Dear Warped Tour: Fucking Sort Yourselves Out

Never before has a festival become the total antithesis of what it was meant to be. In the same way that Download would have flushed its name down the toilet by having Rizzle Kicks headlining, so to has the annual world touring Warped Tour but their controversial move has little to do with their lineup. Defending the move under the always convenient guise of “freedom of speech”, many of those attending Warped Tour have complained about the appearance of a pro-life tent ran by Rock For Life, a group who believe that all life is sacred and that those who choose to go ahead with abortions are the devil reincarnated.

Rock For Life

Now the appearance of this tent didn’t go under the radar of those attending the festival though it seems like it has to the bloody folk in charge of it. In a news piece by Stereogum:

Warped Tour never publicized the inclusion of Rock For Life on their website as a sponsor or as a non-profit, causing many to question Warped’s values not only about the presence of this tent on the tour, but also why they seem to be keeping it private.

So not only is there the dodginess of this incident, as well as allowing  an alleged sex offender perform at their festival the previous year, but the complete lack of responsibility is shocking as this is what Kevin Lyman, the producer behind the whole tour, had to say:

Fuck right off. Punk rock has always been an anti-authoritarian movement, see the likes of Black Flag and The Clash for further proof, so to try and sleaze yourself out of this situation with that excuse is pathetic. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, to have a tent dedicated to an issue where one argument specifically says that a person can’t do what they want with their own body goes against everything that, in my eyes, the punk genre stands for. It’s bad enough that the festival in question has an extremely low representation when it comes to women anyway but to target them specifically with this kind of campaigning, one that Warped Tour can’t try to deny their support of with the total lack of a pro-choice tent, undoubtedly shows the downward spiral their values are continuing to go on.

If Warped Tour want to keep their relevancy, now is the time for them to sit down and realise what they’re all about. After all, it’s meant to be about good music and enjoy yourselves, not scaremongering impressionable teens with inaccurate information from the very people your music actively dislikes.

-Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

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