Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman Talks This Year's Lineup, Ticket Prices and How It's Changed Over the Years
Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman Talks This Year's Lineup, Ticket Prices and How It's Changed Over the Years

The Vans Warped Tour will holds its tour-announcement press conference and kick-off party tonight at the new House Of Vans in Brooklyn, but some of the drama of that event was taken away when a few fans got an unplanned sneek peak at a YouTube announcement of the bill and spread it out into cyberspace.

"We planned on announcing the final main stage acts at midnight [tonight]," Warped founder Kevin Lyman tells Billboard. "Our guy had to go in on YouTube Wednesday evening [to set up the YouTube announcement] and it was an open system for less than a minute and a half. But 11 kids got to view the website, and now the announcement of the lineup is everywhere."

Lyman sees this unexpected unveiling as a sign of the times, and while disappointed the lineup leaked, he's thankful for the interest. "It just shows how crazy Facebook and Twitter are -- I really am seeing the power right now," he says. "I saw it pop up, I thought, 'Wow, someone's saying they know the lineup,' and they had the right bands. We traced it, and literally within the minute and a half it was unsecured, it got viewed 11 times, and now it's everywhere."

For the record (and with apologies to Lyman), the acts that were revealed include A Day To Remember, The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Against Me, Attack Attack, 3Oh!3, and Gym Class Heroes, joining the other 86 bands previously announced.

Lyman is in New York for tonight's gathering, and he and Vans VP Steve Van Doren will be joined by past and present Warped artists and the Vans Skate Team, who will do their thing in the House Of Vans bowl, along with a live graffiti art performance from visual artist Kaves, and musical performances by 2011 Warped artists Lionize, Moving Mountains, MC Lars and The Wonder Years. The full announcement will be broadcast via www.warpedtour.com. The previously announced bands can be found at http://vanswarpedtour.com/bands.

Meanwhile, Lyman has already experienced the reaction to the Warped tour's hard work at booking the 17-year-old tour, the longest-running tour sponsorship in the business. "These days you get the feedback instantly," he says. "I learned this from [Goldenvoice president] Paul Tollett when were talking about Coachella lineup, who told me about this site www.kurrently.com. It gives you a live RSS feed basically of Twitter and Facebook postings. That's how I found out it leaked. The announcement was being made by some kid in North Dakota who was able to get it, put it on his Twitter feed, and kids were immediately picking it up and spreading it around."

He says the reception to the Warped lineup has been predictably mixed. "Some kid might say 'I just got [in trouble] because I yelled out in my class when I saw the Warped tour lineup.' Or you might see somebody say 'this lineup's not for me' and you check out his picture and he's 40 years old, and he would come to the warped tour when NOFX, Bad Religion and Rancid were the bands playing."

Oftentimes, this instant feedback is less than pleasant for talent bookers. "When you post things now, you immediately see the negativity coming out," Lyman says.

"Everyone works hard on their lineups, they don't just book it and throw it out there. And then when they put it out there you get 'you don't know what the hell you're doing!' We all end up developing egos in this word, and for a guy who does what we do, their ego is most fragile when you put that lineup up now."

A West Coast guy, Lyman has noticed a different pattern in a New York press gathering/party. "I like that in New York people don't put their name on the guest list unless they plan on coming, unlike L.A. where everyone just says 'I'll be there,'" he says. "This year it looked like it was going to be a little slow until the last three days when the list put us at a capacity situation."

And about those that scooped the announcement, Lyman says, "Those 11 kids were ready. We may need to put them on our marketing team."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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