The Warped Tour began in 1994 as a traveling outdoor music and extreme sports festival that showcased punk, ska, and hardcore bands, although other genres are represented in more recent years. The skateboard shoe brand Vans has been the major sponsor since the tour’s second run in 1995.
In 1998, the tour became international, and included venues throughout Europe and in Australia, Japan and Canada. The spirit of the fest is an outdoor gathering where both teens and young adults can see a large group of their favorite bands in one large, all-day festival set on four or more stages.
Each year a compilation album is released featuring many of the bands on the bill. This as well as apparel and more official Warped Tour merchandise and giveaways are available as well as band merchandise from different vendors and often the bands themselves, giving fans an opportunity to meet musicians and get autographs.
Booths for non-profits organizations like environmental and social justice groups are also set up in the spirit of the socially conscious messages often present in the music performed.
Most of the bands at Vans Warped Tour have traditionally represented smaller, independent labels and the surrounding punk rock scene. Some of the bigger acts that have played and been associated with the fest in the past are No Doubt, Bad Religion, Rancid, AFI, and others.
A newer feature is 30-minute music lesson/mentoring sessions with different Warped Tour artists in the Bandhappy Lesson Tent. More than 50 musicians gave lessons last year including voice, guitar, drums, violin, saxophone and more. Lessons must be booked ahead of time.
Concierge Preferred: The Online Source for Festivals
Concierge Preferred (http://www.conciergepreferred.com/