VAN’S WARPED TOUR – FAREWELL BUT NOT GOODBYE

Being a music fan, it seems like I’ve known about Van’s Warped Tour for as long as I’ve been going to concerts. Considering this alternative rock festival was known for its focus on Punk Rock, I didn’t find my way there in the early years as I was drawn more toward other genres. Once I did finally attend this extraordinary event as a music photographer, I found it to be so much more than I had anticipated and never wanted to miss another installment.

I learned quickly that it was unimportant to know who all the bands were on the front end considering much of the joy comes from discovering new music. I consistently found the energy around each of the 6 performance stages throughout each day to be some of the best I’ve witnessed in comparison to other outdoor festivals. It led me to start describing the experience as the Olympics of Rock-n-Roll stage jumps and hair flips, which have become some of my favorite concert moments to try and capture.

So, it’s not surprising that news of founder Kevin Lyman’s November 2017 announcement stating this would be the tour’s final cross-country run left me saddened and made getting out to capture the final Minnesota appearance at Canterbury Park in Shakopee on July 22nd my biggest priority of the summer.

Entering the gates at 11:00am like so many times before, I was happy to see attendance felt even stronger than normal. I was thrilled that we were blessed with my favorite Van’s Warped Tour weather forecast, 80+ degrees with full sun. I proceeded to join the masses in front of the giant inflatable schedule and determine this to be my musical journey for the day:

11:30am Nekrogoblikon, 11:50am Knuckle Puck, 12:00pm Deez Nuts, 12:20pm The Maine, 12:30pm Crown the Empire, 12:50pm The Interrupters, 1:00pm Ice Nine Kills, 1:30pm Senses Fail, 2:00pm Chelsea Grin, 2:20pm This Wild Life, 2:30pm Dayseeker, 2:50pm Mayday Parade, 3:30pm Motionless in White, 3:50pm Issues, 4:20pm We The Kings, 5:20pm Simple Plan, 5:50pm State Champs, 6:30pm Story Untold, 6:50pm 3OH!3, 7:20pm Tonight Alive, 8:00pm Twitid, 8:20pm Falling in Reverse

(My favorite performances of the day came from Ice Nine Kills, Motionless in White, Issues, State Champs, 3OH!3 and Falling in Reverse)

This may be farewell to Van’s Warped Tour in the form that we currently know it. The press release does however hint at plans to commemorate the tour’s historic 25th anniversary in 2019.

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn