*Couldn’t wait for the summer and the WARPED TOUR* Throwback to your middle school days with me for a minute. Warped Tour. Vans. Simple Plan. Blue hair. Studded belts. Mayday Parade. Etc. Warped Tour is making its final run and is wrapping up its last shows this week as I type.
When Warped announced their final tour and that Nashville was one of the stops – my sister convinced me to go. She’s 29 so the height of all the Warped bands was right in the midst of her high school angst – so of course she had to go see Bert McCracken and Pierre Bouvier, ya know? We bought our tickets, planned our outfits, and packed a gym bag full of snacks and sunscreen and were on our merry way.
First things first: What To Expect.
We read the FAQ’s on Warped’s site to get an idea of how to prepare. Warped Tour is an entire day of loud music and crowd surfing and mosh pits, so you need to prep yourself for maximum band listening. You’re allowed to bring small bags – we got a $6 drawstring gym bag packed with: sunscreen, Goldfish, RXBars, wallets, phones, bandaids (in case of blisters), and 2 empty water bottles. You can bring canned food to donate to skip the line – but also do this because donating is the cool thing to do.
The gates open at 11:00am and you don’t find out the lineups until the day of. There were 6 stages and each band does a 30 minute set. Which, it turns out, is the perfect amount of time for you to hear their popular songs plus a few extras and not get bored like you do at a normal concert. Other than the stages, there are tons of merch tents and vendors to shop at between bands, plus a giant slip ‘n slide.
The schedule is displayed on a huge inflatable, but also spend the $2 and buy a program from a vendor to have. We consulted our schedule 50 times, plus you want to save your phone battery for all those videos and boomerangs you’re about to take.
Tip #1: HYDRATE
Our show was during July in Tennessee. You can bring a reusable water bottle in and there are free hydration stations. Stay hydrated because it’s easy to forget and then you’re going to miss Simple Plan’s set if you pass out from heat exhaustion. Not cool.
Tip #2: HAVE GOOD VIBES
It’s hot outside plus everyone having their own wacky styles equals a lot of wild outfits and skin showing. I absolutely loved all the body confidence and good vibes from Warped Tour. The crowd was so diverse – emo teenagers with their suburban dads escorting them to middle aged tattooed couples and everything in between. Everyone is having so much fun and is so wrapped up in hopping from show to show that there is no conflict or negativity. Plus since it’s such a long day, I didn’t see any drunk people as is the usual concert scene. Everyone was so nice and loving the music and might I say….LIVING THAT VIBE LIFE?!
Tip #3: PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Before you see the schedule – pick out your top 3 bands that are a must see. My sister and I each picked our top 3 which helped us plan out the day when we got the schedule. This way, once you see the lineup, you’ll already have a basis. We had to split up at one point during the day because we wanted to see different bands at the same time.
Tip #4: GET THERE EARLY
The actual shows start around 11am. We were planning to get there right at 11 – unfortunately, because of the location and traffic flow, we were stuck in traffic for an hour longer than expected. So we didn’t even get to the site until 12:30. Make sure to get there early in case your favorite band ends up playing first.
Tip #5 BRANCH OUT
Most likely you’re going to have down time between your favorite bands. Use that to rest your feet (because they will be absolutely dead by the end of the day) and listen to some new bands and visit the smaller stages. We listened to a few songs from bands we weren’t familiar with and I ended up finding some new music that I really liked and wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Tip #6 PERSONAL SPACE IS NOT A THING
It’s already hot outside. Add jumping around and moshing and you can forget any personal space. These people LOVE these bands and want to be as close as possible. That will include putting their sweaty body directly on yours to get closer. Surprisingly, everyone is so hype when the band comes out and for the entirety of the short 30 minute set, that I was never even bothered by this. Also beware of incoming crowd surfers. Stay alert so you don’t take a Chuck Taylor to the back of the head.
Overall, this was suchhhh a fun day. You’re up and about for a solid 10 hours. I was sore for two days afterwards. We could barely walk to the car afterwards. But it’s so worth it.