Warped Tour Preview

Written by Kayla Albee

Vans Warped Tour has been the highlight of many an alternative rock fan's summer since '95. Having started off with a heavy focus on punk / ska artists geared toward the alternative underground scene, the tour has evolved over time into what is now a conglomerate of mainstream artists (think Echosmith and All Time Low) mixed with heavier acts like Every Time I Die, Underoath, and Knocked Loose.

Looking back at each years lineup, it's impressive to see how many artists seemingly got their start at what's come to be known as a Punk Rock Summer Camp and are now in the prime of their career. Katy Perry performed at Warped Tour in 2008, and Paramore were staples between 2005 and 2011. Heck, Green Day even headlined in 2000.

Come this summer, the tour is being laid to rest. While it's true that all good things must come to an end, that's not to say that the tour won't go out with a bang. The line up for 2018 is filled to the brim with artists spanning across the genre spectrum including throwbacks like Sum 41, Simple Plan, The Used, & 3OH!3.

Each summer there's a sense of magic when stepping into the Vans Warped Tour, and 2018 will be no exception. It's the end of an era, and while it'll be bittersweet it'll also be nostalgic as fuck. The tour kicks off on Thursday, June 21 in Pomona, CA, and is set to travel across the country with the last date being on Sunday, August 5 in West Palm Beach, FL.

Scoop up your tickets here and check out what our photographers Nick Zimmer + Hanna Branch have to say about Warped Tour, along with our list of Warped Tour essentials, the full lineup, and our Warped Tour playlist below! 

Warped Tour has been an integral part of my summers since 2003 and a small portion of my career since 2006 when I attended the festival for the first time as media. It’s hard to believe that my now 16th year hitting the Vans Warped Tour will be my last. I kicked off my Warped Tour life with seeing Tsunami Bomb and have since been able to catch genre defining bands like My Chemical Romance (RIP), Avenged Sevenfold, and Fall Out Boy while still catching a lot of my current favorite bands such as War on Women, Masked Intruder, and Counterparts. It’s been a wild ride. I’ve photographed hundreds of bands, spent countless hours singing my lungs out with my best friends, and drinking a lifetime supply of water and I wouldn’t trade any of those moments in for the world.
— Nick Zimmer
I love Warped Tour for the atmosphere. No matter what kind of music you listen to, you’re always welcome. I also love the diversity of bands on the tour, ranging from smaller to more well known. I know personally that there are many bands that I listen to now because I saw them at Warped Tour like We Came As Romans, Set It Off, Pierce the Veil, and PVRIS.
— Hanna Branch


Warped Tour Essentials

  • Sun screen (protect your skin!)

  • Sun glasses (protect your eyes!)

  • Ear plugs (protect your ears!)

  • A portable charger (you definitely don't want your phone to die halfway through the day!)

  • Comfortable shoes (ditch the fashion and go for comfort -- your feet will thank you!)

  • Small back pack or fanny pack (do you really want to carry around a heavy purse all day?)

  • An unopened water bottle (Hydration is KEY!)

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