Vans Warped Tour is one of the most underrated music festivals we know about but never actually gave it a chance to go to. This year is Vans Warped Tour’s 22nd year anniversary. Both famous and upcoming bands travel all across the United States for one unforgettable tour experience. Well known bands such as Good Charlotte, Yellowcard, Sum 41, New Found Glory, We The Kings, The Summer Set, and Less Than Jake. This festival tour started on June 22 in Anchorage, AK and will end on August 13 in Portland, OR.
Here are 10 reasons why this year’s Vans Warped Tour was one of the greatest music festivals in the world:
The line up this year was epic! The line up consisted of all our favorite pop punk bands that we had a guilty pleasure listening to when were in high school/middle school. Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and New Found Glory were some of the bands that reached their prime back in the early 2000s reunited this year at this event. The Summer Set, We The Kings and Tonight Alive joined the tour again to promote their new albums that released this year. Yellowcard announced that this will be their last Warped Tour due to the band’s farewell separation. The Monster stages featured punk screamo bands such as Atreyu, Gideon, and Bullet For My Vallentine. The Full Sail University Stage featured new and upcoming bands such as Marina City and Avion Roe. Each city the set times were different The schedule for the line up wasn’t announced until the day of the show which meant you HAD to come early. Monster Energy Stages: North & South
The Intimacy. Vans Warped Tour is pretty small compared to big music festivals like Coachella or HARD Summer. The event only has about 15,000+ attendees for each venue. Artists really treated each performance as if it was their own concert.
The layout of the venue was well structured. The venue had 7 stages. The Journey’s Left Foot and Right Foot Stage were right next to each other. Performances would alternate stages so that if people wanted to hear two bands back to back, they could stay in between the stage and experience both. The venue was pretty small but the rest of the stages were spread out far enough so the music from each stage didn’t overpower each other.
Live Music. All artists featured at Vans Warped Tour play live. Nothing is pre – recorded and everything is played with musical instruments.
Tonight Alive Autograph Signing
Meet & Greets. What’s better than meeting your favorite artist? This is probably the biggest difference Vans Warped Tour has than any other big time 3 day festival. Artist’s set up their own booths to sell merchandise and host meet & greets for their devoted fans.
To Write Love On Her Arms
Charities/Vendors – The organizers of Van Warped tour love helping out other organizations as well. Non – Profit organizations such as To Write Love on Her Arms, Peta2, Music Saves Lives, Truth, and more follow along on the tour. If you donate 3 canned goods to Feed Our Children NOW! you can even skip the line to get into the event faster. There were many retail vendors such as Choonimals and Vans. You can walk around and shop for some really neat stuff.
Music everywhere. Performances aren’t just held on stages. You can find artist playing in the individual tents placed around the venue. Many charities host special performances with new artist on the rise.
Free swag. If you walk around and check out all the tents, many people give out free swag. Epitaph gave out free bags, stickers and CDs. Monster Energy Drinks gave out free Monsters. Truth gave out a couple of skate decks. Slurpees gave out free slurpees. Trojan gave out free condoms. Many other non- profit organizations gave out free stickers and bracelets to help promote their causes. Maruchan was even giving away a goodie bag of ramen.
New Found Glory – Journey’s Left Foot Stage
The Atmosphere. This type of scene is know for mosh pits, crowd surfing, and circle pits. There is a lot of pushing and shoving in this event but if someone pushes you down in a mosh pit they will definitely help you get back up again and then maybe push you again. Everyone is genuinely friendly here. You could punch a person in a mosh pit and then the next second be their best friend. There’s a lot of good vibes being spread out here. The last 20 seconds of Yellowcard I lost my phone and everyone around me stopped rocking out to help me find it. One girl even crawled on the floor trying to see if my phone was on the ground.
Multiple Cities. If you missed some of your favorite artists due to schedule conflicts, you have another chance to catch them in another city. Vans Warped Tour is playing in 3 cities in California: Mountain View, Pomona and San Diego. Admission is fairly cheap at $40+ a ticket so it’s totally possible to go again in an other city.
All photographs taken at Vans Warped Tour Pomona on August 7, 2016