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The Community of Warped Tour

Vans Warped Tour

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

With the snow melting and temperatures warming we’re looking forward to the summer. And with summer comes Warped Tour.

by Jennifer

I remember when I first heard of the notorious Warped Tour, it was amazing that there was a whole day revolving around my favorite bands and people just like me. Bands like Nevershoutnever and All Time Low that I would listen to all the time, especially when I was having a bad day. Bands that made me feel comfortable with who I was and where I came from. Leading up to the day of the show I was both nervous and excited. Nervous about the unexpected, yet excited as to what I might experience. To get ready I downloaded the app and started packing my bag for the show.

Walking into Canterbury Park I couldn’t believe the lines of people. People who pushed the limits when it came to what was accepted. Girls with colored hair and guys with tattoos down their arms. They make something so out of the ordinary seem so normal and beautiful. People who had traveled from all over the state to see the bands they were wearing on their shirts and to get an extraordinary experience from the show. When I first walked in I was immediately drawn to a large blow up schedule with all the bands to play that day — right away I noticed Hey Monday and Nevershoutnever. My friend and I took down some of our favorites and went off to explore.

The huge crowds were somewhat overwhelming. With seas of people stretching all around me, I was unaware of how far they might stretch because I couldn’t see around the person walking in front of me. All the merch tables were set up and promoters were approaching from all sides to get us to enter the tent to check out their band who was hoping to be the next big thing.

While we were waiting to see Nevershoutnever we were drawn to various stages because of the crowds that had gathered, though we’d never heard of those bands. It didn’t matter what type of music was playing, what mattered was how the crowd was reacting to the band. If the crowd was going crazy we were attracted to that energy and became part of something greater. When I was in a crowd it didn’t matter what I looked like or where I came from, what mattered was if I could have fun and just let it all go. There were people trying to crowd surf, people dancing their hearts out, and people just bobbing their heads along to the beat of the drums. We were there for the music and the experience, which we got plenty of.

Even though the event was so huge and extensive there was still a sense of intimacy. My friend and I came across an acoustic show being put on by Automatic Loveletter. Although I didn’t know the band I still got the sense of community. By sitting on the ground with these strangers we were all put on the same level, despite the various hardships and challenges we’d each faced. In that setting I realized the bands that performed throughout the day just want to help us get through it, by creating a family for us as they performed and lived their dreams.

Jennifer is a high school senior with a love of music of all kinds, All Time Low and Fall Out Boy are just a couple favorites. She hopes to become more involved in the local music scene and continue to find new and exciting acts.

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