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Kevin Lyman wants North Carolina to be heard (on Warped Tour this year)

Photo of -Nicole Ashley Sgammato of That Girl Interviews, Kevin Lyman founder of Vans Warped Tour, and founder of Shutter 16 Dianna Augustine.

By: Jaime Terry

Kevin Lyman wants North Carolina to be heard (on Warped Tour this year)

On Tuesday, I dialed in for a phone interview with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman. After seeing his response to HB2 via Twitter, I wanted to know if he planned on cancelling the NC date in light of the bill. Lyman assured fans that the concert would still go on. After several artists had voiced their disappointment with the bill and cancelled shows, I was interested to know why he thought it was important to show up and put on a show for NC.

We Came As Romans

Before I get to the interview, I think it is important to let you know that I am completely against any bill or law that interferes with people living their lives harmlessly. This is exactly what civil rights are in place for. It seems that for far too long, politicians have tried to use laws to suppress, harm, and objectify people in horrible ways. What history has taught us is that no good comes from taking away the rights of anyone in America. It was not too many generations ago that we were fighting for equal rights for women and races. Hell, if race laws hadn’t been repealed or change, I would not have legally been able to date, marry or have the amazing family I have with my husband. (I am Caucasian and my husband is African American.

HB2 in North Carolina seeks to take away rights for transgendered individuals in our community. It is flat out wrong and, in my opinion, goes against basic civil rights; I’m not the only one who thinks so. Since the bill passed, rather sneakily I might add, many artists, companies, and individuals have come forward to say that they will not stand for this injustice. So not only is the law harming a group of people, it is also harming our community’s industry and job market. Paypal pulled the projected 400 jobs it planned on bringing to Charlotte.

The Acacia Strain (Vans Warped Tour 2011)

Michael Jordan has held a press conference, threatening to pull the Hornets if the law is not repealed in 30 days. Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas cancelled their North Carolina concert date. Pearl Jam refused to play here and gave a speech during one of their concerts about why they are boycotting North Carolina. Numerous other events and conventions have also cancelled. Though I don’t believe that cancelling events and just never speaking on the issue again is a good route, any support to help get this bill repealed is greatly beneficial.

Lyman’s answer to those worried about the tour cancelling in Charlotte was a resounding, “NO!”

His reasoning for not ditching Charlotte is a great point:  “I believe the old punk way, to hit things head on.” He assured me that he has not shied away from controversial issues in the past. The situation here in North Carolina reminds Lyman of Arizona’s racial issues of the 90’s, which  revolved around the state’s lack of support for a Martin Luther King Holiday. Warped Tour did not cancel Arizona dates and instead helped bring awareness.

Charlotte Warped Tour 2012: Miss May I -135

“These are people’s rights, civil rights, leave people be. My gut tells me the majority of people in NC don’t support this bill,” said Lyman. “I can tell you the vast majority of the younger people don’t. We have to empower them to have their voice. And the only thing that is going to change things is their voice and having a voice.” He wants to continue to “try to empower kids to have a voice and that’s why so many nonprofits have started on the tour.”

Lyman wants fans of the tour to know that Warped Tour is an “accepting tour” and said that “punk has been about a certain amount of tolerance, at least for the last 20 years.”

Everyone is welcome and everyone has a voice, and you should USE IT!!! Speak out against injustices, volunteer for a nonprofit, rally, and vote! Make a difference!

So, to all you metal, rock, and punk fans who travel from all over North Carolina for this great festival, fear not, Vans Warped Tour is coming to Charlotte!

If you would like to get involved, there are many local North Carolina nonprofits that could use the help. Several nonprofits will also be on Warped Tour this year including: Headcount.  From their page: “We stage voter registration drives at concerts and run programs that translate the power of music into real action. By reaching young people and music fans where they already are – at concerts and online – we make civic participation easy and fun.” Warped 2013 146 Shutter 16 photographer Gianna Haley and I have joined up with Music Saves Lives and Warped Tour to host a blood drive in the Charlotte/Huntersville NC area. Be on the lookout for more details as well as a “Which Way To Warped Tour” article that tells the ins and outs of Warped Tour, what to expect, locals bands playing the tour, plus what to do and NOT do at Warped.

See huge gallery of various Warped Tours here.

Some images of Warped in Charlotte, NC.  See you again this year!

warped dia

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Koo Koo Kanga Roo - Warped Tour 2015
Silverstein (2)

Miss May I - Warped Tour 2015
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New Beat Fund (2)
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Beebs (13)
Warped Tour 2014 - Fans/Random

Chiodos - 9

Set it Off -8

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Senses Fail - Vans Warped Tour 2012- Charlotte

Interview time with Less Than Jake

Sleeping With Sirens

The Used

2016 Tour dates:

June 24 Dallas, TX
June 25 San Antonio, TX
June 26 Houston, TX
June 27 New Orleans, LA
June 29 Nashville, TN
June 30 Atlanta, GA
July 1 St. Petersburg, FL
July 2 Orlando, FL
July 3 West Palm Beach, FL
July 5 Charlotte, NC
July 6 Virginia Beach, VA
July 7 Syracuse, NY
July 8 Camden, NJ
July 9 Wantagh, NY
July 10 Hartford, CT
July 11 Scranton, PA
July 13 Mansfield, MA
July 14 Darien Center, NY
July 15 Pittsburgh, PA
July 16 Columbia, MD
July 17 Holmdel, NJ
July 19 Indianapolis, IN
July 20 Cuyahoga Falls, OH
July 21 Cincinnati, OH
July 22 Detroit, MI
July 23 Chicago, IL
July 24 Shakopee, MN
July 26 Milwaukee, WI
July 27 St. Louis, MO
July 28 Bonners Spring, KS
July 30 Salt Lake City, UT
July 31 Denver, CO
Aug. 2 Oklahoma City, OK
Aug. 3 Albuquerque, NM
Aug. 5 San Diego, CA
Aug. 6 San Francisco, CA
Aug. 7 Pomona, CA
Aug. 9 Phoenix, AZ
Aug. 11 Boise, ID
Aug. 12 Auburn, WA
Aug. 13 Portland, OR

Memphis May Fire (12)-2

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