Since the tender age of 13 years old it has always been a goal for me to cover the best music festival ever created (AKA Van’s Warped Tour). While my music taste has grown way past just pop-punk and alternative, covering Warped Tour for the sake of journalism has continued to be at the top of my bucket list. When I saw the lineup for the Warped 20th Anniversary Tour, I couldn’t help but think ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if I could fulfill my dream for this one?’ So of course, one of editors (the lovely Maria Gironas) and I agreed to apply for press passes.
Long story short, we got our press passes and I fangirled, a lot. So many thoughts ran through my head – ‘How does this even work?’ ‘Do we go backstage?’ ‘Where are the interviews going to be taking place?’ ‘Who are we interviewing for that matter?’ To be completely honest, here were my expectations for how the day was going to go.
- We were going to get free tickets because we’re super cool writers for MEB.
- We wouldn’t be in the sun that much because we would be busy doing interviews in the tour buses.
- We would get to chill in the press pit for the rest of the set after we took pictures.
- We would be able to fill our bellies with amazing catered food.
- I’d leave with a tattoo (I figured it would’ve been a funny story later on).
I splurged on my ticket, I didn’t leave with a tattoo (probably for the better) and I came back a little more roasted than I had wanted (darn tank top tans), but the experience of having a press badge for Warped Tour was everything I imagined and absolutely not what I expected at the same time. Between running back and forth from different stages to the press tent, the entire day was a giant music filled extravaganza filled with amazing interviews with bands I’ve loved for years (here’s lookin’ at you Mayday Parade and The Summer Set), bands that are a tad out of my music taste range (Chelsea Grin), and bands I can’t wait to see more of (Naked Walrus). I also got to chill with one of my friends in Acidic, had the chance to tell Garrett from The Maine my story of how I randomly met them back in 2008, and even snagged an impromptu interview with The Ready Set (the fangirl Gods were definitely in my favor). The sweat drenched cherry on top of the dusty, sunburnt sundae that is Warped Tour, I got to take photos of two of the most charismatic bands ever – Breathe Carolina and Yellowcard!
Overall, it’s safe to say I successfully kept my fangirl-ness to a microscopic minimum (#baller) and reminded me of the importance of playing it cool as a music journalist (or any journalist for that matter). If you can get to attend Warped Tour as press it is so so SO worth it! My one suggestion apart from not passing out from dehydration (don’t worry, that didn’t happen) is to bring a crapload of snacks because you literally do not have time to eat. Also, go with the flow because your schedule is ultimately determined by someone else. Ultimately, Warped Tour as a press person is an absolute rush and is definitely something that every music journalist should experience at least once in their career. Cheers to the 20th Anniversary of the Van’s Warped Tour!