ORIGINAL STORY: We know what you’re thinking: could we see Vans Warped Tour make a triumphant return to Australia sometime soon?
Well, the founder of America’s iconic punk rock summer camp seems pretty keen to ~get a little bit Genghis Khan~ and start conquering territories outside his own empire.
Speaking during the official announcement of the 2017 US Warped Tour lineup (which ICYMI was awesome enough to make us weep with FOMO, and featured Trophy Eyes and Hands Like Houses reppin’ for Australia), festival mastermind Kevin Lyman discussed Warped’s global future.
“What I’m doing now is, I’m working with countries around the world to bring the Warped Tour to those kids,” he told the crowd.
“We’ve just announced Mexico City… there’s a festival in Japan called Punkspring, it’s going to be called Warpedspring.
“We’re looking at about 14 other countries right now, that hopefully I can bring this music… to those countries. We’re using it as a unifier.”
Wait… did he just say “unifier”?
Photo: Nikki Williams
OK, maybe we’re reaching a little bit there.
But look, Japan is a geographical stone’s throw away from Australia, and if they get a Warped Tour then we damn well deserve one too!
However, just last year, Warped Australia promoter AJ Maddah said he’d give his blessing to anyone who wanted to bring Warped back to life down under, as long as they had the money to do it.
“I’d love to think [it will return],” he tweeted at the time. “Will require someone with deep pockets. I’ll support in any way I can.
“There have been some talks,” he continued, but then added somewhat pessimistically: “Have a look at Warped 2013 line-up for Aus. If that can’t sell tickets I don’t have much hope for it.”
That said, a lot has changed in the Aus heavy music landscape since 2013. Punk, metal and hardcore music is receiving a lot more support these days, with Warped alumni like In Hearts Wake, The Amity Affliction, Parkway Drive, Trophy Eyes, I Killed The Prom Queen, Hands Like Houses and countless others scoring regular rotation on triple j, plus the now three-year-old UNIFY Gathering consistently attracting sell-out crowds, and Northlane (who ICYMI just dropped a surprise album) are hitting #1 on the ARIA charts.
The label that most of those bands call home — and who also happen to be the masterminds behind UNIFY Gathering, UNFD (or more specifically, UNFD’s umbrella company UNIFIED) — recently struck up a partnership with music giants Live Nation to become a new heavy music touring force.
It came after UNFD’s Head Of Recorded Music Luke Logemann confirmed that the label have “plenty of plans in the works, but we’ll only make announcements when we have 100 per cent locked everything in and know what we are doing”.
Using the hashtag #heavymusicisaliveandwell, Logemann also addressed concerns about the Australian heavy music festival scene at the time, which has taken a big hit with the failures of Big Day Out, Soundwave and Legion festivals.
“The festivals that have shut down here aren’t an indication of the fans not showing support or complaining too much. The fans were always there, and they deserve to not be scrutinised for what they choose to attend. This has been an industry problem first and foremost,” he said.
Music Feeds has reached out to UNFD, AJ Maddah and Warped founder Kevin Lyman for statements about the possibility of Warped returning to Australia, so we’ll keep you posted with any updates as they happen.
In the meantime, catch the full Warped Tour announcement in the video below (Lyman discusses the festival’s expansion into other countries around the 22:30 mark).