By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent
July 1, 2017—Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, Florida
Vans Warped Tour: Presented by Journeys
The Vans Warped Tour cruised through town on the cusp of the July 4th holiday weekend to a hot and muggy afternoon. Vinoy Park is located on the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent a city marina, which offered a beautiful of of palm trees, shiny blue water, and lots of holiday boaters passing by the venue. Mother Nature was kind this year because only a few rain drops landed as the festival opened its doors around 12:30 p.m. Most of the day it was overcast and there actually was a breeze. This turned out to be the best year, honestly, for comfort.
Vans Warped offered seven (7) stages this year–Journeys Left Foot, Journeys Right Foot, Hard Rock, Skullcandy, Mutant North, Mutant South, and Full Sail. This year’s event was all about music but also featured merch tents for each band who were often hanging around after each set to autograph goods. There were plenty of tents selling hemp goods, flags, jewelry–you name it. This year there seemed to be more food trucks and booths selling beverages. I was very impressed! There were tents set up with workshops which featured songwriting and music-oriented lessons. There were plenty of vendor booths featuring merchandise from dozens of bands that participated as well as record label booths. There were an impressive number of booths featuring information, literature, and merchandise benefiting charitable causes and non-profits–which is the core belief of the whole Vans Warped Tour. There were food vendors and I have to say the prices were not bad, especially after paying for a totally over-priced corn dog at Mid-Florida Amph last week ($7 and it was maybe 4 1/2 inches). There were even misting tents and areas for parents to hang out while the kids enjoyed the music.
The crowd was very well-behaved but showed a lot of enthusiasm for the bands, despite the miserable heat. People were still dancing and there was a little crowd surfing (not as much as last year) even though the signs clearly note it is prohibited. The heat was probably the most talked about issue at the event since it was sunny all day and St. Petersburg was spared rain, which was quite a blessing and unusual occurrence in July.
The best part about Vans Warped, of course, is the huge fanfare of bands that are playing systematically on the various stages like clockwork. The bands played on time according to the schedule and the choice of bands was really exciting! It is always nice to see up and coming bands on the brink of success early on in their career when they give their fans 110%. There was a lot of jumping, leaping, kicking, hair-flying, and real rock entertainment. I do not know how they crew has been traveling from city to city and pulling this off because they are in a different city everyday. They must be subsisting on little sleep and Monster Energy drink.
I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the Vans Warped Tour and the bands in general. The Warped Tour is always a very inviting, friendly, and well-organized affair. The staff are helpful, the concert goers are polite–I only hope they continue another 20 years because it really is a music and community affair that many look forward to. It is like a music carnival coming to town!
Look for Rock At Night’s interviews with a few of the bands in upcoming articles. You can check out photos of some of your favorite bands below:
** Hot discovery–War On Women
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I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse