VANS WARPED TOUR
VENUE: CANTERBURY PARK
JULY 23, 2017
All content by: Patrick Dunn
The Van’s Warped Tour has made its way across the U.S. every summer since 1995 attracting primarily younger fans of punk, ska, metalcore, electronic, pop and rock music. This year’s July 23rd stop in Minnesota was again held at Canterbury Park with favorable weather and provided more music than you could possibly digest over the 9+ hour marathon of diverse artistic expression that included bucket loads of emotion and a fantastic overall vibe. The scope of this traveling festival is daunting with 7 stages (Journey’s Left Foot, Journey’s Right Foot, Mutant North, Mutant South, Skullcandy, Hard Rock, Full Sail University) hosting 60+ bands in each town. The exact time schedule is unknown until you are through the gates and standing in front of the giant inflatable Van’s Wall were you can then plan out your priorities for the day. Amazingly, everything appears to run like clockwork with bands starting right on time and very few noticeable technical issues. The format is actually very effective with most bands performing 30 minute sets, which translates to them performing their best material with an elevated level of energy.
Warped Tour knows their audience and has tailored this event around them even beyond the music by offering merchandise, services and information on relevant topics. Activism has always been a component and this year
“To Write Love On Her Arms” was of particular interest after the recent passing of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. They also put thought into the "kids needing a ride to the show" dynamic and offer free parent access for younger fans plus an air conditioned tent for them called “reverse daycare”, which is simply brilliant. Another great perk is the abundance of signings and meet-n-greet opportunities that take place throughout the day, which has become an exciting and popular fan experience.
For an event of this size, I’ve found there is value in doing a little homework before you go. The Warped Tour website has a 101 that is helpful, plus you can find out what bands are confirmed on the schedule for your town. You can also search YouTube and will find there are fanatics who post videos of their Warped Tour experience plus they offer recommendations on bands you should not miss. I had such a good time again this year and was able to check out 25 bands as you can see reflected in my gallery below.
Bands included in gallery: Bad Cop – Bad Cop, Villain of the Story, The Acacia Strain, Dance Gavin Dance, Sworn In, Alestorm, Fit for a King, Anti-Flag, Too Close to Touch, Hawthorne Heights, Sylar, After the Burial, CKY, Silvertooth (Silverstein / Beartooth combo for select dates), Andy Black, Barb Wire Dolls, Save Ferris, I Prevail, Hands Like Houses, New Years Day, Neck Deep, Bless the Fall, Attila, GWAR, Memphis May Fire