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

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 is in the final year of its existence and now is the time to go. That’s exactly what I told myself when I was trying to get on this tour and I made a point to make it happen no matter how I had to do it. My last time was really different on the tour in 2015. Instagram stories didn’t exist, SnapChat was on the rise, and the Beatport stage was having DJs on the festival because EDM was becoming a thing. (PS, it still a thing.)

Now it's back to the original idea pure rock and more and more dates are getting close to selling out just like Mountain View and Ventura. Tickets have been seen as high as $200 from scalpers, which makes it more like a college football championship game rather than a punk rock concert. That's not a bad thing. Especially if you are selling merchandise. BTW, I’m Kosha Dillz and I’m on the tour, and I’m gonna give you some blogs from behind the bus. Actually, let's give you Tales from the Tents. That seems better.

As an artist on the tour, I am one of the many members of the traveling circus. Nearly 100 tour buses come into a dusty parking lot and 7:30 am I am up and at 'em. I haven’t been up so early since high school, but it is amazing to feel that crisp morning air. My first day was filled with anxiety. On Wednesday I was still figuring out who I am subletting my apartment to, how I can get my 2007 Honda Accord to my friend's house in Chino Hills to leave for the summer. After 4 days I did nearly 16,000 to 20,00 steps according to my Misfit wearable and Fitbit each day. The first four days of California are like this whirlwind of a heat wave, so I have been covered with more sunblock than the palest friend you ever seen. I know you might wanna know about what it's like to play on a big stage, but I’m starting off for now on topics of my skin care and dehydration, as my nose already looks like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

But to sum it up in my first four days: I almost fell out of my bed in a bandwagon, someone passed out in my tent, police officers watched my merch tent while I performed, I curated Punk Rock Shabbat in San Diego, became a vapor cult meme, and Kevin Lyman rode past me on his bike at 10 am in the morning telling me to pack my tent up and move it to main stage because I was opening up the day before The Maine, All Time Low and Mayday Parade. Those are the moments so far. But more importantly, this is the last ever Warped Tour and it is actually sinking in. Nearly 1000 people are working on this tour. It is like high school all over again, except most of us were kicked out at least once. I can’t wait till I meet all of them.

Overheard at the merch tent:

“Have you ever been to Warped Tour before? 
"No this is my first time."

"Have you ever been here before?"
"No. I wanna see everyone. I never have been here so I want to say that I did it.”

What does your shirt say? 
Satan is my daddy. 

This is the last ever Vans Warped Tour. It is an alternate universe where Twiztid runs the BBQ charity event and creates custom made jerseys for the entire staff. The catering band is just as important as 3OH!3 and 3OH!3 is playing in front of thousands of people every single day. Shiragirl is running an all female fronted stage called the Shiragirl Stage and the entire production staff of 4Fini is all women fronted. Yep. Girls run the show. 

We'll dive deeper into everyone from nonprofits to bands and tour managers in the next coming weeks. For now we have a day off before Phoenix and are enjoying life before performing in 115 degree weather. See you there, yah?

VANS WARPED TOUR DATES
6.28 PHOENIX, AZ 
6.29 LAS VEGAS, NV (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
6.30 SALT LAKE CITY, UT 
7.01 DENVER, CO 
7.03 MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO 
7.05 BONNER SPRINGS, KS 
7.06 DALLAS, TX (PUNK ROCK SHABBAT @ KD TENT) 
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, aka Rami Matan Even-Esh, is a Billboard charting rapper from New Jersey that resides in Korea Town Los Angeles. He recently released a video for his song "13 Reasons Why" with h2the and Melinda Ortner and is performing on the final Vans Warped Tour all summer long, living on a band wagon until August 5. He also is doing a Kickstarter right now for his new album Nobody Cares Except You, and loves watching his friend Riley perform every day when he isn't hustling merch. Learn more at www.koshadillzworld.com.

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