Vans Warped Tour, the national traveling rock festival, was founded by Kevin Lyman and co. in 1995 with the goal of bringing punk rock music and skaters together. After 23 consecutive summers on the road — it is ‘unofficially’ known as the punk-rock summer camp — Vans Warped Tour has proven its superiority once again by bringing together like-minded music lovers. The 2017 annual destination festival traveled to 38 cities, coast-to-coast, celebrating its final performance of the successful tour in Pomona, California, on Aug. 6.
Sponsored by Vans and Journeys, Warped Tour is one of the most popular summer festival tours in the country, drawing out thousands of fans each year. Known for discovering “the next big thing” — Avenged Sevenfold, The Black Eyed Peas, Billy Idol, Beck, Eminem, Katy Petty — Warped is a tremendous opportunity for unknown artists to play to diehard rock and punk rock fans.
Warped Tour's humble beginnings as a showcase for punk rock music has morphed over the years to keep up with the ever-changing diverse genres — pop-punk, ska-punk, emo-pop, metalcore, melodic hardcore, street punk, EDM, rap and hip hop. There has always been something for everyone at Warped, and this year was no different.
Music Connection Magazine met up with Warped Tour at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Saturday, Aug. 5, the second to last day of the 2017 tour.
On an abnormally hot day in San Diego, thousands of dedicated fans, enthusiastic and exhilarated, were waiting in extended lines to see their favorite bands, determined to have a blast even with a heat index of around 100 degrees.
This year's festival had 85 artists performing on seven different stages: The Journeys Left Foot and Right Foot Stages, the Monster Mutant North and South Stages (home to the heavier bands), the Skullcandy Stage, the Hard Rock Stage, and the Full Sail Stage.
Some of the talented and high-octane bands that performed that day: Municipal Waste, Fire From the Gods, Hands Like Houses, Memphis May Fire, The White Noise, Barb Wire Dolls, Microwave, Bad Omens, Beartooth, Strung Out, CKY, Creeper and more.
A few of the dark, hardcore, and metal bands that played the Monster Mutant South & North Stages: GWAR, Too Close To Touch, Fit For A King, Sworn In, Emmure, Carnifex, Blessthefall, Silverstein, Hatebreed, The Acacia Strain, Candiria and more. Get a complete list of artists that participated in the 2017 Vans Warped Tour here.
This year’s Warped was organized in a circular setup with stages uniquely scattered across the black asphalt of the Qualcomm stadium parking lot.(FYI: Asphalt absorbs heat and radiates it back onto your weak, wilting body.) The stage assignments and set times were well-staggered with very little bleed-through from bands playing simultaneously. Moving from stage to stage, the quality of music was outstanding. Groups displayed warrior-like attitudes, delivering energetic live performances even though it must have felt like they were performing on the sun’s smoldering surface.
Experience some of the special moments of the San Diego edition of Vans Warped Tour 2017 in the featured photo gallery.
Vans Warped Tour supports a vast array of non-profit charities, raising at least a quarter of million dollars each year. Check out the full list of the 2017 participating charitable organizations if you would like to get involved.
Text and photos by Joshua Weesner