Billboard Touring Conf: Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman Learns to Evolve
Billboard Touring Conf: Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman Learns to Evolve

Fast-talking Warped Tour founder, 4fini Productions President, and SideOneDummy Records partner Kevin Lyman is learning to adjust. After 18 years of criss-crossing the U.S., "the average fan [at the Warped Tour] is 17-and-a-half." This meant making some tough decisions as to which bands, especially the important and top-billed legacy acts, were included on the hyper-youthful tour. When it first started, artists such as Bad Religion had been around for 14 years -- but are now pushing 30-plus years. "We're looking at a lot of acts who've been around for ten or twelve years."

He's also learned where to throw a little weight around. With reticent and/or long-leadtime venues making the tour plan unnecessarily convoluted, Lyman decided that keeping things simple was paramount. "I need to be in this town and go in this direction. Love your venue, but if it's not available, I'm gonna have another venue. And you know it's funny how quick some of those holds went away."