The Warped Tour (aka the Vans Warped Tour) made its name as a chance for people to see their favorite punk rock acts on tour. The crowd's gotten younger and critics have argued that the show's become more corporate (though the tour's been sponsored by Vans shoes going back to 1995 in its infancy), but it's still bringing over a hundred bands on tour to thousands of people across the country.
The tour is hitting Southern California today and tomorrow, with fans in Irvine today at the Orange County Great Park before the tour moves to the Pomona Fairplex on Friday. The tour began June 16 in Salt Lake City and ends August 5 in Portland.
Some of the acts on the tour include Rise Against, Lostprophets, New Found Glory, the Used, Yellowcard and Blood on the Dance Floor. The lineup varies a bit based on tour stop, but serves as a musical sampler pack for fans with over 100 bands on the tour at some point and eight stages to serve diverse tastes. It's mostly lesser known bands, though many have passionate fanbases that those bands are hoping to build with the Warped Tour exposure.
The tour has a seat-of-its-pants feel, with each show's schedule not set until the morning of the show, displayed on a giant inflatable inside. They also make sure to offer some personal care, offering many of the bands for signings and smaller acoustic performances.
The Warped Tour Twitter account has over 200,000 followers, while their Facebook account is approaching 800,000 likes. The Twitter account speaks the fans' language — apparently including the show's traditional antiauthority spirit, giving kids a heads up about the police: "You shouldn't smoke but an extra reason not to today, police giving out tickets in line for smoking so don't do it."