I never thought I would actually have to write this. I guess it’s true all good things must come to an end but I don’t want it to come to an end. After 23 summers, the iconic traveling music festival the Vans Warped Tour has announced its final round across the country in 2018. It’s brought bands to a variety of cities and towns, bringing all different types of people together. There was something about it, I can’t explain.
Even in the hot beating sun, everyone had an amazing time. Running across lawns and parking lots to see the next band that was playing was always such an anxiety moment. Quickly finishing our hot dogs and buying handfuls of water bottles to supply ourselves for the day is something everyone can relate to. Jumping up with the crowd, even when your legs were aching from running around all day. God, I can’t even begin to explain the memories I’ve made there for the past three summers.
I always remember rushing my dad so we could go, I always wanted to get there as soon as possible to enjoy the whole day. I always loved going with my dad to be honest, it was a special bonding moment for us. He put up with some of the music he may not have liked but ended up actually meeting bands themselves and becoming a fan of several others. I remember the excitement of me and my friends picking out the bands we for sure had to go see.
We always ran straight in, not wanting to miss a single second. All the charities and merch tents already crowded. Hoards of people walking around, some heavily pierced and tattooed, others in delicate flower crowns, it didn’t matter what you looked like, everyone had the freedom to be themselves. It was that one place where you didn’t have to worry about judgement.
Every year, the heat was unforgiving but the spray mists and water kept us cool. I remember somehow making it to the front stages, watching my favorite bands up close. Or having to stand on chairs in the amphitheatre to see over the large mosh pit. I didn’t care if about the mix of weed and smoke in the air, all I cared about was having the time of my life.
I definitely won’t forget meeting the band Beautiful Bodies, having PVRIS sign my phone case, high fiving Andy Biersack, hugging Brandon Hoover from Crown the Empire or meeting the lead singer of After the Burial. I won’t forget watching Attila for the first time, seeing Tonight Alive, or getting up close to Beartooth’s stage. I won’t forget singing along to “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” during Neck Deep’s set, everyone knowing the lines of “King for a Day” or screaming along to “Kick Me”, these are memories that are etched into my mind forever.
Even the small memories make me go back and smile, when we all got ice cream and sat on the grass in the shade. Or hugged the people who were giving free hugs. My friend donating over 200 bottles to a charity, or taking the annual picture with my dad. I won’t forget getting glitter on my face courtesy of the band Sykes, or running over that hill for the 17th time that day.
Each of these small or big memories is something that I’ll never forget. I got to watch some of my favorite bands live. I will never ever forget what a blast I had each time. I really am upset about this, Warped Tour meant something to so many people. It’s sad watching something you loved so much finally have to shut down, but I know it’ll go on and still remain with everyone it touched. All the bands, all the amazing charities, all the sponsors, all the crew, all of the audience, it meant something to everyone there. This really is a goodbye unfortunately, but I’ll always cherish the memories that Warped Tour has allowed me to have and create and share with other people. I don’t really know how to end this, I’m still shocked, but what I can say is thank you Warped and Kevin Lyman for even creating such an impactful festival. But until it’s officially over with, I plan on spending the final year having as much fun as possible. Until 2018, see you soon Warped Tour.