(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Vans Warped Tour, America's longest-running touring festival. Over the last decade, the tour has persevered through the ups and downs of the music industry and helped break many up-and-coming bands by holding true to its independent spirit and punk rock mentality.
Early confirmations for the 2004 edition, which is set to launch June 25 in Houston, include New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and Coheed And Cambria. Organizers are sorting through thousands of submissions for this year's tour and will finalize the line-up in the coming months.
Tour founder Kevin Lyman notes: "We're looking at 2004 as an opportunity for the Warped Tour to do things we've done well better and to also implement a lot of new things. We want to incorporate more people into the lifestyle to help keep our scene strong." Plans are underway to expand the Take Action social consciousness area and the Reverse Day Care parents tent (which was overflowing with parents in 2003). There's also talk of bringing back the popular Warped Are They Now area as a film exhibit.
The 2004 summer tour will culminate with a once-in-a-lifetime 10-year reunion show on August 20 in Boston. "We've invited many bands from past tours to perform," says Lyman. "We've had a lot of interest and will have confirmations in the coming months."
In preparation for the 2004 tour, the Monster Energy/Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands 7 will be held on December 10 at the Key Club in Los Angeles. At this annual event, unsigned bands Straight Outta Junior High, The Tossers, Montys Fan Club and Much The Same will compete for a chance to play on Warped Tour 2004. In addition, the show will also feature a very special guest.
Next up is the winter debut of Warped Tour Japan on January 10-11 at Studio Coast in Tokyo. Thursday, The Vandals, Bouncing Souls, Slick Shoes, Audio Karate, Useless I.D. and Poison The Well are confirmed for these shows, which will introduce Japanese fans to the tour. Lyman and his crew have teamed with Chi-Com International and Udo Concerts (one of Japan's largest concert promoters) for this special event.
In April 2004, Kung Fu Records will release the Warped 2003 DVD, which features live footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes clips from the 2003 Vans Warped Tour. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen