Salt Lake City says a final goodbye to Warped Tour

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The Maine was one of the many groups to perform in the final Vans Warped Tour performance in Utah. The tour is coming to an end after almost 23 years. (Tre’ Harris)

The Vans Warped Tour opened its first-ever cross-country tour in Salt Lake City in 1995 and became the largest and longest-running music festival in North America. On June 30, 2018, the festival made its last Utah stop.

The festival’s creator Kevin Lyman announced his decision to end the popular show via Twitter last November.

“Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour,” Lyman said. “I truly am happy to get the chance to travel around the country one more time to thank you for your support.”

Warped Tour provided a platform for multiple up-and-coming music artists to launch their careers, including Blink-182, Katy Perry, Green Day and the Black Eyed Peas.

The festival gained a reputation for being a destination summer event among music enthusiasts. 

Many big-name artists are scheduled to perform in the Warped Tour’s last shows, including Simple Plan, Falling in Reverse, We the Kings and State Champs.

“A lot of groups came out and finished with a bang. I respect that,” Austin Loveland, a festival attendee from Nevada, said.

Press Manager Sam Metz said the tour is ending because Lyman has decided to focus his energy elsewhere.

“Kevin just wants to move on with his life. He has done the same things for 23 years. He wants to work on the nonprofit he started to help people fight opioid addiction,” Metz said.

The end of the tour also means the end of an era for many of its employees.

“I’m definitely bummed. I mean, I’ve been working with the Vans Warped Tour since 2010. It’s definitely been a big part of my life. It will be weird without it,” Metz said.

Fans of the tour shared these sentiments and said they would miss the annual roadshow.

“It is honestly really heartbreaking that this is the last year, but they finished it right,” said Warped Tour fan from Michigan Kate Johnson.

The 2018 Vans Warped Tour will make its final stop on August 5 in West Palm Beach, Florida.