Vans Warped Tour: the “Gateway Drug” of Music Festivals

I was recently asked by the great folks at the Seattle Weekly to provide my unique interpretation for an article about the Vans Warped Tour for their Music section. In the piece, author Sara Brickner describes the Warped Tour as “indie 101” for kids in the boonies, as well as the “gateway drug of music festivals”. I couldn’t have agreed more.

What better place to bring your young and impressionable mind than the Vans Warped Tour? As a youngster growing up in the suburbs of Ohio, I found solace and inspiration in the music of many bands that have shared the Warped Tour stage. Punk rock music came out of left field and infused my life with a newfound energy and drive. Each CD that I bought was a well of sonic inspiration to my life and helped influence the independent attitude that was beginning to develop in me. I still have a soft spot for many bands like NOFX, The Descendants, Op Ivy, and The Vandals…they were the soundtrack to my life as a teenager.

I decided to approach the piece from a very simple visual perspective. The main focus, besides the green mohawked-child, is a talking children’s book that features 5 very distinct bands that range from pop to punk…but have all either been on a Warped Tour lineup, or have influenced bands that have. The bands whose logos I chose to represent the steps are Good Charlotte, Yellowcard, Pennywise, NOFX, and Subhumans. Pretty drastic last step I suppose, but I figured it would really drive it home. Enjoy!

Pencil sketch:


Color final:

Final layout: