While most of big multi-band tours have gone by the wayside in the wake of Woodstock 99’s fires and general mayhem, Van’s Warped Tour continues. In fact the tour is in is seventh year. What makes it survive as other packaged tours fall off? Well, possibly it is because the tour continues draw off its success from years past. Or even more likely the novelty of watching amazing athletes ride a huge vert ramp, little kids skate contests, and then being able to wander over and check out punk bands still has merit.
At the June 27 San Diego show in Chula Vista (just outside San Diego), California, kids were out in full force to check out the bands, grab free swag, and soak the activities scattered about.
With six stages, the Coors Amphitheater parking lot was filled with kids skate ramps, street courses, sponsor booths, and tons of local and big-name bands. All of the madness was overlooked by a huge waterpark that borders the parking lot to the amphitheater. In the 90 degree heat, it was hard to decide who was getting the better deal — the people at the neighboring park with a bird’s eye view and ear to the shows, or the many concert goers sweating it out on the blacktop.
Relief from the heat could be found in the tent city that surrounded the festivities. There shade was available to those wanting to check out some of the latest styles, and sounds, and many bands from the tour had booths used to sell t-shirts and CD’s while informing attendees of their set times. Scattered among the bands own tents were product orientated and educational booths like Boarding for Breast Cancer, Stop Racism, and the youth driven anti-smoking campaign the truth.com. While informative booths were around, the largest crowds surrounded tents like Volcom, Electric, and Sector Nine Skateboards. Large Warped Tour sponsor tents from Vans, Target, and Ernie Ball also dominated the parking lot scene.
However, in spite of the festivities in the parking lot the music was the main draw. But, because there were six stages and no previously scheduled stage times, the tour is slightly confusing to those hoping to see one or two acts. In fact, those who just want to take in the scene and any of the bands, rather than particulars fair better at a packaged show like the Warped Tour. With band slots times ranging around 30-45 minutes, it just isn’t feasible to attend the show with the sole intention to see just one or two bands. Instead take in the entire scene; check out some skateboarding, BMX, and the many bands that maybe you don’t even like. Who knows you might come out a fan, either way it’s a good day in a hot parking lot.
****Label Watching at Warped Tour ’01 ****
Since many of the sponsors of the Warped Tour are big players in the boardsports industry, some of us at TransWorld Media thought it would be fun to see what styles and labels all the little groms are rocking these days. In an informal, people watching survey these are the results of the most seen men’s wear and shoes around the Warped Tour.
Most seen shoe brand: Converse — this was a surprise. However after reevaluation it should have been obvious with the dominating punk scene.
Runner-ups: Vans, DC, Etnies, Osiris, Puma, Addidas, and Globe.
Most Seen Men’s Brand: Volcom. From T-shirts, shorts, hats, socks, and even their own stage, hands down this So Cal brand was everywhere.
Most seen Men’s Short/Pant Brand: Dickies — next to Volcom the old school work pant was on everyone.