With or Without Warped, Our Emo Hearts Will Go On

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By Madi Mead

From the moment I crossed into the city of Ventura, CA, traffic ensued. Most of the time, it could take up to 45 minutes just to drive three miles. However the morning of Warped Tour, as I inched closer and closer to the venue, my anticipation grew as I saw crowds begin to walk toward the gate. When I finally came across a parking spot about a mile from the entrance, it was time for me to enter what could possibly be my last Warped Tour ever.

Although I missed some of the opening bands, as well as some of my favorites, there were still plenty of opportunities to dance my feet off throughout the day. During my time at Warped, there was never a quiet or dull moment. There was a constant heart-pounding sound coming from the stages as I made my way through the crowds.


The festival caters to such a wide variety of people, which encourages attendees to express themselves in any way they please. No one is afraid to be themselves at Warped Tour, and I saw individuals of all kinds as I walked through the fairgrounds. Warped has created a safe space for all. Whether you are in the middle of the crowds, on the stage, or somewhere in-between taking photos, Warped has created a community of individuals so different from each other, but they all seem to come together for one mutual thing: their love for music. It’s always such an incredible moment to feel that pop-punk music pulsate throughout your entire body, no matter where you are on the festival grounds, surrounded by people who love it just as much as you do.

Though my first time at Warped was also, unfortunately, my last, I enjoyed every bit of it. From the sweaty crowds, to the sunburns, and of course the obvious dehydration, each were worth every moment to get those few hours of dancing and singing along to my favorite bands. Warped left not just me, but every single one of us feeling exhausted and exhilarated, all at the same time.