Forever Warped: 25 Years of Warped Tour Explores the Festivals History

Forever Warped: 25 Years of Vans Warped Tour

Vans Warped Tour, the brainchild of music industry veteran Kevin Lyman, started in 1995 as a different option to alternative music festival Lollapalooza.

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With a name borrowed from skate/music publication Warp Magazine, Lyman wanted his festival tour to epitomize southern California skateboarding culture, appeal to a youthful audience and give a multistage live outlet to bands that weren’t necessarily getting radio play. With that very first tour, Warped started a consistent pattern of catching artists on the rise: The ’95 lineup featured then-relative unknowns No Doubt and Sublime before they broke into the mainstream.

Vans, creator of the classic skateboarding show, came on board as the main Warped Tour sponsor in 10996, and the tour’s popularity continued to grow. In the late 1990s and 2000s, Warped Tour widened its musical scope from punk and alternative rock to also include a more diverse range of artists, from hip-hop (Eminem and Ice-T) to pop (Katy Perry and Bebe Rexha), while still supporting quintessential Warped bands like Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish.

In 2018, Vans Warped Tour completed its last cross-country run. After 24 years, the country’s longest-running music festival leaves behind a legacy of incredible live performances from over 1,700 artists, impactful support of non-profits and charitable organizations and, perhaps most significant, a generation of fans who found a community in Warped’s “Punk Rock Summer Camp” atmosphere.