Warped Tour: Life from the Van

Warped Tour: Life from the Van

New Music Faster Gets #ForeverWarped!

By Hannah Greve

I never went to summer camp growing up, but I grew up knowing that Warped Tour was “adult punk rock summer camp.” With 20 years of life under my belt, I finally went to summer camp…

Warped Tour is amazing. From an attendee to a merch girl, my fondest summer memories will always be of the Vans Warped Tour. We all park in the same area, eat together, wait forever for the showers, try avoiding have to use the port-o-johns, deal with soaked shoes, and always being sweaty. No one has an ego, we are all equal. And we all live in this little accepting world all summer, it became easy to forget the mess that is going on in the real world.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to work on the entire Vans Warped Tour as a merch girl for P.A.K.Y., which stands for Pass Along Knowledge Yourself. P.A.K.Y is a DIY record label that teaches artists how to be their own label. The artists may learn to plan and produce their music, about bookings, tours, and concerts using the best software for music venue bookings and other objectives. Being a self-published artist can be easier with the correct resources and tools. We did the entire tour and then some in a 15 passenger diesel van. And 10 of us lived in that van together for some time, we ended with 6. Living in a van with people for almost 2 months forces you to become family, but I am not complaining. I started the tour only knowing the founder of the label, Jacob Langley, and our photographer, Taylor Dillon. Everyone in our van became family, along with everyone on the tour. You start to see the same people every day and eventually you’ll start up a conversation. You become friends with the bands, security, other sponsors, venders, photographers, etc. You know almost everyone by the end of tour, and those people become your best friends for the rest of your life.

My whole life I never knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that it had to do with music. This entire tour solidified that. Music has always had such an important role in my life, and seeing how many strangers come together to spend all day in the hot sun just to see their favorite band play really shows the importance music has to everyone. It warms my heart and moves me how music can affect a person. There was a defining moment on tour that reminded me why music was everything. There was one day that I was helping Jake shoot shirts off of the Less Than Jake stage, it was so extremely hot, I had a migraine from the sun and the noise, and I looked out into the crowd and saw how they were all packed like sardines. In that kind of heat you don’t want to have anyone touching you, but music and the emotions and memories behind it makes you literally want to throw your body up and down in a crowd, it makes you want to mosh and crowd surf. Music takes over you in that moment, and nothing is more important than being there in that moment.

We dealt with van breakdowns, annoying the hell out of each other, dehydration with a few near death experiences, but all in all I would never trade any of it for the world. I miss Warped Tour everyday. I miss seeing all my Warped Tour family and friends. Getting to see Knuckle Puck play with Taylor everyday. Dealing with the heat. Planet fitness showers, fast food, the atmosphere, a different state every day, and of course I miss the music.

At 20 years old I finally went to summer camp and I am #ForeverWarped.