The Vans Warped Cruise Is the Nostalgia Trip We All Need to Take
For those unknowing, Warped Tour is the largest traveling music festival in the United States. The man behind it, Kevin Lyman, has been championing punk music since 1995 — while even giving not-so-punk pop stars like Katy Perry one of her first starts. If you weren’t one of them, in its heyday Warped Tour served as a musical playground and safe haven of sorts for the mall-goth kids in your high school.
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In late 2016, Warped Tour announced plans for their first nostalgia cruise with a carefully curated lineup of artists ranging from Less Than Jake (a band that has played the most Warped Tours in the music festival’s history), Face to Face, the Starting Line to Good Charlotte, among others. Full disclosure: I was one of these emo kids with mall-goth tendencies I mentioned in the paragraph above. Even before this story had come to fruition, I planned on attending based on the lineup alone.
I purchased a ticket with not a single clue as to what I would walk into — and I was greeted with sailor hats that starkly read “EMO,” studded belts, men with black side-parted bangs, and leopard hair-dye jobs. Activities on the boat ranged from a beer pong tournament with Less Than Jake, a belly-flop competition judged by Simple Plan, to Emo Night, the popular traveling dance party catering to the emo set. With endless drinks pouring, you would see bands on the dance floor doing beer funnels or members of Cartel would be singing and dancing on stage to their hit “Say Anything (Else).”
Benji and Joel Madden described it best during their final set to a crowded pool deck of adoring fans, “This feels like a big family reunion.” It really was. For four nights at sea, it was like 2003 all over again. As you’ll see in the photos below, nobody seemed to mind.
A Toast to Warped Tour
To kick off the cruise, PBR sponsored a toast to kick off the evening followed by a performance by Good Charlotte.
Less Than Jake, a ska punk band that has been making music since 1992, plays to a packed theater of cruise-goers the first night of the cruise.
Members of the band Riviera and attendees party in a crowded hottub during Good Charlotte's performance to kick off the cruise.
Bingo Night Pizza
Cruise goers head to the buffet and pile bacon topped pizza on their plates during Bacon and Bingo with Hawthorne Heights.
Bingo is for Lovers
Cruise goers attend Bacon and Bingo with Hawthorne Heights, a band largely known for their breakout song “Ohios is for Lovers.”
The cruise crew often left animal shaped towels each day of the cruise — from crabs to elephants.
Pop Punk Cruise Attire
A cruise-goer wears a Hawaiian Good Charlotte shirt on the pool deck.
The crowd for Bowling for Soup, a rock band from Texas with hits like “1985” and “Girl All the Bad Guys Want.”
Bowling for Beer
An attendee wears a beer guzzler helmet during Bowling for Soup's performance.
Fans of Bowling for Soup hold up love and heart hand symbols while they perform on the pool deck.
During the course of the Vans Warped Rewind at Sea, Vans handed out various merchandise and swag like this vans koozie.
Extra Large Vans
For the Vans Pool Relay, contestants had to wear obnoxiously large Vans slip ons while doing laps in the ship’s pool.
Flop or Flop
Cruise goers compete in the belly flop competition hosted by Simple Plan.
Members of Simple Plan judge the belly-flop competition.
Each night had a designated theme — such as pajama party, goth night, and rep your Warped Tour roots. This in particular was taken during Goth Night at Hawthorne Heights performance.
Mohawks and Mantras
At Emo Night, attendees screamed along to bands ranging from Brand New to the Used.
Emo Night's slogan.
Good Charlotte plays on the main stage to a packed pool deck.
Benji and Joel Madden, members of Good Charlotte.
Reel Big Fish
A fan dances during their set, which consisted of their hits like “Beer” to covering Lit's “My Own Worst Enemy.”
Reel Big Fish frontman Aaron Barnett insisted the fans start a Congo line during their set — and that's exactly what erupted.
It wouldn't be a cruise without excessive drinking. Pictured is a beer pong tournament hosted by Less Than Jake.
The final night of the cruise was Halloween, and the costumes ranged from a Less Than Jake album cover, Ms Frizzle, to this couple wearing orange and purple face paint.