Warped Tour make feeble attempt at bettering themselves by requiring acts be 21+

by Joel Funk • 2 years ago

The Vans Warped Tour caught a lot of negative attention this year. First, the announcement of Front Porch Step being on the tour led to the reveal of sexual misconduct allegations and his consequential removal from the tour. All seemed well. At the Nashville date of this very festival, it was revealed that Front Porch Step would be allowed to play under the guise of “therapy.” The scene as a whole responded swiftly and in outcry to the fact that Kevin Lyman has officially taken the “I can do what I want” stance and refuses to ensure that Warped Tour be a safe place for all in attendance. 

Yesterday, it was revealed that Warped Tour will not be allowing anyone under the age of 21 to have a hand in the festival. That means that nobody from the crew and certainly none of the bands on tour will be under the age of 21. I can’t see how that is going to change anything. Age is not a factor in any of the crimes or misconducts from acts on the tour. It has to do with destructive personalities and the abuse of a platform. You are not bettering anything by setting an age requirement, you’re just setting an age requirement. 

The step to making your festival a safe place are simple:

  1. Research the acts before putting them on the bill.
  2. If anything involving one of the acts doing something illegal or that would take away from the festival being a safe space, take swift and immediate action. Gauge the consequence based on the action. Removal from the tour in the face of sexual misconduct is not something to hesitate with or leave to a vote – it is what needs to be done to make sure attendees are safe. 

Just in case any of you still weren’t convinced to how blind Lyman truly is to everything that’s gone down this year, here’s a snippet from a statement he made while discussing change for next year’s run of shows. 

“I’m already working on Warped Tour for next year,” Lyman says. “And you know what? There are things that need to be fixed. [The community] needs to fix what due process is, what judicial systems are, and [we] have to stop putting false information on the internet,” said Lyman. “Slow down the social media blur. None of you are retaining. People can’t retain the name of a band and the song they play. Brains have turned into a spaghetti sieve, as I like to say, shit just flows through them all of the time. Nothing’s sticking, except for a little bit of crust off of the sides. We’re going to have to slow down technology. We have to slow it down, so it means something.”

I don’t now if this age requirement was a direct response to this year’s constant negative backlash, but that’s how it comes across. If that’s the case, so much more needs to be done. It’s a strange feeling watching something we all grew up loving start to slowly self-destruct.