Warped turns 15, rocks on

Dozens of acts confirmed for venerable festival

Flogging Molly, Underoath, Thrice, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, NOFX and Anti-Flag are among the 52 bands confirmed for the 2009 Vans Warped Tour, which begins June 26 in Pomona, Calif., and wraps Aug. 23 in Los Angeles.

Also on the bill for the 15th edition of the punk-leaning tour are Bayside, Bouncing Souls, Chiodos, Escape the Fate, Meg & Dia, Senses Fail, Silverstein and the Ataris.

Warped 2008 was not immune to the economic realities of producing a major festival. Tour creator Kevin Lyman wrote on the Warped site that when the jaunt began, "sales were down almost 25% from 2007."

He wrote: "Was it true? … Was this going to be the end for touring as we knew it? Many people recommended cutting bands, stages, sending attractions home — anything to save money. Gas prices were up, food costs were up, and fewer people were coming to shows. When things got tight, I stood my ground and said I believed in the package and the tour and things would turn around, and they did. What turned it around was your excitement for the bands we booked."

The trek's history is chronicled on "The Warped Tour: A Concert, a Culture, an Entire Generation," a new documentary that can be ordered from the Warped site.

Jonathan Cohen is senior editor at Billboard.
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