In some sad news for summer music festivals, The Vans Warped Tour has announced that 2018 will be the final year of its cross country incarnation. It will mark the tour’s 24th incarnation since beginning in 1995. No lineup has been announced as of yet, but tour dates for the final stretch have been revealed.
In an interview with Billboard, tour founder Kevin Lyman spoke a little bit about what led to the decision to make 2018 the last year. “We were doing fine, but we had a pretty big dip last year. It was that younger end of the demo. It was an interesting tour — the bands didn’t feel the dip because the fans that were there were super engaged… Everyone’s lining up at 11 o’clock and they don’t want to miss a band. So that [younger] demo changed, but then I talked to people after the tour and bands did great on merchandise, they had great crowds — everyone had good crowds in front of the stage. But that casual fan that’s learning how to go to a music festival — they were not there last summer,” explained Lyman. “It was a really great show, sponsors were happy, but our attendance was down.”
He stayed positive, ending it saying, “I’m looking to bring everyone a great show and have a great summer and connect with a lot of people, you know? For me, the saddest thing is I’ll be seeing sunrises and sunsets for the last time in a lot of those parking lots.”
Lyman also hints at there being more in store for Vans Warped Tour as a whole however, writing in a statement, “The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th anniversary celebration in 2019. I truly look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during this final cross country run, and getting to thank you for your support on this wild adventure. Until then, take care and be safe.”