June 21 marks the beginning of the end for the Vans Warped tour. That day, as they have for the last 24 years, tens of thousands of young fans will gather, this time in Pomona, California, and watch a cavalcade of bands — 3OH!3, the Used, Black Veil Brides, Reel Big Fish, Simple Plan, Every Time I Die, Doll Skin and more.
It’s a process that will be repeated throughout the summer, almost every day from June 21 to August 5, when Warped will call it a day in West Palm Beach, Florida. The end of any tradition after almost a quarter of a century is bittersweet. For the fans who grew up on the tour, for the thousands of artists, from Katy Perry to Blink-182, who cut their chops playing under hot afternoon suns on Warped, for everyone who has called Warped part of their life.
It should be the most bittersweet for Warped founder Kevin Lyman. But as he told me, when we met last week at Vans HQ in Costa Mesa, California, that is not the case. Lyman, 57, is looking square at the future rather than the past. He is focused on his new app/initiative, FEND (Full Energy No Drugs), giving back and the next phase of his life.
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