Punk parents and parents of punks, rejoice: Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman announced this week that his traveling cirque du skinny-jean will offer free admission to parents attending with kids under 18. The policy dates back to 2013—not this year, as others have reported—and initially addressed transportation issues with Warped’s increasingly young audience (read: teens can’t drive). Now, for the third year in a row, parents can chaperone their burgeoning riot kids, gratis, at the tour that once spurred Pennywise, NOFX, and Blink.
The Parent-Friendly Fest has been an apparent success for Warped, and smacks of what’s happening at transnational mega-fests this year. Ostensibly to draw an older crowd (people who can patronize sponsors), Lollapalooza this year picked Paul McCartney and Metallica to headline two of its three nights; Bonnaroo has Billy Joel and Robert Plant, and AC/DC will headline the first night of Coachella. While Warped Tour’s main agenda is probably indeed to preserve its teen audience, it’s also in their interest to draw a crowd that can afford beer, let alone a $40 t-shirt.
Of course, Lolla/Bonna/’Chella will provide entertainment for their geezers. Warped Tour, on the other hand, has aged about as well as mall punk itself (badly), and after multiple deaths and accusations of a woman problem in 2014, the tour’s lineup is a shadow of its former self. There are a few pop-punk highlights at Chicago’s date—The Wonder Years, Koji, Transit, Man Overboard, Citizen—but most bands will be unrecognizable even to Millennials, let alone a liberty-spiked Warped ‘97er. See the full lineup here, and pick up a $40 ticket ($20 if you split it with your kid) to the July 25 Northerly Island date here.