For over 20 years, Vans Warped Tour has been traveling the states to being fans of a lot of different loud rock genres together for the longest-running touring music festival. The festival had always boasted a lineup featuring Punk, Pop-punk, Hardcore, Alternative, Metal, and other similar rock-related artists. Not only has it been a tradition for fans and one of the least expensive festivals with an extensive lineup, but it’s also given countless up-and coming artists a chance to have the spotlight, which helped some pretty big artists to kick off their careers. With all of that great stuff going for it, however, the music festival seems to have run into a bit of trouble recently when it comes to expanding into some other genres and forms of entertainment…
This year, Vans Warped Tour, the one we all know and love, will feature a comedy tent. Now, normally this wouldn’t be too weird, as a lot of festivals have some interesting side attractions for people who don’t like music for some reason. Lollapalooza and Warped Tour have always had some kind of battle of the bands style attractions, and Riot Fest even featured a Wrestling Stage last year. What makes this comedy tent thing feel so out of place, however, is part of a larger issue: Van’s Warped Tour feels like it’s sinking a lot of money that should be spent booking some more big name artists into booking stuff that’s unrelated to music. While the comedy tent is nice, the money spent on setting this up almost certainly should've been spent on something related to music.
Case in point:
RIFF RAFF IS GOING TO BE AT WARPED TOUR THIS YEAR
If you don’t know who Riff Raff is or why he’s so bad, you’re lucky. If you do know who Riff Raff is and don’t understand why this is so bad, let’s refresh your memory a bit:
Now, it’d be forgivable to put Riff Raff on your lineup if he was going to be playing in your newly announced comedy tent, but he’s not. Even to mix him in with actual artists wouldn’t be such an atrocity either, but Warped tour crossed the line when they put this tag on him:
While those tags that they give to every artist don’t really mean anything, it’s still kind of a slap in the face to any actual punk artist by itself, let alone the fact that it devalues every artist who isn’t there as a joke. While it’s nice to be able to laugh when Warped Tour puts someone like Riff Raff on the lineup, and it is probably just a joke to them, the slot that Riff Raff takes up could have easily been spent on someone that isn’t meant to be a joke. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. Maybe Riff Raff will actually do a punk set. For now, the way it’s looking, Warped Tour this year is just pretty weird.
So, that comedy tent thing, it's forgivable by itself. Booking Riff Raff is forgivable on it's own as well, to some degree. It's the combination of these two things that spell a bad mentality for Warped Tour as a music festival.