10 Tips for the Best Vans Warped Tour Experience

There’s always plenty to look forward to in the summertime. The weather is great for hiking, and spending time at the beach. It’s the season for some of the best movie releases. And to top it all off, it’s the longest time off from school.

For music lovers, summer also marks the season for some of the best national and international music festivals, like Vans Warped Tour. Is there anything better than seeing some of your favorite musicians in the flesh? Probably not.

But music festivals aren’t always a walk in the park. We have to grapple with sunburns, cellphones soaked in the rain, dehydration, high prices for food, stolen items, and traffic in and out of the venue.

So how do you stave off the bad stuff to enjoy the absolute best of music festivals like Vans Warped Tour? Try our recommendations below.

1. Check Out Journeys

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Journeys is the Converse of shoes stores, for rockers. In fact, most Converse lovers are familiar with Journeys, because Converse is one of the flagship brands they carry. A part of Journeys’ popularity comes from the fact that they are one of, if not the biggest, sponsors of Vans Warped Tour.

There are two things that set Journeys apart from other brands that work with Vans Warped Tour. The first is that the biggest and most popular bands tend to end up on their stages. The second is that Journeys carry Vans Warped Tour tickets at discounted prices.

2. Wear Sunscreen

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It doesn’t matter what color, race, or ethnicity you are. If you’re planning on heading to Vans Warped Tour, sunscreen is your friend. Even darker skinned folks can peel after spending the day in the Warped Tour sun. We’ve seen endured it! 

There is often a long wait line leading into the venue, and most of the stages are not covered. Put your sunscreen on before you get to the venue. Be sure to get waterproof sunscreen, as another frequent visitor to Vans Warped Tour is the rain.

3. Be Waterproof

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This brings us to our next point: Vans Warped Tour can be very wet business. It may not seem to matter much when your favorite bands are on stage, but it will matter when lightning strikes, and when your camera and cellphone are soaked.

When the rain comes a-pouring, the least concerned concert-goers are the ones who are most prepared. Bring a sandwich bag and a raincoat. These barely weigh anything or take up any space, but provide so much security.

Most venues will ban umbrellas, but security is unlikely to stop you from using them once the rain starts.

4. Hydrate

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In spite of the rain, a common problem we face at Vans Warped Tour is dehydration. Water can be expensive, costing about $3 on average.

But water can also free. Bring a water bottle to the venue, or buy water once and keep filling up the bottle at the water station. If you have a hydration backpack, then even better.

5. Pack Snacks

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Food is probably the most expensive thing you will buy at Vans Warped Tour, next to beer. If you can, sneak in a few granola bars or sandwiches. You’ll be thankful when hunger hits, and you realize one itty-bitty sandwich and a drink is $16.

6. Bring Your Camera

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These days, our smartphones can rival most point-and-shoot cameras in quality and features. Companies have even made lenses to fit your smartphone and up the quality of your pictures. Even so, for an all-day event like Vans Warped Tour, if you have a camera, bring it.

Professional cameras will always outperform a smartphone, no matter how good the smartphone is. But more importantly, you’ll need your phone to find your friends, call a cab, or for emergencies. So using up your battery life to take pictures and record videos might catch up with you later.

7. Use the Schedule


If you’re the type of person who prefers to wing it, then you might want to consider changing your tactic for Warped Tour. There are multiple bands on stage at any given time. Every time you choose to see a band, you’re missing several others.

Unfortunately, you won’t get a hold of that schedule until shortly before arrival, or when you get there. That means you have very little time to decide who to see, and who to leave behind in the dust.

Before you get there, note all the bands you must see, and get familiar with some of the ones you didn’t already know. Then once you have the schedule, take a pen or pencil and plan your day.

Remember to take a picture of your schedule shortly after purchasing, just in case you lose it in the mayhem later on.

8. Take Cash

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Many businesses at the venue will take cards, but not all. And as more and more people use data and cellular service in the same area, technology has a way of failing us. And those handy schedules we mentioned earlier? You typically need cash to purchase them.

If you know you can get a little careless in the heat of the moment, then that’s another good reason to leave the debit and credit cards behind and bring enough cash.

9. Rideshare

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For many concert-goers, driving to and from the venue may seem like the most common-sense choice, but this isn’t always true. In fact, Vans Warped Tour encourages its patrons to take Lyft to the show.

For underage concert-goers, ridesharing means they can get back and forth without their parents. Ridesharing is also the safest option if you and your friends plan to get drunk at the show. And finally, ridesharing can help you beat the traffic in and out of the venue.

10. Pick a Meetup Spot

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Chances are, you didn’t head to Vans Warped tour alone. You likely went with family, friends, or your boyfriend/girlfriend. People get separated in crowds, while buying food, and taking bathroom breaks. Even in groups as small as two, who plan to spend the entire time together, it’s important to pick a meetup spot.

You might think, “Well… I’ll just call them!” But when there are multiple people in the same area all trying to call, tweet, text, and snapchat at the same time, calls stop going through, tweets won’t send and… overall, technology fails us. You can’t go wrong with a meetup spot to head back to in case you get separated.

Have you ever been to Vans Warped Tour or other music festivals? Got some tips we didn’t cover that you think our readers would find useful? Share them in the comments below!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. josiesvoice says:

    Bring 1 roll of toilet paper,feminine hygiene products(if one’s a gal) and an extra piece of underwear. You’re lucky if a portable toilet facility is around but if in case, you do get to use an actual public restroom, bringing these items as a precaution could be useful.You never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Lakewood Amphitheater had a pretty big restroom and managed not to run out of toilet paper, but you are so right. That’s not the case at every venue. Excellent advice, Josie!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. josiesvoice says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

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