Traveling punk festival Warped Tour has experienced its share of sordid allegations over the years. Now, founder Kevin Lyman has said in an interview with The Stranger that going forward, the fest will take precautions to keep fans, artists, and crew members safe. “Next year we’re going to have no kids on the tour,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough if you want to be on this tour and are 21 and under. Whether it’s the artist, crew… anyone.”
“This feel[s] like the year that we’re transitioning into something… else,” Lyman told The Stranger. “I don’t know what it is, because you never know what it is, but I feel like we’re transitioning to something.”
The comments come after Jake McElfresh, who performs as Front Porch Step, performed at the tour’s Nashville stop in July, months after he was accused of sexual misconduct and exchanging sexually explicit text messages with underage fans. Bands and fest-goers protested leading up to his tour slots, and in response Lyman and the fest pulled him from the lineup. Though he wasn’t slated to perform in Nashville, he did, causing backlash from artists and hecklers from the crowd.
Two weeks later, Slaves singer Jonny Craig was accused of sexually harassing a woman selling merch for the band. Slaves was suspended from the rest of Warped Tour’s dates.
Lyman’s rep did not return immediate request for comment.