The 41-date Vans Warped Tour® 2016, presented by Journeys®, is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and the longest-running touring music festival in North America. Originally conceived by founder Kevin Lyman in 1995 as an eclectic alternative rock festival with a focus on punk rock, the multi-stage tour has grown over the years to include a multitude of genres, including metal, hip hop, reggae, and pop.
Vans Warped Tour has been able to remain an affordable destination for music fans of all ages for 22 years thanks to its enduring partnerships with brands and organizations. The first wave of 2016 featured sponsors/partners include: Vans, Journeys, Monster Energy, the U.S. Army, truth, Full Sail University, peta2, Twix, Trojan Condoms, Fueled By Ramen, Cool Gear, Ernie Ball, Depop and The Entertainment Institute (TEI). A complete list of participating sponsors, partners, nonprofits and labels is available on the tour’s website.
“Without the support of our sponsors, it would be impossible to put on a tour of this size and caliber, for a fair price,” Lyman says. “I’d like to thank all of our great sponsors for continuing to support us, and for seeing the true value in engaging with our fans.”
In 2016, fans will see an increased presence from featured sponsor Journeys, a leader in the teen specialty retail scene. In its third year of sponsorship, the company is taking over both main stages, which are being re-branded the Journeys Left Foot Stage and the Journeys Right Foot Stage. “Our involvement with The Vans Warped Tour supports our long-term music strategy and aligns perfectly with one of our top brand partners, Vans,” says Jim Estepa, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Journeys Group. “Just like the past two years, we plan to bring this Tour to life across all of our available channels to celebrate the partnership with both our customers and employees through special on-site, online and in-store activations.”
Festival-goers will also experience the new Monster Energy Party Zone. Presented by long-standing Vans Warped Tour partner Monster Energy, this area will feature matching side-by-side stages of non-stop heavy music from bands such as Atreyu, Every Time I Die, Motionless In White, The Color Morale and Chelsea Grin.
“Every few years or so, we need to make tweaks to the Vans Warped Tour,” Lyman explains. “In 2016, that will be the addition of the Monster Energy Party Zone. I am excited to deepen our partnership with Monster Energy to build this area out and bring heavier bands from the Warped family to our fans.”
Another innovation from Lyman’s festival is brought to you by Full Sail University, an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Lyman worked with long-time record label partners to curate the Full Sail Stage and present up-and-coming bands such as Cane Hill, Like Pacific and Bad Seed Rising. “Over the years our relationship with Vans Warped Tour has continued to grow and evolve,” says Full Sail University‘s VP of Alumni Relations, Jay Noble. “For example, graduates have experienced internship and employment opportunities throughout the multi-city concert tour, while Full Sail’s campus recently hosted the Warped Tour lineup webcast. We couldn’t be prouder to continue this partnership on this year’s tour by presenting The Full Sail Stage.”
The popular annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, during which unsigned bands compete for the chance to perform on select Vans Warped Tour dates, will also shine a spotlight on tomorrow’s stars – this year evolving into a place where artists compete to win a chance to play on one of the Journeys Main Stages. “I started this program twenty years ago because the opportunity to experience playing music live seemed to be dwindling,” says Ernie Ball CEO Sterling Ball. “Because the opportunities are even fewer and far between today, we’re even more passionate about continuing to create the programs that give bands the exposure and experience of playing these world-class events.”
To compliment this jam-packed full day of music, this year’s Vans Warped Tour festival village will offer a wide-range of lifestyle attractions, information and educational activities. These initiatives speak to the festival’s commitment to nonprofits and organizations dedicated to socially conscious causes. “Warped has evolved into a festival comprised of three equal parts: music, philanthropy and education,” Lyman says. “With the 2016 tour, we have truly accomplished this balance.”
The influential youth animal rights group peta2 plans to unveil its thought-provoking ‘Who Are You Wearing?’ theme, which addresses the cruelty involved in raising and killing animals for their skins. “Warped Tour is consistently the largest and most successful initiative for our program, helping more than 100,000 motivated and animal-friendly young people take action for animals every single year,” says peta2 Director of International Youth Outreach Ryan Huling. “We put months of planning into designing our groundbreaking campaigns. This year’s theme will be our boldest yet.”
The national youth tobacco prevention campaign truth® will once again have a prominent on-site presence. truth is inspiring this generation of youth and young to use their creativity to end tobacco for good. “The Vans Warped Tour is where we go head-to-head with the tobacco industry by engaging with the audience on the ground,” says Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer of Truth Initiative, the organization that funds and directs the truth campaign. “Having a physical presence on the tour helps us compete for market share—and market share to truth equals lives saved.”
For aspiring music industry pros, the Entertainment Institute (TEI) will offer daily, 40-minute backstage learning sessions each day courtesy of experts, or “Gurus.” “Our goal this summer is to provide a positive environment where Gurus and fans can discuss what’s most important to them,” TEI co-founder Matt Halpern says. “The sessions provide an unparalleled opportunity for fans to get below the surface and learn about what truly drives the artists they love. It’s also a great place for fans to meet one another and build solid relationships that extend way beyond the Warped Tour.”
Relationships are also the focus for Depop, the mobile-based social shopping app that allows people to sell any item by simply taking a photo of it. “We had a blast on last year’s tour,” says Depop Chief Marketing Officer Nick Lisher. “We moshed; we partied; we got free hugs; and we left dangerously sunburnt. We can’t wait to nurture the relationship between music and fashion again this summer—only this time we’ll be working with even more artists and wearing more sunblock. See you in the pits!”
For the third year in a row, official hydration sponsor Cool Gear will be helping festival-goers stay cool both by providing free filtered water at hydration stations and selling an exclusive, BPA-free coolgearcan™ with 2016 VWT Official Artwork created by Every Time I Die guitarist & artist Jordan Buckley. “We couldn’t be more excited to hit the road again this summer,” says Cool Gear marketing manager Maryann Stracuzzi. “We’re psyched that our exclusive coolgearcan™ is such a hit each year, and we can’t wait to get back out there to help everyone keep cool.”
Plus, record label Fueled By Ramen will be along for the ride keeping fans cool in the form of a giant waterslide. “Fueled By Ramen has a long history with the Vans Warped Tour, and we definitely look forward to it every summer,” says Erick Charles, Fueled By Ramen senior director of field ops. “No other tour would let us bring our giant blow-up waterslide for the first time ever! We can’t wait to see the fans having a blast, sliding and singing FBR tunes.”
And finally, the U.S. Army will also be returning to the tour. “We are excited to head into the third year of our partnership with the Vans Warped Tour,” said Kelli Bland, spokesperson for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. “This tour has enabled us to share the U.S. Army story as well as career opportunities and benefits with hundreds of thousands of young people across the country.”
The VANS WARPED TOUR 2016 launches on June 24 in Dallas, TX, and will wind down on August 13 in Portland, OR. This year’s line-up features the return of fan favorites New Found Glory, Tonight Alive, Less Than Jake, Yellowcard, We The Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, Reel Big Fish and Pepper. Joining these bands is an impressive mix of newer acts such as State Champs, Like Pacific, In Hearts Wake, Capsize and From Ashes To New. For the full list of confirmed acts, visit: www.vanswarpedtour.com/bands.
“As Vans celebrates 50 incredible years of ‘Off The Wall’ moments, we are extremely proud and excited to continue to support creative expression with the bands, staff and music lovers that make up the Vans Warped Tour family,” Vans VP of Events and Promotions Steve Van Doren says. “With 22 years as the title sponsor of the Vans Warped Tour, each year we look forward to a summer traveling to 41 cities across the United States. In pure Vans fashion, don’t forget to stop by the main Vans booth for some signature Vans surprises.”
Tickets for the VANS WARPED TOUR 2016 are now on-sale and can be purchased at www.vanswarpedtour.com.