Check Warped Tour off your bucket list


This annual music festival brings some of the biggest bands in the nation.

Music Columnist

What’s the one event every summer that takes place in 46 different cities and presents over 60 bands to over 16,000 people in one day? Well that, my friends, is Warped Tour.

Warped Tour was founded by Kevin Lyman in 1994 and has featured a wide array of bands from numerous genres.

While the tour was formed to showcase punk rock bands such as Bad Religion, NoFx, etc., Warped has expanded far past that now. Some of the previous bands include Flogging Molly, AFI, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, A Rocket To The Moon, The Maine, The Devil Wears Prada and hundreds more.

Warped Tour typically has six stages, with performances on each of them at any given time. It is impossible to see every band on the tour, so plotting out the bands you want to see is crucial. However, I want to stress the importance of exploring new bands.

I can remember during my first time at Warped, I was made into a walking billboard for a band after they used a Sharpie and wrote their name, stage and set time on my arm. That left some funny tan lines, by the way. This band was After Midnight Project. Previously, I hadn’t heard of them, but I decided since I was temporarily tattooed by these guys, I best hit up their set. I regret nothing. These guys were amazing. I really loved them and now they’re one of my favorite bands.

Warped Tour makes no exception this year, still maintaining a powerhouse lineup with the likes of A Day To Remember, D.R.U.G.S., Go Radio, Every Avenue and 3OH!3. Each date on this tour features unique bands and hundreds of opportunities.

Warped Tour makes for one of the easiest locations to meet your favorite bands, get really cheap merchandise and listen to some of the bests in the industry do what they love.

While Warped tour is mostly for the music, as a veteran I’m amazed each year by the various booths, activities and people running around. Are you a skater? Bring your board! There’s a half-pipe at every location. Do you sport “I <3 Boobies” paraphernalia?” There’s even a booth for that. How about energy drinks? I’m a junkie myself and Monster Energy Drinks are a sponsor of Warped. They have an air conditioned truck at every spot and you get free Monster! How awesome is that? I’m a big fan of Glamour Kills clothing, and in 2009, they were on the tour. This led to me spending a lot of money at one booth. I generally bring $200-300 with me every year. With that, I can buy water, food and a whole new wardrobe. In 2009, I walked away with at least 15 new shirts for under $120.

Warped Tour has also allowed me to meet some of my favorite bands. I have gotten to hang out with bands such as The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon, 3OH!3, Anarbor, Mayday Parade and more. I’ve gotten to hang out with some other big names in the Warped industry such as Jac Vanek (fashion designer) when I helped promote her during the 2009 Warped year. In 2010, I was able to be front row for two of my favorite bands. That was a moment I’ll never forget.

Now, my Midwestern friends, don’t get disheartened! Warped Tour even graces us with its presence. According to the tour website, there is a date in Shakopee, MN on July 10, a date in Council Bluffs, IA on Aug. 4 and a date in Denver, CO on August 5. If you’re going to be elsewhere over the summer (like my Connecti