Tales From the Tents: An Insider's View Into the Final Warped Tour, Continued

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
 Atmosphere during the 2018 Vans Warped Tour at Shoreline Amphitheatre on June 23, 2018 in Mountain View, Calif.

Vans Warped Tour has always been a place to welcome everybody. I can’t tell you how many times we are at the merch table and kids tell us about their issues with addiction or mental health and abuse, and on top of it express how places like Hope for the Day or Can You Hear Me have been a big help to them.

As much as there are nonprofits to fight your issues with abuse to breast cancer, there are even Christian organizations like I Am Second (hinting that God is first) while Twiztid shouts lyrics like “die motherf--ker” all in good fun in the background. Basically, there is something for everyone. I even did punk rock shabbat in my shabbat tent for the third Friday of the tour. Of course all the good things don’t get much press until something bad happens. That only really matters to us when people like the Westboro Baptist Church come to protest us. Not only did they do that on Tuesday (July 3), but they made Kevin Lyman cookies upon his request.

We are already 10 stops into the final Warped Tour and headed into Dallas as I finish watching a late night bus film of Juice with Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur. I was thinking all day about how I was gonna tie this film into WBC coming to Vans Warped Tour but couldn't really figure it out. To think that there never is going to be another protest of them at a Warped show is odd, but how I am connected to the WBC is more peculiar.  

A few years back, a Twitter user named @jewlicious would be kind to Megan Phelps and her vulgar display of power via Twitter. He would interrupt the chaos of her world through constant communication and point out flaws in her thinking and the sourcing of her information. The more they interacted, he actually changed her enough to the point that she ran away from the church along with her sister, who later joined her at my rabbi’s house in Los Angeles.

So yes… I actually did eat cookies with members of the Westboro Baptist Church (Megan and her sister), oddly enough for a few weeks in a row at shabbat dinners. She has gone on to do a TED talk and also has a movie production on her life after the story in The New Yorker broke. One of the coolest things I knew was that she didn’t take any money for speaking. The way it happened was that David, a.k.a. @jewlicious, never gave up on his contact with her until that day where she decided to leave, and it has created an entirely different reality for the WBC. She was the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, WBC's founder.

So sure, we go to Vans Warped Tour for the music. We artists go to sell the merch and rock Black Craft tees saying “F--k the Westboro Baptist Church” for our big day in Bonner Springs. When I enter Texas and reflect on it all, I'm thinking about how Warped Tour is welcoming to people of all different backgrounds regardless of religion, sexuality, or mental health capacity. Oh and also, if Megan Phelps sees this and wants to come to Warped, we'll totally get you a ticket for punk rock shabbat and some Necrogoblin and Ice Nine Kills merch.If you are in need of some love, catch the Vans Warped Tour in a city near you.

7.07 SAN ANTONIO, TX 
7.08 HOUSTON, TX 
7.10 NASHVILLE, TN 
7.12 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 
7.13 CAMDEN, NJ (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
7.14 HOLMDEL, NJ 
7.15 HARTFORD, CT 
7.16 BURGETTSTOWN, PA 
7.17 TORONTO, ON 
7.18 CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH 
7.19 CINCINNATI, OH 
7.20 DETROIT, MI (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
7.21 TINLEY PARK, IL 
7.22 SHAKOPEE, MN 
7.23 MILWAUKEE, WI 
7.24 NOBLESVILLE, IN 
7.25 DARIEN CENTER, NY 
7.26 SCRANTON, PA 
7.27 MANSFIELD, MA (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
7.28 WANTAGH, NY 
7.29 COLUMBIA, MD 
7.30 CHARLOTTE, NC 
7.31 ATLANTA, GA 
8.02 JACKSONVILLE, FL 
8.03 ORLANDO, FL (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
8.04 TAMPA, FL 
8.05 WEST PALM BEACH, FL

Kosha Dillz is a rapper on the Vans Warped Tour. He is currently listening to Yungblud's new album on Spotify and randomly met fashion designer Alexander Wang while eating a veggie burger. So far he has played sets on the Journey's Right Foot Stage, the Texas Korner stage and Transform Stage. He has a new music video out for his song What I Do All Day featuring Flynt Flossy of Turquoise Jeep. Tales from the Tents is his perspective from his tent, where is literally writing this right now..​