Vans Warped Tour founder and producer, Kevin Lyman delivers opening remarks at the annual sponsorship summit and kick-off party at Club Nokia in downtown LA.

On April 7, 2015, at the downtown Los Angeles Club Nokia, America’s longest running music tour, the Vans Warped Tour presented by Journey’s, hosted its annual sponsorship summit followed by a kick-off party featuring the diversity of what to expect from this summer’s line-up. Amazing performances were showcased by Bebe Rexha, As It Is, Candy Hearts, Metro Station, Ho99o9, New Beat Fund, New Years Day, and Rotting Out. On top of that there was a live onstage 2015 band announcement and a special video acoustic performance from Austin Jones.

As the largest music tour attracting more than 500,000 teens across North America each summer, the Vans Warped Tour presented by Journey’s has become the unofficial rite-of-passage for introducing young people to the festival experience. Knowing what’s going on with this Tour means knowing what to expect in many aspects of youth culture in general.

As founder and producer Kevin Lyman said, “This is a time to share different genres of music with a variety of fans. We are as diverse this year as we were in 1995.” This Tour has had the amazing capabilities of breaking new bands into the mainstream, including Katy Perry, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, 3OH!3, Blink 182, and Paramore. Back in the day, the Warped Tour introduced fans to bands like Sublime, No Doubt, Eminem, Ice-T, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, and older school punk like Bad Religion and Rancid.

Bebe Rexha among the diverse line-up of performers at this summer’s Tour.

This summer’s line-up includes more than 70 artists including Pierce the Veil, Black Veil Brides, Beartooth, Citizen, Man Overboard, Never Shout Never, Our Last Night, PVRIS, playing on 8 different stages throughout an entire day. Fans start the day by running up to the blow-up stage sign by Vans and figuring out their schedule as soon as doors open.

Lyman ingeniously changes up the line-up each day, so no one knows when a band will be playing on their specific stage—not even the bands themselves. In this way, it assures that fans come to experience the festival for the entire day, and that bands that are becoming bigger, keep a level head because they may play at noon rather than at 8 a night. As they say about Warped, “there’s no room for rockstars.”

Lyman also said there are interesting new additions to this summer’s tour including a Warped Comedy tent featuring young and up-and-coming comedians. They also have specific goals including gathering over half a million pounds of food for Feed Our Children Now!’s food drive. He encouraged fans during the live broadcast to bring 1 pound of food, which equals 1 meal. Basically, that would mean that the Warped Tour this summer may be feeding more than half a million people.

Reverse DayCare where kids can drop off their parents will also be expanded to accommodate the parents of fans who get in for free. This has been another excellent addition to the Tour not only for getting more young people to come to the shows, but also for more sales of merch as parents are there on-site to pay for things.

Cool Gear is also back, providing refill water stations, which have proven to cut-down the amount of medical emergencies from heat exhaustion over the summer.

Candy Hearts also among the chosen performers at the kick-off event.

Other non-profits on the Tour this summer which contribute a great deal to the festival experience with various activations and programs, including Feed Our Children Now! DoSomething.org, To Write Love on Her Arms, Music Cares, Music Saves Lives, the Truth anti-smoking campaign, and Peta2.

Kevin Lyman introducing various artists as loads of media push in for the shot.

One aspect that Lyman has also always tried to achieve is sustainability. While this is a huge challenge for such a large tour covering 40 different cities in 2 and a half months, this is still a huge priority. Kathleen Gasperini and her team from Label Networks developed a 3-year sustainability strategy for the Tour called the “Warped Zero Waste Tour” towards reaching specific goals. This includes first, measuring the carbon footprint of the Tour and establishing ways at reducing its impact and bringing on specific sustainability partners to help achieve such goals. The Tour also has Warped Eco Warriors, including volunteers that help gather recyclables, cardboard, batteries. Catering backstage is also eco-friendly with TaDa catering with composting and recyclable utensils. Each sponsor and band is also presented information on eco-vendors to consider, how recycling works backstage and on their buses, and ways that each individual can have an impact in making a difference.

The Vans Warped Tour presented by Journey’s kicks-off in Pomona, CA on June 19 and ends in Auburn, WA on August 8th.

Some of the sponsors include Vans, Trojan, Truth, Journey’s, HardRock, Monster Energy Drink, AP Magazine, Cool Gear, and Full Sail University.

Stay tuned for more, live from the Tour this summer.

Group shot with the bands on-site proved to be a challenge because so many had shown up. This summer’s line-up looks to be amazing.

Other non-profits on the Tour this summer which contribute a great deal to the festival experience include Feed Our Children Now! DoSomething.org, To Write Love on Her Arms, Music Cares, Music Saves Lives, the Truth anti-smoking campaign, and Peta2.
One aspect that Lyman has also always tried to achieve is sustainability. While this is a huge challenge for such a large tour covering 40 different cities in 2 and a half months, this is still a huge priority. Kathleen Gasperini and her team from Label Networks developed a 3-year sustainability strategy for the Tour called the “Warped Zero Waste Tour” towards reaching specific goals. This includes first, measuring the carbon footprint of the Tour and establishing ways at reducing its impact and bringing on specific sustainability partners to help achieve such goals. The Tour also has Warped Eco Warriors, including volunteers that help gather recyclables, cardboard, batteries. Catering backstage is also eco-friendly with TaDa catering with composting and recyclable utensils. Each sponsor and band is also presented information on eco-vendors to consider, how recycling works backstage and on their buses, and ways that each individual can have an impact in making a difference.
The Vans Warped Tour presented by Journey’s kicks-off in Pomona, CA on June 19 and ends in Auburn, WA on August 8th.
Some of the sponsors include Vans, Trojan, Truth, Journey’s, HardRock, Monster Energy Drink, AP Magazine, Cool Gear, and Full Sail University.
Stay tuned for more, live from the Tour this summer.

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