It's Time To Say Thnks Fr Th Mmrs To Vans Warped Tour

Nov 17, 2017
Originally published on November 17, 2017 8:48 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And now a goodbye to the Warped Tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE ROCK SHOW")

BLINK-182: (Singing) I couldn't wait for the summer and the Warped Tour. I remember it's the first time that I saw her there.

MCEVERS: The music festival has toured the U.S. for the last 23 summers. The founder announced this week that this summer will be the last time the Warped Tour crosses the country. Stephen Thompson of NPR Music and our Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast says, sounds about right.

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: It's hard not to see the end of the Warped Tour as the end of an era and kind of a little bit of a torch passing from generation to generation.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T SPEAK")

NO DOUBT: (Singing) You and me, we used to be together.

THOMPSON: But it also - it feels in a way, whether true or not, like it's the death of a scene. When the Warped Tour first started in 1995, your headliners were bands like No Doubt, which was a, you know, very, very big band, L7, which had a, you know, huge following...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PRETEND WE'RE DEAD")

L7: (Singing) When we pretend that we're dead...

THOMPSON: ...The Deftones, which were a very big and very inventive hard rock band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY OWN SUMMER")

DEFTONES: (Singing) Shove it. Shove it. Shove it.

THOMPSON: You had what were then baby bands coming up like Sublime - helped make its name at the Warped Tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SANTERIA")

SUBLIME: (Singing) What I really want to know...

THOMPSON: So you had a lot of cultural relevancy and commercial relevancy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SANTERIA")

SUBLIME: (Singing) What I really want to say, I can't define.

THOMPSON: When you look at reasons for why it might be time to end the Warped Tour, the founder of the Warped tour, Kevin Lyman, kind of gave a list of reasons and cited things like declining ticket sales and fewer appropriate bands that would really fit the brand of the festival.

And when you add to all that the sexual harassment and abuse allegations that have roiled around some of the bands that have played the festival and how the festival has reacted to those allegations - and I think when you combine those struggles with things like lower ticket sales, it's hard to continue.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WE ARE BROKEN")

PARAMORE: (Singing) Yeah because we are broken.

THOMPSON: Yeah. And when you add it, up the Warped Tour had a very successful run. But there comes a time you can't reach youth culture forever because youth culture is constantly changing, and death comes for us all.

MCEVERS: NPR's Stephen Thompson on the coming end of the Warped Tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THIS IS THE END (FOR YOU MY FRIEND)")

ANTI-FLAG: (Singing) This is the end for you, my friend. I can't forgive. I won't forget. On and on, we... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.