The End of Warped Tour


For 24 years, Warped Tour has been the ultimate traveling punk rock summer camp. Once a year, punks and emos had a place to enjoy their favorite music live, meet others with similar music tastes, and just have a good time. Unfortunately, Warped Tour 2018 was the final run of this long-standing tradition. Founder of the event, Kevin Lyman, stated that it was because of declining ticket sales and fewer bands wanting to participate in it. After the end of Warped was announced, fans of the tour were given the opportunity to attend it one last time this past summer. 

The lineup experienced many changes over the years. The first bands to play were mostly from the 90s rock and grunge scene. In the early 2000s, the acts started appealing to a more punk and emo audience, with the 2005 lineup including My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects, and more bands from that scene. In 2008, everyone was shocked when Katy Perry was a part of the lineup. Nobody was expecting a pop singer to play at a rock festival. From there, the lineup settled down to a nice balance of reasonably famous bands and lesser-known ones. 

The main focus of this article, however, is the end of Warped Tour. The final lineup consisted of long-time performers such as Motionless in White, Mayday Parade, and Tonight Alive, and then there were the acts who had only played one or two Warped Tours before, like Waterparks, Palaye Royale, and Doll Skin. They even had some more popular bands only play select dates, like All Time Low, Black Veil Brides, and Falling In Reverse. 

I was fortunate enough to attend the final Warped Tour at the Minnesota date with my friend Kai Martinson. Both of us have very positive things to say about our experience. Even my mom had a good time reading in the reverse day care tent. We went primarily to see Motionless in White, but we each got to see some extra bands as well. Not only did I get to see my favorite band live, Palaye Royale, but both Kai and I discovered lots of new bands by just walking around. In total, we spent 10 hours at the venue, and there was not one band I heard that I didn’t like. 

I got together with Kai Martinson recently to see what he had to say about the experience. I asked him what his overall opinion was, and he said he was unsure about going at first because he figured that he could see these bands individually, but he realized it was a lot of fun to see a bunch of different bands at the same event. However, he said his favorite experience of the entire day was meeting Vinny Mauro, the drummer from Motionless in White. Neither of us have processed that moment yet. His final review of the event is that it was fantastic, and he wants with his entire soul to attend it again. I asked what he had to say about the end of Warped Tour, and he hold me that he’s pretty sad about it but also happy that he got to go to the final one. It was the last opportunity for a dream to be fulfilled. 

All in all, Warped Tour was a one-of-a-kind event, and it is definitely going to be missed.