Sunday, July 26, 2009

Conversations on the road...

As I mentioned in a previous entry, there are so many people that help pull Warped Tour together each year. Each of them bringing their unique talents together to pull off an extraordinary show every day.

When you think about a festival event, your first thought is probably the musicians. The musicians on this tour are exceptionally talented, but they wouldn't be able to bring their music to the fans if it weren't for all the other players.

Here's just a ROUGH idea of who helps pull together a two month long, daily festival tour:

Kevin Lyman - he's the creator of Warped Tour. Came up with the idea for the festival 15 years ago. The tour originated with only 13 there are over 60!

Production - Kevin's assistants and front-of-house production. There are about 10 on that side of things. They make sure bands are taken care of, that they have water, that shows are running on time with the daily schedules they create, etc. I've mentioned them before. Exceptional staff.

Sponsorships - there are two people that ensure sponsors are set up on site, happy and getting the traction they want/expect.

Security - these are COOL guys. I had the pleasure of riding around on the security cart with DJ (head of security) last night to help make sure everyone got out okay. For a guy running security, he's not what you'd expect. Easy going, calm, collected and so jovial! I guess it's because he's seen it all. But he says, "the fans are great, we try to take care of them and they take care of us." He supervises a HUGE venue provided staff each day. Trains them each morning and monitors them throughout the day.

Catering - it's true...I LOVE this staff. So cool. TWO full-time coffee folks, a head caterer, an executive chef, a vegan chef, and 12 cooks. There is also front-of-house catering (Robin) who works with 4 full-time servers to pull in volunteers (CONCERT GOERS) to help serve meals each day. In exchange for their volunteer work they get to go stand back stage at a show of their choice. They pull in about 20 for lunch and another 20 for dinner.

My absolute favorite part about the catering staff is the volunteer band that tags along the entire tour. They find a band each year to help run the band BBQ (which takes place each night after the show). The band can play during the day and sell their merch, but are not paid by Warped (meaning they travel around, pay in all weather conditions for FREE to get their music out there). They make all of their money through tips given to them from other bands/production/BBQ attendees. Really really cool. That dedication, it's so inspiring.

There are stage managers, tour managers, sound folks, merch folks, nonprofits, etc. There are more than 600 people that help build the Warped show each day (in under 3 hours) and tear it down in less than an hour and a half. It's the bands and the people behind the scenes, that make this show so great. And we're so lucky to have the fortune of spending a lot of time speaking with.

Stay tuned for some of their video interviews... :)

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