More Tales From the Tents: An Insider's View Into the Final Warped Tour
We are cruising in to the middle of Vans Warped Tour for 21 straight shows. It's hard to imagine that I haven’t woken up this early every day to do something since I was in high school. At 8 am I would go wait for the bus outside my street on Larchmont, NY, and now it's usually 8 am that we are out of the bus. We go to our trailer and load in our tents and merchandise bins and wait for a guy named Chuck to strategically place us as the city gets built in a matter of hours. We don’t get to sleep in. The doors need to be open by 11. All the gear needs to be loaded off the trucks so we help people unload a semi truck, like Charlie Griggs for Palaye Royale or Edo from Bowling For Soup. They are rocking it when rock stars aren't rocking anything.
After hauling our stuff wherever it needs to be, our class assignment is posted at 9:30 when the performance schedules get printed for the day. After that we go into the lines after chugging some water and beginning to walk around with a sign screaming to people about how seeing us perform at 11:45 am is life changing (like assuming we survive), and I proceed to sell CDs and pickle pins while advertising my set time. Others like Yungblud choose to run around with a megaphone shouting his set time (even though he just charted No. 8 on Billboard, he is still mega-phoning it) plus the headliners from the Main stage like the Maine are doing 2 CDs for $5, right next to the Hollywood Blvd hustlers that are following the tour selling autographed CDs. It is like a circus.
So yes, I am in my 30s selling my a $5 pickle pins and taping posters to garbage cans while you may be taking your kid to camp. Thank you for wishing me the best of luck. I also had an album that charted on Billboard but no one knows, and no one cares lol. There is no reason to be mad, because Warped Tour doesn't let you be a rock star even though deep down you might've thought you were.
There's a theme of no rock stars at the Warped Tour and it shows you how the merch person is just as important as the lead singer as is the bus driver as is the street team person with posters. No one is special and everyone has to work. Some of us like myself have four jobs (tour manager, merchandise, performer, production) and some have more. A guy named Shane built the tents on set up crew and then later sold two dollar schedules as well as run the Transform stage and then breaks everything down, while also performing with the LIE Crew (Learning Is Endless). Riley is tour managing Chase Atlantic and performing every day on Full Sail University stage. It is rare you meet someone who isn’t willing to do three jobs for the price of one.
But isn't this rock n' roll, so why aren't there any rock stars?
Because it still is like high school. Some of us are more popular than others, which means more shows are packed than others. At the end of the day we are just nearly 700 sexually frustrated people searching to find a connection, or at least an Internet connection. Toronto is coming up and each show is still selling out, but I have personally chosen to play a sold out show with Bowling For Soup at Skully's Diner tomorrow, because my addiction has unfortunately put me behind bars too many times to make it a financial success (we'll get into that next week and chat about the Fend App and MusiCares).
Besides, why wouldn't you want to open a sold out Columbus Ohio show with the greatest band in the world? (That is their selling point, which helped me start telling people I am the greatest Jewish rapper on the tour, even though I am the only one.)
The sad reality is that this tour is half way done and five shows have sold out. Interrupters and Underoath are here and Hatebreed just left, but let's not forget that New Found Glory is coming soon.
Kosha Dillz is a rapper on the Vans Warped Tour who has played stages from Full Sail University and Journey's Right Foot to the Transform Stage and Texas Korner. He has a new song coming out on July 27 featuring Ballyhoo! and also made a cool new Warped Tour playlist you can stream below. His music video for "What I Do All Day" ft. Flynt Flossy is so tight and he raps with Kaiser Solzei every day on tour too. He was sad that England didn't win the World Cup and does Punk Rock Shabbat every Friday on this tour.
7.17 TORONTO, ON
7.18 CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH
7.19 CINCINNATI, OH
7.20 DETROIT, MI - SOLD OUT!
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
7.28 WANTAGH, NY
7.29 COLUMBIA, MD
7.30 CHARLOTTE, NC
7.31 ATLANTA, GA
8.02 JACKSONVILLE, FL
8.03 ORLANDO, FL
8.04 TAMPA, FL
8.05 WEST PALM BEACH, FL