Kevin Lyman, Warped Tour ‘Family’ Members On How the Tour Keeps Rolling

From Billboard Magazine:

Vans Warped Tour founder/producer Kevin Lyman has been working to keep his mobile gang of bands and backroom staff rumbling along since 1995. It’s no small feat, keeping this longrunning institution shipshape in the face of a rapidly changing music industry. Aggressively streamlining the routing, gaining new sponsors and taking a look at the successes within the electronic circuit were all in the 4Fini, Inc. bossman’s bag of tricks this year, but ultimately, as with his other branded touring events, the bands remain the most crucial component.

“It really comes down to your lineup. The fan has so much access to what you’re doing and they are going to look and decide in ten seconds whether they are coming. What we’ve decided to do is reverse it: we’ve decided to announce the young up and coming bands for about three months leading up to the main stage bands so hopefully Warped Tour still has that sense of discovery. Kids warm up to some of these younger bands. It was fun last year to watch people learn about Bad Rabbits. Kids kind of rallied around them and by the time the tour started, they had a nice crowd.”

Once the short list assembled, he creates a playlist, then pictures himself in those venues where he’s traveled with the Vans Warped Tour so many times. “I put it on an iPod, put it on shuffle, hang out for a few hours and think, ‘How would this sound standing in a parking lot?”

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