(CelebrityAccess) — Vans Warped Tour producer Kevin Lyman says he’s taking the show on the road for one last time next year, before retiring the iconic touring festival brand.
In an interview with Billboard, Lyman says a number of factors, including declining ticket sales for the demographic, fewer bands and the changing festival industry all contributed to his decision to pull the plug on the touring fest.
Lyman also noted that after 26 years, he’s ready for something new.
“Before Warped I was on three years of Lollapalooza, so [it’s been] 26 straight summers out on the road,” Lyman told Billboard during a lengthy interview. “Not that I’m completely going anywhere, but traveling around the country with a tour this size in the landscape that we’re in is… to be honest, I’m just tired.”
Lyman also discussed the challenges facing the festival, including trends shifting musical tastes away from the punk sound that has served as the core of the Warped Tour experience.
“We were doing fine, but we had a pretty big dip last year. It was that younger end of the demo. It was an interesting tour — the bands didn’t feel the dip because the fans that were there were super engaged… Everyone’s lining up at 11 o’clock and they don’t want to miss a band. So that [younger] demo changed, but then I talked to people after the tour and bands did great on merchandise, they had great crowds — everyone had good crowds in front of the stage. But that casual fan that’s learning how to go to a music festival — they were not there last summer… It was a really great show, sponsors were happy, but our attendance was down,” Lyman told Billboard.