Vans Warped Tour 2012

VansWarpedTourRock, Pop, Indie, Alternative, Metal, Punk, and Hip-Hop all in one place, you say?

This can be none other than the Vans Warped Tour. For the last 17 years, this international music festival has housed an unexpected range of musical talent; and not to mention the unique concert-goers in attendance. If you like music, the Warped Tour undoubtedly has an artist or two you are guaranteed to enjoy; and if you happen to find yourself wandering around absentmindedly and uninterested, I’m not sure you can call yourself a music fan.

Ten hours, over one hundred performers; essentially, raw talent, high energy and ear-drum-fracturing music.

Warped Tour has a notorious reputation of launching the careers of many independent artists. Musicians such as Paramore, My Chemical Romance, and Katy Perry developed a loyal fan base – in addition to industry success – after going on tour with the festival. This festival assures that there is a performer who specializes in any musical genre imaginable; there is truly something for everyone.

The beauty of the Warped Tour is that, at the end of the day, you leave with the indisputable urge to go home and research all of the new artists and music you had the privilege of discovering at the festival. This is not only an opportunity for musicians, but true music connoisseurs as well. However, the pièce de résistance, is the fact that, after you watch your favourite artists perform, you can walk (although I prefer to run) over to their merchandise tent and partake in a personal meet and greet. From personal experience, I can say that every musician I have met at Warped Tour has been down to earth and simply genuine.

The tour began as a music and extreme sports festival in 1994. It is almost impossible to neglect the thrill-seeking individuals who are flipping through the air on their skateboards or BMX bikes on the giant half-pipe located in the middle of the park. Vans and Monster, the energy drink mogul, are two of the prominent sponsors who never miss an opportunity to hand out free merchandise in their niche environment around the pop-up skate park, so-to-speak. In all honesty, who doesn’t love free stuff? While traveling around the flea market-like atmosphere, you are agreeably bombarded by merchandise tables, band promoters and the occasional Buddhist practitioner alluring you to meditate.

In addition to the non-commercialized music in its most natural form, the breath-taking entertainment, along with endless free samples, Warped Tour is the home of many non-profit organizations. Skate 4 Cancer and To Write Love On Her Arms (or TWLOHA) are just a few of many. These organizations aim to raise money, but more importantly awareness about cancer and depression, respectively.

Through music, this festival is able to bring together individuals who would never willingly be in the same place at the same time. All ethnicities, all personal styles, all musical preferences, linked together through their love of music. For a miniscule ticket fee you are sure to leave musically, as well as internally, satisfied.

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