After 18 years on the road, the Vans Warped Tour has figured something out: combine great music with great organization, and you end up with an amazing tour. ASCAP has been proud to sponsor the Warped Tour for the last few years running, and there was no way we were gonna break the streak in 2012, a year when the majority of acts on the tour are ASCAP members or license through us in the U.S. This year, Gali Firstenberg and Jesse Willoughby from ASCAP's Pop/Rock department in Los Angeles headed down to Chula Vista for a full day of rocking out in the southern California sun and hanging out with the bands on the bill at the ASCAP-sponsored post-show BBQ. Here's what they had to report.
Gali Firstenberg, Membership Coordinator, Pop/Rock
2012 marked the first time in Vans Warped Tour’s 18-year history in which it's been around longer than the average age of its attendees (17.7 years). Warped Tour is just two years shy of graduating its teen years, but based on my experiences at the Chula Vista stop of the tour, it’s far from outdated. Even in the staggering heat and crowded quarters, we moshed to ASCAP acts ranging from Breathe Carolina to Bayside, We the Kings to Yellowcard. With bands playing everything from screamo to hip-hop to pop-punk to straight-up pop, Warped Tour 2012 catered to a wide range of tastes, which speaks directly to the generation that embraces it year after year. Confidence in one’s identity is a foreign concept at age 17, and Warped Tour offers the opportunity to indulge in multiple genres, get lost in the music, and feel included. In a time when many areas of the music industry are suffering, the Warped Tour team has been able to survive by creating a safe and inclusive community. I was proud to represent ASCAP at the post-show BBQ we sponsored, where the artists and staff that make the experience so special can relax and toast another successful show.
Jesse Willoughby, Associate Director, Pop/Rock
I quite fondly remember attending the Warped Tour in the late 90's during my high school years to see bands such as Blink-182, Deftones, Anti-Flag, NOFX, Incubus, Simple Plan and others. Attending for the first time in 12 years at the tour's Chula Vista stop, I could see the spirit of the festival hasn't changed a bit. There is still the incredibly passionate fan base, as I witnessed when I saw the crowds on the two main stages singing along every word in both the Yellowcard and Taking Back Sunday sets. Everything from pop-punk to T. Mills's hip-hop set was there. There is still the interaction between the bands and their devoted fan bases - I saw huge lines at the Bayside, We the Kings and Breathe Carolina signing booths. And after seeing Anti-Flag play again this year, it's apparent that The Warped Tour isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Read more about the Vans Warped Tour at vanswarpedtour.com.
The 2012 Warped Tour's snazzy Aztec logo
ASCAP punkers Bayside look out on the Warped Tour crowd
Baltimore pop-punk band All Time Low, mid-set at the Warped Tour
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