It’s been around since 1995, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
The annual Vans Warped Tour has been a summer music festival staple in the Valley since 1996’s tour schedule started off in Phoenix.
For the 2017 edition of the touring festival, punk rock and alternative still reign supreme. If you've never attended, or haven’t hit Warped since you were dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid, then here's your guide to everything you need to know before heading out to the event.
When and Where: Vans Warped Tour 2017 takes place on Thursday, June 22, at Fear Farm Festival Grounds, 2209 North 99th Avenue. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and the show is scheduled to go till 9 p.m.
The Lineup: Announced via webcast from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, the 23rd annual full music lineup features CKY, the Acacia Strain, GWAR, Hatebreed, and Fat Wreck Chords, plus acts including Strung Out, the Dickies, and Sick Of It All. There’s also Bad Cop/Bad Cop and War on Women, as well as local acts like Futuristic, Playboy Manbaby, and Doll Skin. Check out the full Phoenix date breakdown of bands.
Getting There: The Fear Farm Sports & Entertainment Complex – a.k.a. Sheely Farms, Fear Farm Festival Grounds, or just Fear Farm – is in the West Valley. The 26-acre site is located northwest of 99th Avenue and McDowell Road.
If you’d rather not drive, the light rail is not really an option. Opt for Uber, Lyft (new users get $20 off their first ride with code WARPEDTOUR17), taxis, or the Rally Bus, an independent bus service that provides transportation to and from Warped Tour stops. Check pricing and find more information on the Phoenix Warped Tour Bus page. There will also be a designated drop-off area if someone owes you a ride.
Tickets: Tickets start at $49 for general admission, $59.50 for general admission and a souvenir ticket, or $59.50 for general admission and a subscription to AP Magazine. Find tickets and sign up for TEI workshops (more on that later) on the Phoenix tour date page, the Fear Farm box office, and select Journeys stores (which have a limited amount of discounted tickets). There’s also a free parent ticket program. And heads up, there is no re-entry.
Workshops: Aside from music, the fest features 40-minute workshops put on by The Entertainment Institute (TEI) happening backstage, where "gurus" (that's what they're calling the musicians and artists) will have everything planned from music lessons to in-depth conversations about creating music and life on the road. Gurus include War On Women’s Shawna Potter on “Creating Safer Spaces,” rock photographer Lisa Johnson on “Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience,” and CKY’s Chad Ginsburg, Matt Deis, and Jess Margera on “CKY's Warped Wheel of Wonders.”
Weather: Warped Tour is notoriously hot. Like, really hot. It’s June, it’s crowded, and it’ll probably be a full sun day. Don’t think you’re so punk that you can’t wear sunscreen, and be sure to have plenty of water. There will also be Cool Gear Water Hydration Stations, shade areas, and a slip and slide.
Age Limits: There are none.
Food and Drink: There’s free water for everyone at a Cool Gear Water Hydration Station under the “water” banner. You can fill up water bottles, soda cups, a reusable water bottle available for purchase, or a Camelbak if you have one. There will also be plenty of food vendors and concessions throughout the festival grounds.
Bring: Your energy. This will be a long, fun, and super-hot day. You’re also allowed to bring in some personal items, including a small lightweight backpack, small expandable umbrellas, comfortable sneakers, hats, cameras, Sharpies or markers for autographs, your phone, sunscreen, one sealed bottle of water, and empty Camelbaks. You can also bring in a small, homemade snack.
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Don’t Bring: Your selfie sticks, wallet chains, pocket knives, and recording devices have to stay at home. Some obvious items on the do-not-bring list include alcohol, firearms, weapons, and any illegal substances.
Set Times: The set times for the bands aren’t developed till the morning of the show. If you get there early, head to the main Vans tent for the schedule. Bands are also prone to posting their set times through social media, so maybe take a peek at your favorite performers’ Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this post stated that gates open at 11 a.m. That time was pushed back to 12:30 p.m.