This is Tour Manager James checking in from the Orlando, FL date of Van’s Warped Tour 2012. For the last month, I have been riding aboard the OurStage.com tour bus with Larry G(ee) and his band, as well as a few stage hands, and thought it might be a nice change of pace to shed some light on my day-to-day life here on the world’s largest traveling music festival.
Every morning, I rise around 7:00am and check with our driver (Jens) to learn about our arrival time and whatever information he is able to offer about the venue. We arrive and I wake up Larry so he and I can begin promoting the day’s performance. We stroll the venue, setup merch, locate stages, promote on social networks, drink coffee, and sweat the equivalent of roughly two gallons of water before getting the day’s set times at 10am. Once that happens, the grounds become a rampage of managers and promo kids doing their best to get the word out about their act’s time. It’s hectic, it’s crazy, it’s Warped before gates.
Once the gates open, the real day can finally begin. The band and I regroup from our morning promotion then set off to promote within the gates until (and usually after) the performance. When Larry has somewhere to be, something gig-related to do, or when the band is in need, I’m there. When they perform, I’m there both as manager and photographer. On the rare occasion the day allows for me to have some time to explore the grounds, I do my best to catch as many sets as possible (most of which I’ve shared on the OS Warped Tumblr) and, if at all possible, shower.
Evening brings a cooler temperature, but our efforts never end before dark. I assist Larry and his band as needed, begin packing up our belongings, and do my best to catch a glimpse of the sunset before diving into some editing work on the day’s photos. It’s tiring, and most of the time you want to sleep for days on end, but the night Warped Tour crew BBQ keeps us up and lifts even the lowest spirits. It’s one of those rare moments when everyone from main stage to catering is really together, and not one has passed that’s let us down.
After all this, Larry, his band, the crew, and I return to the bus and exchange stories before bed. It’s a long, long day, but one you’re always excited to begin again in the morning.
I’ll be writing another entry next week highlighting my favorite moments of this tour, but for now, here are a few of my favorite images thus far:
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