Vans Warped Tour Unveils Final Cross-Country Lineup, Founder Kevin Lyman: ‘This Is It, Kids’

Warped Tour 2018 Lineup Poster
– Warped Tour 2018 Lineup Poster

Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday, Underoath, The Used, Less Than Jake, Black Veil Brides, Every Time I Die, and Reel Big Fish are just a small sample of the bands helping

Following two gigs in Japan in late March and early April, Warped’s final major road trip is scheduled June 21 through Aug. 5. The fun begins at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.  
The lineup was announced Thursday afternoon, followed by a press conference and BBQ at the Vans Global Headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. 
Pollstar chatted with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman earlier this week about putting together the final cross country lineup. 
“It’s a lot of bands that maybe have played before and bands that I think could use maybe another boost from the Warped exposure,” Lyman said. “Basically it’s a lot of bands who have been a part of Warped tour in the past, people that I like to tour with and I’m looking forward to spending time with. 
“I think it’s a lineup that’s going to appeal to people who have been to Warped Tour before. Maybe want to come back and have a great last time out there, some fond memories of Warped Tour. As well as, I think we have enough young bands that we’ll get a lot of first-time attendees that will want to come and see it. 
“I think the interest in Warped Tour almost is kind of one of those things where people started taking it for granted in many ways: ‘Oh, Warped Tour’s going to be here this year. Oh, I’ll go next year.’ This is it, kids. Like I said [Monday] in the video, this is it, kids. This is the last time we’re driving around the country for two months.” 

 Vans Warped Tour 2016
Suzi Pratt/WireImage
– Vans Warped Tour 2016
Fans attend the Vans Warped Tour at White River Amphitheatre on August 12, 2016 in Auburn, Wash.
Lyman noted that he’s been getting emails from a lot of parents who came to Warped Tour in the ’90s who want to bring their kids to experience the festival. 
“They say, ‘You know what?  Warped Tour changed my life in the way that I look at nonprofits, in the way that my mind opened to music.’ So I’m getting a lot of positive [feedback], a lot of notes from people like that. 
He added that he’s also been getting calls from crew members who want to work a couple of days of the trek. 
“They may be doing other tours but they just want to be a part of it, which makes you feel that you did do something, even though you sometimes dwell on the trolls online who can troll the narrative, but it really did mean something to a lot of people all these years.”
Of course, a number of bands have reached out to Lyman to play the final tour. He added that the lineup seen in the poster above doesn’t include “a bunch of bands that we’re holding back.  Because we’re going to want some real surprises. We’re going to want people to come in and just have a [reaction of], ‘Oh, crap?! They’re on that show?’”
With philanthropy and nonprofits having been such a big part of Warped Tour over the years, it should be no surprise that Lyman was especially excited about a new initiative that’s being launched during the trek to combat opioid addiction. Fans will be encourage to download the FEND (Full Energy No Drugs) app, which will use gamification to provide education about opioids, with the incentive of qualifying to win tickets to Warped Tour or a special acoustic set from some of the artists.  

“The only thing that I’m really trying to figure out is how to continue the mission of philanthropy and education that Warped has always been about, beyond the music,” Lyman said. “The music will figure itself out. It’s how do I help those people continue what they’ve been able to build in those parking lots? So that’s kind of really what my focus has been on over the last couple of months. How we’re going to continue that mission.”

Collector tickets, as well as general admission tickets for select shows, are on sale now. GA tickets for most dates go on sale March 8. 
Check back next week for the full interview with Lyman.