It was announced this week that the Vans Warped Tour, the music industry’s last major traveling festival, will go on its final tour in the summer of 2018.
The music industry's last remaining major traveling festival is saying goodbye.
— billboard (@billboard) November 15, 2017
In a statement, Vans Warped Tour organizer Kevin Lyman announced the bittersweet news:
“I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour. Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour.”
The Warped Tour first took place in 1995, with Vans coming on as the title sponsor the following summer. It is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and is the longest-running touring music festival in North America. In the early years it featured newcomer bands that would become international sensations: No Doubt, L7, The Deftones and Sublime.
The years that followed saw it usher in the pop-punk era with bands like Blink-182, Sum 41, Simple Plan, MXPX, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte. But they also hosted legitimate punk stalwarts like Social Distortion, Pennywise, NOFX, Bad Religion, The Descendents, Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphy's, The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag and The Offspring.
And it also provided a platform for the birth of emo, with bands like Thrice, Thursday, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack and Jimmy Eat World.
“I am so grateful to have worked with more than 1,700 bands over the last 23 summers,” Lyman said in the statement. “I wish I could thank every band that has played the tour.”
In an interview with Billboard, Lyman cited dwindling ticket sales, a smaller pool of bands and the ultimate fact that he’s exhausted from the grunt of it all. "To be honest, I'm just tired," Lyman told Billboard.
It will certainly be the end of an era for a music festival that went hand-in-hand with skate culture from 1995 until the now.
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