Posted by: twotrees | July 5, 2011

The kids are alright

It had been a few years since I last attended the Warped Tour, the nation’s longest running music series.  Now in its seventeenth year, the festival has grown into a monster that tours North America and has, in the past, certain locations internationally.

Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Warped Tour, is a guy who cares.  He was telling me about how the price of water at the shows affects how long some kids can stay at the concert.  Clocking in at nine hours, often in 90+ degree heat, Kevin negotiated the price of water down from $4.50 to a more manageable $3 per bottle so that kids, who often run out of $$ before they run out of enthusiasm, can stay a bit longer..  It’s little touches like that help to make this event successful.

Coordinating the tour with military like precision, Kevin and his team make this year a run of 44 concerts over 52 days from California to Massachusetts.  Although Monday was one of the few days off, there was a  Sunday night 10pm bus call, meaning that even after a grueling day in Ventura, everyone was on the road to Phoenix, on their way to the next show in Kansas…

Another nice touch was seeing Steve Van Doren, of Vans skate shoes (the title sponsor of the Warped Tour), behind the booth selling T-Shirts.  His father Paul and partners started the Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966 to make skateboard shoes and the business has exploded into something much more.  It’s refreshing to see that the family still has a hand in the business.

Although there were people of all ages, the crowd was mainly teens, many of whom used the occasion to let their freak flags fly.  Tattoos, face paint, piercings, Mohawks and black garb was not in short supply.  Still, everyone was having a good time.

All in all, the show is a good thing for Ventura – 14,000 people (many of whom came from throughout Southern California) enjoying the setting, people and the music, together. Reminds me of my first experience in Ventura, truckin up here to be with the Grateful Dead.  But that’ s another story…


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