Still Lame: Vans Warped Tour Australia 2013

Back in a 1998 issue of Flipside Magazine (the punk one), the Warped Tour got a righteous lambasting in a column detailing the tour’s mall punk lineup, excessive prices of bottled water and the general lameness of the music festival routine. It was a terrific piece detailing a punk rocker’s bewildering and angry journey into a then bubbling underground; a soon to be mass produced factory-line punk rock show. At the time, the Warped Tour was in just its third year, and already its predictable transformation was seen as inevitable.

News has come to light that the Warped Tour will return to Australia for the first time since 2002 and people seem to be excited about it. But in what capacity does Australia need the Warped Tour? It doesn’t of course, but for co-organizers Kevin Lyman and Soundwave honcho AJ Maddah, this is just another clever, money printing venture meant to tap in to the already saturated, exhausted alternative music touring scene.

But you see, Lyman and Maddah are brilliant entrepreneurs. They saw a gaping hole in a scene bursting into the mainstream and filled it with their money-hungry, intelligently forward-thinking dongs. When Warped Tour pulled the plug on their Australian adventure in 2002, Maddah saw a perfect opening in the genre and grew what eventually became Soundwave in Perth from some extreme sports/music festival called Gravity Games. True to form, the first Soundwave in 2007 featured many of the same Warped bands- Thrice, MxPx, Unwritten Law etc- that became the staple of Lyman’s annual touring circus. And as the year went on and the festival grew, it very much became the Southern hemisphere’s alternative music festival.

You can say they’re “different” AJ, but they’re not.

So here we are, drenched in music festivals and broke because of $10 bottles of water and $100+ tickets, and we’re getting the Warped Tour in December, just 3 months before the annual Soundwave Festival. It is another preposterous money grab at the poor kids who love alternative music and can only seek refuge in the giant arms of Maddah and Lyman. And save your time from announcing the bands, I’m sure half of them will have been here on Soundwave. Same festival, same bands, paying for it all twice.

I am unsure who is the bigger villain here; Lyman and Maddah or all the people who bought in to all of this bullshit. Growth and success come with choice. With success comes the idea that you can still be at the top of your mountain while giving back to those who put you there. Perhaps alternating the years in which Warped and Soundwave tour? Maybe kids are just stupid enough to buy a ticket to the same festival twice.

There are pages and pages worth of bile reserved for all the music festivals currently on the Australian market. We are slowly seeing the market implode as the garbage festivals are weeded out of the pile. Imbecile promoters interested in the bottom line more than an artist is interested in the biggest paycheck out of a 30 minute performance. As festivals fall, we will find a balance in what music, and in certain cases punk rock specifically, is all about.

Queers frontman Joe Queer said it best;

You play music because there’s something inside of you that says you have to play music … The Warped Tour changed it. Fuck it. To me a punk gig is a small sweaty club with the audience right in your face knocking over the mic stand and boogying off the energy. 

Too bad there are not enough Joe Queers left in the world. And too bad not enough listeners of whatever the hell consists of punk music today know who Joe Queer is.

Both festivals and their promoters are no stranger to endless amounts of criticism and drama. Maddah being the most notorious with his trigger happy twitter account and his incessant need to pick fights with the likes of that Good Charlotte guy, Travis Barker and anyone who generally rubs him the wrong way. If only someone could add an extra “think before you hit send” button just for him. Just as if we could add a “think before you buy” one to everyone thinking about buying a ticket to Warped Tour Australia 2013. But if you are too stupid to do so, well, there’s nothing I can do about it except to tell you, like those in 1998, you are fucking lame.


5 thoughts on “Still Lame: Vans Warped Tour Australia 2013

  1. Matt says:

    Nothing wrong with more opportunities to see the bands people love.

    What a pile of shit article you’ve deemed worthy to post. Maybe you need a ‘think before you post’ button.


  2. Brigitte says:

    Oh yeah, I must be an idiot for spending the money I earn on what I want. Oops. A band I really want to see is coming but I better only see them once because otherwise people will think I'm crazy or buying into AJ's "money grab" or some shit.
    The last time I thought, "oh I'll just go the next time they come" was blink-182 in 2004. The "next time" was three days ago.
    So if there is a band I want to see coming to Australia, I'm going to fucking go regardless, even if I see them again in 3 months at Soundwave.

    That false sense of superiority you have because you're "smart enough to see the bullshit" is infuriating because you seem to paint everyone who just wants to enjoy some fucking bands as morons who are intellectually inferior to you.
    And having a bitch about something as dumb as "water prices" makes you look like an entitled arrogant twat.


  3. Marcos says:

    What's the lineup?: "She likes to be kissed" "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Ouchie Ouchie" "We're gonna party like it's 2007" "Answering Andrea" "I Dated The Tanned Girl" "The Brunswick Street Brothers" "Lame Birthday Wishes" "I Don't Like Terminator" "January Comes First" "Rad! no, Rad? WTF!!!! LOL" "Jane Versus a Giant Cat" "Jhonny Feels Confident" "Skip The Foreplay(this one actually exists)" "I Fell and I Barely Survive".

    On a more serious note: What happened to the kids, back in the days we used to be naturally stupid, but this era is definitely the lowest of the low.


  4. CrazyRob says:

    Never been to one of these festivals and never want to. Seems to be tailor made to casual music fans who just go along for something to do, they don't really give a rat's arse about the music.
    The only good thing they do is bring bands out to the country and the bands do their own gigs. Because of Soundwave I've seen Social Distortion, The Gaslight Anthem and Bad Religion.
    That said they can stick their 30 minute sets, $10 bottles of water and cups of chips and shitty haircuts and piss off.


  5. Brad says:

    Who the fuck wrote this shit? If you don't want to see a band, or the same band again, don't fucking go. If no one was putting on festivals like this you'd be whingeing like a bitch complaining 'why doesn't anyone put on festivals like this?'

    You just can't please some people…..


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