On July 10th, Mansfield Massachusetts was invaded by tens of thousands of dyed hair, pierced out, pot smoking music lovers for the annual Vans Warped Tour music festival…and it was awesome. With 11 stages set up and over 100 musical acts performing throughout the day, Warped Tour certainly was a sight to behold. There was something for everyone at this music festival. A good majority of the music catered to the hardcore genre but there was also a stage set up for acoustic acts as well as a tent set up for hip hop acts.
The musical selection was as diverse as the people who attended this event. The whole point of Warped Tour is for people who are considered “misfits” to come together in a safe environment and be accepted while enjoying good music. This made for a very friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Even when mosh pits formed and people started running around throwing fists, it never felt dangerous. As the lead singer of Beartooth said during his set; “If somebody falls in the pit, pick them up, we’re all family here.”
While everyone who comes to Warped Tour comes for the big names like Four Years Strong, Yellowcard, and Of Mice & Men; it’s also a good place for small unknown local bands to try and get their name out there. One stage, called the Breakthrough stage, was set up for just such acts. Kids who have been jamming out in basement bars and tiny clubs finally had a shot at playing for a large crowd and they took it without any hesitation. The showmanship I saw at that stage rivaled some of the bigger acts on the bigger stages and it was a great thing to see.
Vanna Interview with Chris Gesualdo – Mansfield, MA – Warped Tour 2014
With plenty to see and plenty to do, Warped Tour was a never ending carnival of good music and good people. As I mentioned before, the diversity of music is the best thing about Warped Tour. You don’t like one of the bands on the Kia Soul Stage? Fine, walk 500 feet and you’re at the Monster Energy Stage. You don’t like one of the bands on the Ernie Ball Stage? No problem, head on over to the Warhead Stage. You get the idea.
With the amount of people there you would think that an average fan would be far removed from their favorite band but you couldn’t be more wrong. Each band had their own tent set up where they hang out selling merchandise and CD’s. Even the biggest acts at Warped Tour hung out at their tents so fans could meet and talk to them, which is a very uncommon thing at other music festivals.
For 19 years Warped Tour has traveled across the country bringing good music and positive vibes wherever it goes. I’m not sure Kevin Lyman realized exactly what he started when he founded this festival in 1995 but I’m sure he knew exactly what he wanted. A place where everyone is accepted. A place where a kid can express himself in a way that goes against the social norms and be praised for doing so. A place where at the end of it all, strangers become friends and friends become best friends. Warped Tour has succeeded in that instance for a long time to come and it looks like it’s going to continue to succeed in the future.
Special thanks to TMRZoo.com Photo Journalist Eric Gesualdo for this great coverage. You can see the rest of TMRZoo.com’s photo coverage of Vans Warped Tour 2014 here.