for being.
While he doesn’t go into the particular reasons behind the decision, there’s a bit of a hint. Towards the end of his statement, Lyman mentions that:
“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.”
That mention of the world changing likely has something to do with this. Many bands no longer make anywhere near the amount of money from touring that musicians used to in previous decades, and it’s highly likely that the tour wasn’t going to be able to be profitable while still covering the same distances it used to.