The Warped Tour's founder, Kevin Lyman, sent back answers to the questions you guys asked. Click below for the questions and his answers.
1.Are you going to do anything special for the people that went to the Denver, Colorado show last year. The show was rained out and on the website Kevin told CO people to hold on to their ticket stubs and said they'd do something special next year? Also, if they are, what exactly will they be doing?
Regarding denver, we are going to have an early pre-sale where you can bring your ticket stub to a skate shop or record store to be announced and get a discount ticket with no surcharge. It looks like it will be $20.00 and run the week of the on-sale.
2.How do you feel about charging 4 dollars for a bottle of warm water in phoenix when the whole show is outside and its 112-120 degrees out? Can anything be done about the price?
This is a battle we always fight with promoters, but let's get it straight - I do not sell water. It is the local promoter or venue that controls it. The whole tour this year is about trying to keep the audience a little cooler. I am bringing big Slip and Slides and larger mist tents for the crowd. Last year we fought the promoters to allow kids to bring in sealed bottles of water and I will be doing that again.
Unfortuantely, cost of drinks and food at shows is a battle and since we keep the ticket price down the promoters are trying to make money in other ways. My biggest fight is t-shirt percentages we have to pay to the promoters and we have the lowest. That is why our shirts are $15.00 vs. $30.00 for the same shirt at a Britney concert.
There is no perfect solution I have actually talked to water companies about their sponsorship being to just give a bottle of water to each kid. No takers yet but maybe someone would figure out what a great thing this would be.
3. Why are there less and less hardcore punk rock acts on the bill. It seems like every year there seems to be this emphasis on pop-punk, and very few good hardcore acts. With bands like Bane, Reach the Sky, Boy Sets Fire, Rise Against, Good Riddance, Death by Stereo, Converge, Grade, Blood for Blood, etc…I would think that a tour like Vans would have a few HC acts on the bill, but I guess not. This will be the first year that I will miss the Vans WT and I've been every year since 95'.
Coming up with the bill is the hardest thing. with over 1000 bands submitted this year alone trying to get the right mix is the hardest thing ever. I would be lying if I said that that pop punk is not about selling tickets; these acts sell and when you have the overhead I have you better sell tickets or I would be back loading vans at a club in LA within the year.
This year I think having bands like the Causalties, Total Chaos, Pistol Grip, Thursday, Boy Sets Fire, Tiger Army and Reach the Sky has been an attempt to cover the HC side of punk. There is never a perfect Warped bill and I always wish someone could do a show like mine and help more of these bands because no matter how many stages and bands we try to squeeze in there is never enough room.
I get the same question from the ska kids as to why there isn't more ska.
4. What's the best way to get on the bill when the tour comes to our town?
At his point the tour is full except for the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands you can go to their website and sign up. For next year e-mail early. I get a lot of submissions and try to listen to as many bands as possible I also check out websites and see what kids are talking about in their local scene and try to accomodate some of those bands.
5. With a resurgence of punk in the last 10 years I have also seen a change in the attitude, appearance and people who listen to and participate in the punk culture and this rings especially true for Warped Tour. The changes I see include the so-called Mainstreaming of Punk whereby the morals of yesterdays punk are circumvented to allow for a not necessarily positive change that includes much in the way of negativity like, complaining, unruly mosh pits and other "normal" people embracing punk that would not necessarily do so unless prompted by an outside source because they believe it's cool. This distresses many people but not to the extent that they feel they can have any serious impact so instead they leave the culture to pursue other interests which can not include punk rock music. Do you in any way feel that Warped contributes to this problem or is it more contrived then I believe?
That is the most asked question "what is punk" Obviously it is not the way anyone dresses, with the advent of mall punks and the acceptance of tattoos, piercings and such. Punk is a spirit. To wake up each morning and say "I am going to do whatever the fuck I want."
I grew up in the 70's and 80's in LA when everyone ran around and said "Fuck Corporate America," but what did that really mean? And how many of my friends did anything about it? Most of them grew up, got married had a couple of kids and got jobs working for corporate america.
Now that is all cool, but my motto became in 1995, "Let's take some of that money and have a good time on a tour promoting bands and music I love and sports I love."
We all spend our money on corporate america, and your lying if you say you don't. You put gas in your car, what did you eat today and believe it or not what record did you listen to today either that label is a corporation or was manufactured by a coproration.
You can still have an impact on things in life. I may not be punk anymore by the way I look but to me doing a tour that travels around the world, waking up and just calling a kid and saying come play my tour, financing a summer camp by giving a .25 cent donation off of each ticket. Making a living by doing something I love is punk enough for me.
I have said it before I look forward to the day some kid kicks my ass and puts out a better tour. hopefully sooner than later because I am not getting younger. This hopefully answers this question.
6. How can you have a major "punk" tour when you have vans as a sponsor. Vans has been known to have sweatshops to make their shoes, I never knew that was part of the scene, or an accepted "value". Money to back a tour like this is essential, but you can't ignore the things you support.
If you have any proof that they use sweat shops please send it to me. There is a difference between hard facts and rumours. If you have a magazine or legitimate source please give it to me I would like to see it. I, for one, have not read it in print and I read a lot more then the average bear.
7. What is the official policy on bringing water, food, and cameras? I know that last year you posted something on the website saying what was allowed, so I hope you will do that this year as well as notifying ALL of security on duty beforehand of what we are allowed to bring in.
Official policy is a bottle of sealed water, a small lunch sandwich chips, cut fruit, (no whole pieces because they hurt) energy bars, no cans, bottles, or spikes. Cameras are allowed, but only the Instamatic type and non-professional.
8. What is the one band he regrets was on Warped?
The bad I regretted most- The Benjimans- they tried to smuggle pot into Canada in the amps and got busted which caused me alot of grief.
9. How do you feel about the barricades and the distance of the kids from the bands?
Have no Barricades and you would have dead kids. the barricades are about 5 feet away. If we had no barricades we would be the dumbest shits ever to put on a show. I worked in clubs with no barricades with only 300 people and almost had kids crushed. How about when you get 5,000? If you want no barricades maybe you can help me make everyone sit in one place.
10. How do you feel about the bigotry displayed by some of the acts, like D12?
Kevin: D12 was a bad experiment that lasted 2 days. Overall the Warped Tour has kept an open mind about the artists performing. I don't agree with what every band says but, if I limited the show to my taste you would hear alot more reggae and some bluegrass since that what is what I listen to when I don't listen to all the cds sent in for submission.