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Van’s Warped Tour Winding Down

The “tour that won’t die,” the rambling flotilla of punk, Van’s Warped Tour is now a venerable institution, in the final 10 days of its 11th year. I vividly remember broadcasting for Cleveland’s WENZ (The End) from the first and second installments of the tour, the sun beating on the blacktop of Nautica, bodies dropping off the rock wall, band after band playing fast and hard as the skaters ramped and flew.

This ragtag extravaganza, a self-professed “all-day punk rock summer camp featuring the best in underground, independent and free-minded music and action sports,” has become what Rolling Stone calls “America’s most successful festival.”

The following cornucopia of bands are hitched to the wagon:

The Offspring
Transplants
Fall Out Boy
My Chemical Romance
Strung Out
Thrice
Dropkick Murphys
No Use For A Name
The Starting Line
Senses Fail
Hawthorne Heights
MXPX
All-American Rejects
Avenged Sevenfold
Matchbook Romance
Atreyu
Silverstein
The Unseen
Bedouin Soundclash
Tsunami Bomb
The Bled
Strike Anywhere
The Explosion
Underoath
Another Damn Disappointment
Valient Thorr
Riverboat Gamblers
The Matches
Hidden in Plain View
Plain White T’s
Stutterfly
The Twenty Twos
From First to Last
The Actual
Dead Poetic
Seventh Echo
My Finest Hour
The Uncertain 5
The Culling Song
Abrasive Wheels
Open Hand
Roses Are Red
Bedlight for Blue Eyes
I Voted for Kodos
Emery
Boys Night Out
Hopesfall
Yesterday’s Rising
Gatsby’s American Dream
Armor For Sleep
Between Home and Serenity
Greeley Estates
So They Say
The Receiving End of Sirens
Scary Kids Scaring Kids
My American Heart
Big D & The Kids Table
Bleed The Dream
The Feds
Opiate For the Masses
Bad Fathers
Breathless
Eternia
Dark Starz
Arcane
Greans
Natives of the New Dawn
Hangar 18
Glue

and these dates remain:

Aug-5 St. Petersburg, FL Vinoy Waterfront Park
Aug-6 Pompano Beach, FL Pompano Beach Amphitheatre Lot
Aug-7 Orlando, FL Tinker Field
Aug-8 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Lot
Aug-9 Virginia Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Lot
Aug-10 Washington, D.C. Nissan Pavillion Lot
Aug-11 Scranton, PA Montage Mountain
Aug-12 Camden, NJ Tweeter Center
Aug-13 New York City, NY Randall’s Island
Aug-14 Englishtown, NJ Old Bridge Township Raceway
Aug-15 Northampton, MA Northampton Fairgrounds

But the tour is more than just music and skinned knees, there is a bonanza of attractions, activities and charities traveling with the tour:

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

Cingular/Samsung Deliver Big Warped Perks: Samsung and Cingular Wireless will host the following exclusives for VWT fans:

Show Me Your Cingular: At the Cingular Lounge, just whip out your Cingular phones for “ultra” exclusive access (for you and a friend) at the Cingular Lounge where you can chill and enjoy free beverages courtesy of Monster Energy Drinks!

“Skip the Line” Gate: Look for the “SKIP THE LINE” banner, flash your Samsung or Cingular phone, and go straight into the concert without having to wait in line.

Special Updates and Promotions via Text Message: One of the unique aspects of the VWT is the rotating performance schedule and daily activities. To help fans get the most bang for their buck, Samsung and Cingular will provide performance and autograph session schedules and special promotions, such as the scavenger hunt for prizes and last-minute VIP seating on stage, via special text messages. To opt-in, concert-goers can simply sign up for their particular city at warpedtour.com, www.rucingular.com or receive the text code once at the concert venue.

Samsung/Cingular Signing Stage: Fans can meet their favorite bands and get autographs on limited edition VWT credentials and posters designed by renowned rock-poster artist Brian Ewing. Participating bands include Dropkick Murphys, Hawthorne Heights, MxPx, Thrice and All American Rejects.

Ink Your Phone Booth: Samsung and Cingular created the Ink Your Phone Booth where tattoo artists will personalize fans’ phones with an array of designs. While in the booth, fans can purchase limited edition Brian Ewing-designed VWT hats and T-shirts and register with the Samsung Fun Club for exclusive downloads and contests. Proceeds from Ink Your Phone Booth merchandise sales will benefit the LA-based youth organization My Friend’s Place, which assists homeless and high-risk youth and their children to build stable, self-sufficient lives.

Reverse Daycare Tent: Since parents and their teens don’t always have the same taste in music, concert-goers can drop off their parents at the air-conditioned Reverse Daycare Tent. While teens are rocking out to their favorite bands, parents can enjoy a cold beverage, a massage and a movie with the help of soundproof headphones.

Fuse: Fuse is fully Warped this summer starting with “Warped Wednesdays.” Every Wednesday, all summer long between 12 PM and 4 PM (ET), Fuse will feature the hottest bands on the tour, hosting hours of music videos and sharing Warped road stories. Additionally there will be Warped-related programming on “Steven’s Untitled Rock Show,” “Daily Download,” and “Dedicated Live.”

PlayStation: PlayStation is on the road once again with the Vans Warped Tour. Tour-goers can sample the latest and soon-to-be-released software titles for PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, as well as join the portable entertainment revolution by checking out the new PSP (PlayStation Portable) entertainment system. The Vans Warped Tour is one of the few places where gamers will get hands-on time with PSP and the hottest software titles on the market. Year after year, PlayStation and the Vans Warped Tour bring you the best of the punk rock lifestyle.

Amateur Skate Jam: 2005 marks the first Amateur Skate Jam, presented by Vans and Lost Energy Drink. This is a daily contest where pro-skaters will judge 20 local amateur skaters in each market who will compete for various levels of prize money. Skaters must register in advance at their local Vans store.

Fanscape: Fanscape is the official grassroots marketing company for the Vans Warped Tour and proliferates the Warped lifestyle and message to millions of people around the world throughout the year. During their three years working on the Vans Warped Tour, Fanscape has helped grow the Warped Tour mailing list and produce its recurrent online newsletter, the Vans Warped Tour online fan database has grown to nearly 400,000 people. Fanscape also brings in tour sponsors and syndicates the Warped news, music, artist features and contests to dozens of music, punk rock and lifestyle destinations on the web.

Energizer e2 Titanium Encore: At each tour stop, one band will be chosen to play 10 minutes longer that day. Each band will be selected in advance through voting held on the “Contests” section of warpedtour.com.

Girlz Garage: The 2005 Girlz Garage is bigger and better than ever. The Shoe Gallery has returned where personalized Vans — each individually designed by Warped bands — are auctioned off for charity at warpedtour.com. In The Chop Shop, fans can use spray paint, scissors, needles and thread to turn your boring shirt into a DIY fashion find. Proceeds made in the Chop Shop will go to 1-800-Suicide and other teen suicide hotlines. The Girlz Garage will also have various raffles for a Hooligan Girlz Garage skate deck, Ernie Ball Girlz Garage guitar and other prizes from Hurley, Le Tigre, DKNY Jeans, Garnier Fructise, Tampax and Bic. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Girls Inc. Organization.

Freestanding within the Girlz Garage is the Keep A Breast Organization where they will have signature breast casts on display in connection with their efforts to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

The Tsunami Relief Project: The Tsunami Relief Project will raise awareness and funds to help those affected by the tragedy. If you’d like to help out in any way, please contact them via the link below.

truth: truth is once again hitting the road this summer to reach out to thousands of teens, traveling with signature orange state-of-the-art truth trucks rigged with DJ decks, video monitors and gaming systems. The truth crew will provide anti-tobacco messages in cool settings, engaging in peer-to-peer communication. Each stop will feature impromptu rap sessions, join-in free-style demos and giveaways of popular truth gear such as hats, flip flops, wallets and t-shirts, including two limited edition shirts designed exclusively for this year’s initiative by pop culture artists Jeff Soto and Typestereo. Scratch lessons will be available through the Scratch DJ Academy, a group of DJs who show newcomers the fundamentals of DJing, scratching and mixing music.

Punk Rock Museum: The 500 Greatest Shots Of Rock ‘N Roll Photography Collection: 60 of the best punk rock ‘n roll pictures from some the world’s top musical photographers will be on display featuring rock stars such as Billy Idol, The Sex Pistols, Sum 41, the Ramones, The Damned, Debbie Harry and Blondie, as well as a special tribute to legendary music club CBGB’s and Punk Magazine. Based in Las Vegas, the privately held collection features the work of rock photo legends Bob Gruen, Mick Rock, Roberta Bayley, Richard Godlis, Punk Magazine founder John Holmstrom, author Steve Blush, David LaChappelle and many others.

Alternative Press: Visit the AP booth for the official guide to the tour.

Download Punk (the official provider of digital downloads for the tour’s emerging artists): Fans can head to the store front to find digital releases from the up and coming artists as well as check out the artists playing the Hot Topic Kevin Says and Ernie Ball stages, keep up on news from the tour, download free tracks, buy exclusive tracks and sample songs from full albums before purchase. Downloadpunk.com is an online music retailer geared specifically towards serving the punk community with digital downloads. They carry the deepest punk, hardcore, emo, metal and indie catalogs. The site currently features over 300 labels and more than 60,000 songs.

Take Action! At Warped: In an effort to “create a better world, one voice and one action at a time,” Take Action! has teamed with the Vans Warped Tour to once again present the Take Action! stage. In addition to spreading the Take Action! message of personal empowerment, Take Action! is once again teaming up with our benefiting charity, The National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE (nationwide hotline that provides 24 hour, confidential attentive help for people in a crisis highlighted by and often leading to suicide, depression, drug abuse, domestic abuse, etc.). This year’s Take Action! area features a variety of support and community outreach for non-profits that feature literature, outspoken bands, petitions, voter registration etc.

Hurley Stage: This is the second largest stage on the tour and features bands such as Bedouin Soundclash, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Bled, Motion City Soundtrack, Over It, Mae, Funeral For A Friend, Reggie & The Full Effect and others.

Hot Topic Kevin Says Stage: This stage features a wide variety of undiscovered, up-and-coming, and prominent bands from underground and independent music scenes across the country and the world. For the first time since the inception of the “Kevin Says Stage,” the stage was booked in advance through an application process in which bands were picked for their work ethic, talent, and uniqueness. Ranging from punk to ska, from hip hop to hardcore, the Hot Topic/Kevin Says Stage has become a hot spot for discovering new music on the tour this year.

Ernie Ball Stage: In its ninth year, the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands offers bands from across the country an opportunity to compete for various prizes such as: spots on the Ernie Ball stage, gear and instruments, as well as recording contracts.

Shiragirl Stage: In the words of Shiragirl: “If u need a reminder of why girls kick ass, stop by the Shiragirl Stage this summer- featuring the hottest in-yr-face potty-mouthed rocker chix screamin their mind and doin their thing. all-girl and girl-fronted bands, all different soundz! brought to u by the feisty electro grrrls Shiragirl, yes the same crazy ladiez who crashed Warped last year in their hot pink bus. DIY lives!”

Fanzine Region: This area is dedicated to the numerous fanzines that have supported the tour throughout the years and dedicated their time to VWT bands. Fanzine editors will have the chance to exhibit their fanzine in their city, providing samples and giveaways, zine history, as well as information on subscriptions and zine distribution locations.

Locker Box: An avid VANS WARPED TOUR fan arranged this much-needed VWT Locker Check-In area. It allows concert-goers the chance to collect items and merchandise and then check it in when it’s too much to carry. Coats, backpacks, bags, cell phones, shirts, hats, pants and shoes are all welcome.

CHARITIES

Hollywood Heart: Hollywood Heart is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing recreational opportunities through a summer camping program for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. A portion of every ticket goes to benefit this charity. In 2003, the tour’s ticket sales brought Hollywood Heart $116,000.

Land Mine Victims: The number of people who become disabled from landmine explosions is increasing. Cambodia is one of the most land mine-laden countries in the world. There is an estimated 80-100 million landmines around the world that are still active. Land mine injuries can lead to amputation, severe disabilities and psychological trauma, which require extensive rehabilitation. Children make up a considerable portion of land mine victims and die more often than adults. The Vans Warped Tour will encourage concertgoers to donate crutches to benefit these victims in Cambodia. Donations will be given directly to hospitals in Cambodia.

Stand Up For Kids: Stand Up For Kids is a national, non-profit, homeless teen and youth outreach charity. They actively search the streets of our nation looking for homeless and runaway kids, offering them friendship, a healthier lifestyle, sobriety, job training, counseling referrals, food, shelter and a place to clean up. This is done through art therapy. Most kids on the street have extreme artistic talent to offer and art has become a universal language for them to express themselves and rehabilitate. It’s Stand Up For Kids’ mission to prevent risk runaways, show love to kids, make them feel valued and provide kids with the opportunity and assistance needed to turn their lives around.

Punkvoter.com: Punkvoter.com is one of several political advocacy groups on board for the Vans Warped Tour. The booth will offer free stickers, pins and information. Fans will also be able to register to vote.

TJ Martell Foundation: Through this charity auction, the top bidder receives two tickets to the festival and will watch their favorite Vans Warped Tour band perform from the best seats in the house–on stage. Proceeds from the auction benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. Almost $12,000 was raised through the auction.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus:
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit, mobile recording studio outfitted with traditional musical instruments as well as current technological advances. Once lucky contest winner will receive the opportunity to be a Vans Warped Tour correspondent for their city in association with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

Boarding For Breast Cancer/BBC: Boarding For Breast Cancer (B4BC) is a non-profit, youth focused, education, awareness and fundraising foundation. Their mission is to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and the value of a healthy lifestyle. The Vans Warped Tour Girlz Garage area will help further education by bringing the breast cancer issue to the forefront. Boarding For Breast Cancer has brought in female band members and athletes to help educate girls on sports, health issues and representatives offer advice and literature on breast self-exams.

Vans Warped Tour going GREEN:
The Vans Warped Tour is going green and helping to educate concertgoers about what they can do to improve life and the environment. The tour will be using “tree free” paper made from hemp/flax/post-consumer materials for production office needs. The tour will operate with Bio-Diesel running its generators. In addition, catering will use 100% post consumer cutlery, paper plates and cups and encourage sites to arrange for more recycling containers at the tour stops.

Bikers Against Child Abuse/BACA: Proceeds from the tour’s Button Booth (workshop for making customized buttons using photos, artwork, band autographs, etc.) go to supporting this organization. BACA is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who support abused children if they are testifying against an adult in an abuse situation. BACA exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children.

Other charities represented at various Vans Warped Tour stops include: ACLU, AK Press, Amnesty International, Anti Racist Action, Center for Environmental Citizenship, Citizens to Restore Fairness, Cleveland Men Against Sexism, Common Ground Sanctuary, Contact USA, rimethlnc, Crisis Link, The Trevor Project, Educate 4 Justice, John Walsh, EnviroCitezen, Food Not Bombs, Grassroots, Indie Grrl, Kids Konnected, LIFEbeat, Life Line, Lokahi Outreach, Mother Jones, Pr Choice America, National Hopeline network, Not in Our Name, NYCA, Oxfam International, Planned Parenthood, Please for Peace Foundation, Positive Youth Foundation, RAINN, Rock The Vote, SEAC, Vegan Action, Yellow Ribbon and more.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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