Kevin Lyman Talks Warped Cruise

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman chats with Pollstar about the debut of Warped Rewind At Sea, which sets sail in October with Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, 3OH!3 and more.

Brought to you by Sixthman, Warped Rewind is scheduled Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 on the Norwegian Pearl. The voyage will take music fans from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico, with theme nights, comedy, artist-hosted activities and autograph sessions.

Pollstar reached out to Good Charlotte after Lyman mentioned during the Q&A that the band has partnered with Warped Rewind At Sea for the 2017 edition and for years to come.  

“What Kevin Lyman has done for young bands through the years has meant so much to all of us,” Benji Madden said. “Warped tour and Warped Cruise are a natural partner for MDDN company and Good Charlotte. We look forward to building this Warped Rewind Cruise into a vacation that everyone in the scene and beyond will look forward to each year. We also love the opportunity to get creative around the Warped Tour Brand with Kevin in the years to come! We are stoked!”

The “greatest four-day pop-punk party on the high seas” also features performances from

Staterooms are on sale now, including meals, non-carbonated beverages, and access to the Norwegian Pearl’s amenities such as casino, health and fitness center, pool and hot tubs, full-size sports court, video arcade and more.

Kevin Lyman
Chad Sengstock
– Kevin Lyman

Can you talk a little bit about why 2017 was the right year to debut Warped Rewind At Sea?

Well, I’d been hearing, for about five years, “You should do a cruise! You should do a cruise.” And [I have my] friends at Sixth Man, who do all these cruises. [And] a lot of my crew work on those cruises. … Then I was kind of thinking, “OK, If I was going to do a cruise in 2017 and you go back, you maybe want to do something for that 25- to 40-year-old that came on Warped Tour, where would you go back in time in music? To that [lineup between] 2003 to 2010.”

If you look at the lineup, we kind of booked this package [based on] when we had a lot of the pop punk bands on Warped Tour like Sum 41, Good Charlotte. We saw a lot of those people coming back to sing those songs when their lives were happy, before student loans, crappy jobs, when a summer at Warped Tour was your fun day, you know. (laughs) Now I’m going, “Maybe those people, those 25 to 40-year-olds, would love to maybe recapture that on a ship.” They may not come out to a show for nine hours, that may be hard, but you know, those people are vacationing now and maybe we could do something fun.

So, if you look at the lineup it kind of comes from that era of bands.

That makes a lot of sense. I don’t go out to a lot of festivals because that’s not my thing anymore but I could see people my age and a bit older still wanting to see these bands and a cruise is a perfect opportunity. And maybe they have more money to spend on a vacation.

Yeah, and when we put the cruise on sale it kind of sold that exact way. At first it was 25 to 35-year-old women that were buying the tickets for the cruise. Then we started to see the couples, like younger couples, coming together that were buying in pairs, maybe it took them a little while to get finances together – can we both get the time off of work?

And now we’re selling different because we’re out on Warped Tour and people are coming up and picking up flyers. And some of the older [fans] are picking it up and looking at it. Since we’ve been on the road we’ve sold like 40 or 50 cabins.

You mentioned the ages. So when people are buying the tickets you collect that data?  

Yes. They do a very good data. They’re very good. Sixthman has all of this. So when you register [the form asks], “What drove you to the cruise?” A lot of people are going because Good Charlotte’s on it. They were on tour [and] they were marketing this. I brought them in as partners so they’ve been doing a lot of marketing.

Now we’re kind of seeing: “I’m just going because I heard about it at Warped Tour and it looks fun. I’m going to the whole thing because of Warped Tour.” And then they get demos of male/female, age, things like that.

It seems like it would be really useful to have that information.

Absolutely. Absolutely. As we were thinking about who to maybe add – which we just added Lit and Hawthorne Heights and some of the bands we just added in the last weeks – it was kind of like, “OK, let’s keep targeting that demo. They seem to be responding and push a few more people into the idea of doing this.”

Did any artists reach out to you and say they wanted to be involved with this? 

Oh absolutely. I mean, we just added Madina Lake, they [reunited to celebrate] their 10th year anniversary [of their debut album], so they’re going to come on the ship and play that now. People have been calling me …

You have to get the first one. So I went to the people who’ve always had my back, like 3OH!3, Face to Face, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan. And actually Good Charlotte was on Warped Tour and we were hanging around in the tent in the parking lot when we were first talking about it. They kind of maybe even pushed me over the edge of doing this. So they go, “That would be totally fun, we’d love to do it.” So the first band confirmed was them, kind of as a partner on it.

Nice! When you said Good Charlotte’s a partner, can you expand on that a bit more? Does that just mean as far as marketing and getting the word out there or? 

Marketing and also they’re playing for a reduced fee to be a partner for the future. They helped get the rest of it going. So it was very, very cool. Benji and Joel are great.

Warped Rewind At Sea
– Warped Rewind At Sea

Is this the final lineup we’re seeing online?

I bet we add a couple more. Because now people are calling me, they’re hearing their friends are going on the cruise.

Are you just hearing from artists or are fans also contacting you, recommending that you book certain artists?

Well, the fans will say something, “Oh can you get them or can you get?” You know. … I think there will be some sort of last minute announcement. Or [some band] will want to come, call me up the day before, [and have to] come sleep in my cabin. No, I don’t know.  

I think I’m known for that kind of thing. With Warped there’s always special guests or something happening or something you don’t know about. We’ll be doing a lot of that.

That sounds fun.

You mentioned you have friends with Sixthman and they’re obviously known for their cruises. Was it a no-brainer to work with them?

Yeah, Sixthman’s great but all my Warped Crew, all those guys who were on “Warped Roadies,” the crew guys all go work on the cruise ships. They do all the cruises, the Kid Rock Cruise, all those other cruises. They’re like the crew on the ship. So they’ve been pushing me to do it. So it will be really [fun], we’ll have a lot of friends on the ship. I’ve never been on a cruise.

That was my next question. It seems like so many artists have their own cruises or they’re appearing on some sort of cruise so I was wondering if you had been on one, maybe you’d gathered inspiration for Warped At Sea.

No. They invited me on the Pitbull cruise, which I totally wanted to go, because I love Pitbull. But I had a speaking gig that weekend so I couldn’t go.  

So have you ever been on a non-musical cruise, like a regular cruise?


So this is going to be your very first one. That’s exciting.

The closest thing is I did a windjammer cruise, one of those sailboats around the Caribbean once, many years ago.

So yeah, so all those thing about cruises, I’m going to see, you know, being on one.

You’ll have to report back.

Yeah, I’ll report back. We’re going to have movie nights, the history of Warped Tour, a bunch of Warped Tour movies. We’re going to have comedy now with Joe Sib, who was in a band on Warped Tour and who is now a traveling comedian. … We’re having the “Dead Rockstar Ball” on Halloween, you come dressed as your favorite dead rockstar.

So there’s a lot – it’s going to be like a Warped Tour as sea, maybe a little tamer than a normal Warper Tour, with a little less dust.

Yeah, I remember the dust.

But I think maybe if the right weather’s there you can get just as sunburnt so it will remind you of those days when you came to Warped Tour.

Good Charlotte
Courtesy of MuchMusic
– Good Charlotte
MuchMusic Studios, Downtown Toronto, ON, Canada

So are you going to participate in the Dead Rockstar Ball?

I’m sure I will. I’m sure I will. I might be that dead rockstar this summer because the weather might kill me out here this summer [on Warped Tour]. (laughs) So hopefully I’m there in person.  

You mentioned some of the activities on the cruise, like the comedy and the different theme nights. Anything else you wanted to add?

Some of our nonprofits are getting involved. Unite The United Foundation will be holding auctions on the ship. We have a meeting tomorrow, actually, a scheduling meeting for the ship, because Sixthman’s based in Atlanta and we’re down there tomorrow so they’re all coming to the show.

What’s going to tell people, besides the lineup, obviously, that this is Warped’s cruise? Do you think it’s the attitude?

I think, yeah, attitude. It’s just going to be the Warped spirit. We’re going to bring the Warped Spirit to the ship. And give the people that come the best show possible. And it’s funny when some people go, “Oh my god, it’s so expensive.” Yeah, I mean, everything costs, a ship costs money. But I think we tried to deliver the fairest price possible that we could to bring this many bands and talent to the show.

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