It’s hard to put into words what Warped Tour has meant to so many people over its 25 years of hot summer days in parking lots around the country. Founder Kevin Lyman saw an opening to start a new type of festival to highlight less mainstream acts and ended up launching artists like No Doubt and Katy Perry to stardom, and opening doors for punk rockers like Blink-182 to become one of the biggest bands in the world.
For two generations of punk, rebel, and emo kids, Warped Tour was a place where they could come together as a community and listen to their favorite artists. It’s essentially the music equivalent of running away to the circus for a day, or for a summer for some. Kevin Lyman said that for the final WT shows of 2019, he wanted to, “Bring the atmosphere of a classic Warped Tour show, but on a scale that our fans simply could not get with a national tour. The bands, the special attractions, everything – we want to bring back elements that have made the Warped Tour, Warped Tour, over the past 25 years.” And he did just that.
For the final shows in California this month, Lyman stayed true to his word and transformed yet another parking lot into a classic Warped Tour by bringing back two of the original acts from the first ‘95 tour, Face To Face and Quicksand. Many of the artists that were pushed into the mainstream thanks to Warped Tour joined for the finale show as well, including Simple Plan, Sum 41, and Silverstein. Warped Tour still maintained its discovery roots though, booking lesser-known artists like The World Over and Street Drum Corps along with WT greats. It was truly the best way to end such an iconic and meaningful part of people’s summers, and it goes without saying that Warped Tour has left a legacy and had a major impact on today's music and festival culture. While it was the ending of Warped Tour in name, here’s to hoping that it might be resurrected in some form, what Lyman decides that may be. And if it is, you bet we’ll be there.
See more photos from the festival here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.