Warped Speed Ahead

Bishop crowd surfing during the Asking Alexandria set last year.

The alternative music staple returns this July

Bishop crowd surfing during the Asking Alexandria set last year.

Bishop crowd surfing during the Asking Alexandria set last year.

by Kayla Nalepa and Taylor Isenberg

Everyone has eclectic tastes in music. Some prefer the synthetic sounds of pop while others prefer the beat of hip-hop. For those who like the alternative and punk-rock scene, in 1995 a rock festival was created just for you, the Vans Warped Tour.

Warped Tour travels the country for nearly two months in the summer, running from June 22 to August 9 this year. The festival will be in Maryland on July 16 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. Unfortunately, Good Charlotte, a band from Waldorf that is on the tour, is not going to be playing at the home state show. The lineup for this year has been released and includes Sleeping WIth Sirens, Mayday Parade, We the Kings, Sum 41, Waka Flocka Flame and many more. In total, 69 acts will hit the three stages at Merriweather.

Many students attended the Warped Tour last year. The lineup in 2015 included Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Never Shout Never, Pvris, and Riff Raff. “Last year was my first year going. My favorite act was Asking Alexandria and Atilla,” said junior Audrey Bishop.

Mosh pits are common at most concerts with General Admission like Warped Tour. Although pits can be fun for some, they can be dangerous. The pits tend to be intense and create a strong surge of adrenaline. “Being in the mosh pit and the intensity in the air right before the wall of death is something I’ll never forget,” said sophomore Seth Phillips. In the pit people crowd surf and create the wall of death, which is when the crowd splits apart and the two sides run toward each other crashing together.

Marijuana and alcohol are also an issue concertgoers have to deal with. It’s not unusual to smell marijuana and see seriously drunk people in the crowd at a festival. “Don’t be surprised if you smell weed or see a guy stumbling around,” Phillips said. According to the Warped Tour website, illegal substances are not allowed, but regardless, they are still present. Alcohol cannot be brought into the venue but can be purchased by those of age.

Mayday Parade at the 2014 event.

Mayday Parade at the 2014 event.

If you plan on going to the Warped Tour, there are some things you’ll need to know. General admission tickets can be purchased through Ticketfly and cost $41.50-$51.50 plus fees of $11.

There are some precautionary measures to take to ensure that you have the best experience at the Warped Tour. Make sure you bring a bag with you. According to Warped 101, you are allowed to bring a small backpack, sunscreen, one sealed water bottle which can be refilled in the venue, a homemade snack, a camera, and some sharpies.

Music festivals can be hectic. It’s best to arrive as early as possible. The doors open at 11 a.m. for the Merriweather date. “If you want to get front row to see a band, you want to get there early and run to the front, push and be forceful because you’ll have to try really hard,” said sophomore Jazele Gibson.

The Vans Warped Tour is a very social event. “You get to meet cool people and bond over the music,” Gibson said. “It’s cool to see hundreds of people that like what you like, and it’s a comforting feeling.”

Although the Warped Tour isn’t for everyone, it offers a way to meet new people and experience new sounds. If you’ve never been it’s never too late to get tickets and try it out this summer.  


According to Warped 101:

-If you are under 18, a parent or guardian can accompany you for free.

-If you bring three canned food items or a used cell phone, you will receive an express entry wristband.

-The first 100 people to donate blood or have someone donate on their behalf at the Music Saves Lives sponsored blood drive gets a backstage wristband when they redeem their voucher.

-Warped Tour Cool Gear Hydration Stations will be open to give attendees free filtered water. Just look for the banners that say WATER (make sure you have something to put the water in).

-There will be misting stations throughout the grounds.

-Weather permitting, attendees can go on a slip and slide.

-For parents who are escorting their kids, there will be air-conditioned tents at all venues until 6 p.m.

-There will be a designated drop-off and pick-up area.

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