Van’s Warped Tour
June 23, 2017
Las Vegas, NV
Photos and Review courtesy of Frankie James of Sun Stroke Photography
Well here it rolls by again in 2017, Vans Warped Tour. I’ve been shooting this tour periodically since Avenged Sevenfold first started, and now gracing major stages as a headliner. Who would have ever wondered that would happen. Dreams are made, rock stars are born and created, and the exposure this tour has given to many are unparalleled simply because VWT likes to showcase “certain” talent that aren’t necessarily well known, until after the tour that is. In reality VWT has created a platform to catapult bands that have that crowd-pleasing factor, regardless of genre.
So, this article isn’t about a certain band, or interviews and show reviews, it’s more about Vans Warped Tour itself, something that’s overlooked. An amazing guy, Kevin Lyman is the founder and operator of 4Fini, Inc., a live event production company and brand strategy firm. His most notable live production is the Vans Warped Tour, which attracts about 750,000 people annually and is the longest-running North American festival concert tour. Kevin, to this day, still runs this traveling rock festival that has toured the United States (including 3 or 4 stops in Canada) annually each summer since 1995. It is the largest traveling music festival in the United States.
The first Warped Tour took place in 1995, and the skateboard, shoe manufacturer, Vans became the main sponsor of the tour starting with the second tour in 1996, when it became known as the Vans Warped Tour. Although Vans has continued to be the main sponsor and lend its name to the festival, other sponsors have also participated, with stages or other aspects of the festival sometimes being named after then.
The tour started as a skate punk and third-wave ska tour, but later began to feature mostly pop punk and metalcore acts. There are also some hardcore and street punk bands, such as the Casualties, the Unseen and Anti-Flag, that still, at times play Warped Tour, as well as older bands that have played the tour numerous times since its inception (Bad Religion, NOFX, etc.).
This brings us to present day; VWT 2017 with bands such as Hatebreed, New Years Day, Hawthorne Heights, American Authors and Andy Black just to name a few … Yes, it’s evolved somewhat, but definitely carries its roots in respect to stardom, exposure and originality. Still drawing massive crowds even with harsh conditions as evident during the 116-degree heat in Las Vegas where one would have thought “You’d be crazy” to go to this!! And yet they do and show up screaming in the masses.
In closing, I see Vans Warped Tour continuing with their success of being original and out of the box … Right on Kevin Lyman for holding on to a legendary concept in concert touring, and thank you Vans for your continued support!!!
Authored By Frankie James … Anyone Got Ear Plugs?