A farewell to Warped Tour


Each year, I’ve left dirty, smelly and sore, but damn it was worth it.

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman announced Wednesday that the long-lived punk and alternative tour would go on its last cross-country trek in 2018.

Plans have yet to be announced for what 2019 holds, but Lyman teased plans for the tour’s 25th anniversary in an official statement.

“It will be bittersweet each morning when I see the sun rise and then watch it set knowing that this will be the last time I get to witness it from that exact spot,” Lyman wrote in the statement.

Warped Tour has seen punk mainstays like NOFX and Bad Religion, pop-punk kings Blink-182 and Sum 41, emo legends My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy and even rappers like Eminem and Waka Flocka Flame have graced the stage.

It would be pointless to name all the bands that have toured on Warped. Every year, the tour welcomes punk, ska, pop punk, emo, hardcore, rap, indie and so many other genres, granting alternative fans the chance to see a stacked lineup from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and in the sweltering summer heat nonetheless.

Let me lay out a typical Warped day: You wake up at 10 a.m. on a July morning, throw on a band shirt and drive to the tour. You walk through the gates of Warped Tour and run up to the blow-up sign with each artist’s set time and compromise with your friends who you’re going to see. It’s a jam-packed day of half-hour band sets. There are also band signings throughout the day, providing fans with chances to meet their favorite artists.

Kicked-up dirt gets in your hair and nose, you might get kicked in the head by a crowdsurfer, you’ll definitely be drenched in your own (and probably other peoples’) sweat and you’ll be dying for water after standing in the sun. Why, someone who’s never been to Warped Tour may ask, would you put yourself through that?

It’s because Warped Tour is a community. It’s about screaming the lyrics to songs that got you through rough days with people you met five minutes ago. It’s about getting a chance to meet your favorite bands and tell them how much you love their music, get a high five, or just exchange a smile. It’s evident everyone cares because when someone falls in the mosh pit, five people will rush to pick that person up.

There are few, if any, places in the world where getting rowdy, screaming and jumping in a crowd of people in the middle of summer is socially acceptable. I’m happy Warped Tour is that place.

“I have been proud to work with so many artists who have grown to be some of the largest stars in the world,” Lyman said. “Countless bands have played in hot parking lots and through summer storms for you at some point.”

Schae Beaudoin is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at schae.beaudoin@uconn.edu.

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