Music has evolved from the era of vinyl, through the time of downloading, to the current age of streaming. While the way fans enjoy music has evolved through the years, the demand for live music has not diminished.
With the rise of summer music festivals such as Coachella and South By So What?!, tours have to work harder to stand out and draw fans.
One tour that has been able to maintain its relevance and popularity is the Vans Warped Tour. Warped is celebrating its 20th anniversary and making music history with special guests like Linkin Park playing at some of the shows.
Since Warped is an all-ages festival, many young adults and pre-teens flock to the local dates. Even though many younger fans attend Warped, there are plenty of things to keep adult fans entertained, such as areas to drink alcohol and bands that cater to the older crowd.
Melissa Alaniz, sociology major at Evergreen Valley College, doesn’t feel out of place with all the young fans at Warped, even being a 22-year-old college student.
“I have attended shows that are 21 and over, and those crowds have acted more immature than the 14 year olds sometimes,” said Alaniz. “I kind of love seeing the youngsters get all excited, because I was the same way at their age. It’s exciting seeing and meeting your favorite bands.”
With several stages hosting different genre bands throughout the day and a sea of tents where people can buy merchandise and participate in meet and greets with the bands, Warped has a little something for everyone.
PCC students are no strangers to the stages at Warped. Simon Nagel, music, played Warped 2012 with his former band Neo Geo. This year the band Canto played on the Local Fairplex Stage at the Pomona date. Seamus Blackwell, Canto’s lead singer and guitarist, is a PCC student.
“Warped is great because it still feels independent,” said Canto drummer David Blackwell. “It hasn’t lost its whole punk rock, do-it-yourself vibe. It’s still authentic.”
Blackwell explained that Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour, gave Canto a slot at the Pomona show since the band had reached the final round of the LA Country Fair Battle of the Bands.
“It [is] one of the only festivals I know of that takes chances on small, more local bands like us,” said Blackwell. “I think that’s really cool and important for the future of music.”
Beau LePaige, whom Lyman also invited to play the Local Fairplex Stage at the Pomona date, thinks the tour’s longevity is due to the its ability to see trends in the music industry.
“They aren’t stuck in one genre so they have the ability to grow with the fans, and at the same time show people genres they wouldn’t normally listen to,” said LePaige.
Alaniz cites the causal and friendly atmosphere as one of the standout features that keeps Warped thriving.
“I prefer Warped Tour over other big summer festivals because even though it’s been running for 20 years, it is still a very humble and well-run tour,” she said.
“Most artists at Warped Tour you can actually meet at signings at their merch tents or [even] just walking around. There isn’t that invisible wall of fame between fans and the bands, everyone is there to hang out and have a good time. That’s what I love most about Warped Tour.”