Warped Producer 4Fini Re-Launches As Kevin Lyman Group: Exclusive

– Kevin Lyman Group
With the final edition of Vans Warped Tour in the books, 4Fini, the company CEO-ed and founded by Kevin Lyman in 1993, is rebranding as Kevin Lyman Group with a new plan of action.
After nearly a quarter century putting on the Warped Tour, Lyman told Pollstar, it is important for his company to now develop an identity outside of its flagship event. Based out of Los Angeles and Nashville, KLG will draw upon a wealth of experience to offer help to other up-and-coming brands, including events, bands, record companies or other emerging players in the music business with sponsorship acquisition and activation, marketing strategies and, in some cases, event production.
Lyman and Co. (Kate Truscott, sponsorships and new business; Steph Mirsky, marketing director; Melanie Pierce, operations director) have a wealth of knowledge in the entertainment space, having organized Warped Tour, Taste Of Chaos, Mayhem Festival and Country Throwdown over the years, and while he and his team may have the capacity to be a “producer-for-hire” in the future, he envisions KLG assisting other peoples’ brands and not carrying so much of the weight. 

Kevin Lyman
Chad Sengstock
– Kevin Lyman
Ceo, founder of Kevin Lyman Group
“For me it’s about filling specific needs with younger brands that have maybe been around for a year or two, and that need someone to come in there and work through some of the issues they’ve been having, helping them avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve experienced,” Lyman said. “If someone needs a specific sponsor, we can pull out our resource book and put together an activation for them, a program that will be appealing for a brand. A lot of the brands trust us because they’ve worked with us for so long, and if we’re handling the activation, they know whatever they commit to is going to get done.”
Lyman said there are already some offers to keep KLG busy and admitted it is liberating to be able to go home and not have to immediately begin worrying about planning next year’s edition of Warped Tour.
4Fini has already been doing consulting and sponsorship work for festivals like Pilgrimage in Tennessee, and with the Punk Rock Bowling event in Las Vegas, and Lyman said he looks forward to working with new partners as Kevin Lyman Group.
A key component of what has allowed Warped Tour to survive over the years has been its sponsorships, as Lyman told Pollstar there was only one year in which the festival actually turned a profit on ticket sales. 
Aside from the obvious Vans sponsorship, the company has developed a plethora of sponsors on which it has leaned to keep the ship afloat through good and bad times.
– Kate Truscott
Sponsorships & new business for Kevin Lyman Group
Truscott, who has handled sponsorships and new business for 4Fini and now with KLG said she will try to show new partners is how to nurture healthy relationships with sponsors as, for the most part, Warped Tour’s sponsors returned year after year.
“We work really hard to create a program that works for them or find a way to make their existing program work within our framework, making sure there is some kind of return on investment within all of their deals,” Truscott told Pollstar. “Everybody knows the tour was a great time, sure, fantastic, but what does that mean? [Providing that tangible takeaway] is something that we place a heavy value on.” 
In that vein of helping show young brands what is save-able and what isn’t, Truscott went on to explain that sometimes experience really does matter and having the relationship with sponsors where they trust your advice can mean the difference between positive and mediocre results from sponsorships.
One of the biggest successes of Warped Tour over the years has been its ability to reach the teenagers, and KLG’s marketing director Steph Mirsky said Warped Tour has had to reinvent itself every five years or so to be able to speak that demographic’s language. 

Jordan Knight
– Steph Mirsky
Marketing director for Kevin Lyman Group
“I think for us, it’s about taking these brands and saying ‘Hey, you’re not speaking necessarily with your fans, you’re speaking at them or to them. Let’s find a way to speak with them’ That’s always your goal, your brand wants to be a part of the clique, not on the outside of the clique.” 
Mirsky’s said she is excited to help new companies navigate the music space and to pass on know-how so that they are not dependent on KLG, but can incorporate the company’s practices into its own.
One areas Mirsky was excited to help young companies with are establishing “brand bibles” that define an event or brand’s color palette, visual elements, and fonts, making sure all content designed by freelancers is consistent and reinforces everything else that is done.
Fulfilling sponsorship requirements with content that doesn’t scream “THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT” is another way to help young brands reach their audience, Mirsky said, and cited KLG’s experience with Electric Standard as an example of how it can spread know-how. 
The company provides a charger and a generator unit that can be swapped with another generator unit throughout a festival, meaning a purchaser can keep their phone charged anywhere on the festival grounds throughout the event, and takes home a functional wall-charger.
Mirsky said she was able to use a few specific points of data to help Electric Standard run a very targeted campaign towards Warped’s user base and KLG is hopeful it can implement the same strategy to help Electric Standard grow from successful activations at Warped Tour to hullabaloos like Life Is Beautiful and Coachella.
Beth Saravo
– Melanie Pierce
Operations director for Kevin Lyman Group

Newly added operations director Melanie Pierce spent years prior to 4fini working in the nonprofit sector and said she was most excited to continue working with nonprofits that have come to rely on Warped for outreach and education, and for up-and-coming organizations that might not have experience with event production.

“Without getting into the politics, everything is transparent within a nonprofit, and it is very much looked down upon if an organization spends a ton of money fundraising, even though we all know the saying you have to spend money to make money,” Pierce told Pollstar. “When you work for a non-profit, you have these goals, fundraising, you have no budget, you are constantly begging people for things, it’s hard as a nonprofit to do that, especially if you are a small team. Hopefully we can help them with tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years on how to make the most out of the resources you have.”
Practical skills Pierce said KLG can NGOs with are budgeting, planning and implementation of events.
KLG will continue to work with nonprofit organizations, Lyman said, citing a canned food drive for the last 10 years of Warped Tour as an example of how easily charitable components can be integrated into events.

Warped Tour’s 2018 edition raised roughly $128,000 for charity, with 25 cents from each ticket going to MusiCares and Living the Dream. 
“The philosophy of our company is going to be a continuation of Warped: music, philanthropy and education,” Lyman said, “trying to blend those three as much as we can.”