Warped Tour Founder Speaks About Possible Age Restriction

The 2015 Vans Warped Tour will forever be known as the year that sexual allegations and harassment claims marred its reputation. For years, the worst things that had been said about the traveling rock show was how the lineup “sucks” and how all the bands “blow.” This year, things took a turn for the worse with all the allegations surfacing on the internet since before the tour even officially began.

Now that this year’s disgraced incarnation of the tour has come to an end, founder Kevin Lyman has spoken out about one main suggestion he might put into effect in order to secure the safety of future concert-goers.

In an interview with The Stranger, Seattle’s “only newspaper,” Lyman revealed a plan to put an age restriction on the tour.

“Next year we’re going to have no kids on the tour,” he explained to the publication. “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.”

At first glance it would appear that Lyman meant that there will be an age restriction for those who want to go to the shows alongside the artists and crew. The tour founder later cleared his statement on Twitter by telling those concerned that the age restriction would only be for the bands and crew members working the tour.

The massive clean up comes on the heels of a lot of backlash Lyman got from how he dealt with all the sexual allegations from those involved with the tour.

The worse offense being when he allowed Front Porch Step aka Jake McElfresh to perform at the Acoustic Basement tent in Nashville. The singer has been pulled from the lineup following allegations of sexual harassment against underage girls. But for those attending the Nashville date, they were surprise and shocked when, without any notice, McElfresh was added to the stage lineup.

To say no one was amused by the turn of events was an understatement; artists scheduled to perform on that stage that day dropped off almost immediately and took to Twitter and other forms of social media to get the word out.

Back in May, another Warped Tour-bound band, Set It Off announced that they had kicked out their bassist after finding out that he had been making sexual innuendos around female fans, inappropriately touched others, and sent weird messages online to females.

Then, there was YouTuber Austin Jones who was kicked off the tour for allegedly asking girls to send him videos of themselves twerking because it would “make him happy.” He also lied about his age at the time. Jones’ antics almost resulted in all the YouTubers being kicked off the tour completely, but Lyman quickly revealed he acted irrationally and allowed all but Jones back on the  tour. (Personal note: the tour could have done without them.)

But if those cases weren’t enough, a couple of weeks before the tour concluded, another 2015 Warped Tour band, Slaves was kicked off the tour when it was reported that frontman Jonny Craig had harassed the band’s merchandise worker while drunk. Immediately after it was reported, there was a town hall meeting scheduled and Slaves was kicked off the tour. Soon after the incident, they were dropped by their booking agency and all their 2015 tour dates were suspended.

While we have no suggestions as to how this can all be remedied, it will be interesting to see how Warped Tour 2016 will try to avoid all the bad press and missteps it has encountered this past summer. Even though we have been going to these shows since we were 15 years old, it might be a good idea to put an age restriction on it (see Ultra Music Festival).

From experience, 15-year-olds are not exactly known for thinking straight when the lead singer of their favorite band is right there and some scuzzy guy is offering to let you meet them for “a price.” But that’s just our perspective on the matter.

Kevin Lyman Responds to Front Porch Step Performance

We’re pretty sure that at this point in time, everyone has heard that Front Porch Step (Jake Mcelfresh) was allowed to perform at the Acoustic Basement stage on the Vans Warped Tour in Nashville yesterday (July 1). This resulted in several artists dropping off the stage (Aaron West) and others telling attendees to stay clear from that stage during the set (Senses Fail).

Almost as quickly as it was revealed that he would be performing, the internet went crazy over his presence at the festival. Accusations began that it was all a stunt to sell more tickets to the show that day or it was the festival condoning the presence of an alleged pedophile at a show full of minors.

To say that Warped Tour concert-goers (or now former concert-goers?) were upset about the singer’s inclusion on the line-up would be one of the biggest understatements of the decade. We’ve read too many articles from writers giving their opinions about the situation in the last 24 hours.

Things definitely got heated with many commentators on those posts repeatedly calling Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman an “asshole” and telling him to “go fuck himself” and straight up telling him he needs to be “kicked out of the scene.”

Around the time that the video footage of Mcelfresh surfaced online, Lyman went to Alternative Press and spoke to them, exclusively, about letting Mcelfresh onto the Nashville line-up. We’re sure that just ignited people even more than before.

According to Lyman, it was part of Mcelfresh’s “therapy.” Lyman claims he spoke with Mcelfresh’s counselor who recommended that playing a set at the festival would help with the singer’s recovery.

“He was only supposed to be here long enough to play his show,” Lyman revealed to Alt Press.

“[But] the weather today has been putting us behind schedule. He wasn’t added to the tour, so those claims that he was ‘added to sell tickets’ are completely groundless.”

Lyman also pointed out that Mcelfresh still has not been formally charged with any misconduct, which led to him agreeing with the performance.

“If he was a legitimate danger to anyone, he simply would not have been here.”

We beg to differ and apparently the court of opinion has already ruled him as guilty.

Kevin Lyman Reveals Plan to Make Warped Tour a Safer Place

Kevin Lyman lays out his plans to make Warped Tour a safer place (Op-Ed)

Over the past couple of months, Vans Warped Tour head honcho Kevin Lyman has been under a lot of scrutiny follow a handful of sexual allegations against artists (and a YouTuber) he had tapped to play this year’s tour.

After trying to figure out ways to combat all the hate from fans, or former fans at this rate, of the festival, Lyman began to write a three-part Op-Ed for Alternative Press, addressing the issues.

In the most recent installation, in which he reveals he complete by-passed Op-Ed two, he revealed his plan which he hopes will help prevent all of these types of cases and make the scene a lot more safe for those underage fans attending.

Check out his five point plan below and if you want to help out in any way, shoot Lyman a tweet or something.

1. At this point we are reaching out to many organizations that focus on sexual abuse, cyberbullying, predator awareness and teen suicide to encourage them to come out to Warped Tour this summer. Pick up their information and put it in a safe place, use it if you ever need to.

2. I have started to speak to many artists, managers, labels and other people in our world about shooting a number of PSAs for a soon-to-be-named program. I will ask those who choose to participate to have them on a splash page for anyone trying to enter their sites. It may get repetitive, but at this point, it’s needed.

3. Being In A Band 101: We are not preparing our bands for this world. I am developing a course that any band or artist will be required to attend before they are put on a national tour. This course will be taught by professionals in the field of adolescent behavior, artists who have been there, have possibly had transgressions and how to avoid the mistakes they made, with the possibility that the “scared straight” approach will help with people entering our world. I will be speaking to people all summer to get them onboard. Hopefully, they will agree this course is as important as social media promotion 101—or some other things young bands have to learn.

4. In addition, I am going to reach out to YouTube, Twitter and the management companies who work with young personalities to implement this program in their worlds. At this point, the YouTubers are living in a fantasy world and are paid by these companies to pitch products. Many drop out of high school, gain the illusion of power and then when the real world comes into play, many have no ability on how to handle it.

5. I am looking for an organization or hotline to partner with in the future, one that will encourage you to contact them if you ever feel threatened by anyone within this world we live in. I speak to so many parents who have just given up monitoring or being involved with their kids and the internet, because you are smarter than all of us and we can’t keep up with technology. It is not that we don’t want to; our brains do not process things the way yours does. You can bypass any security setting if you choose, hack into sites, create phantom accounts and personalities. Most parents gave up trying to figure this out. You won: Now you just need to figure out how you can safely manage the online world you so easily navigate. Regardless if it’s online or the real world, there are truly sick people out there who know how to manipulate you and we hear about it everyday. Again, I implore you to be careful.

Warped Tour Founder Speaks About Front Porch Step Controversy

As the Front Step Porch accusation controversy keeps progressing, Vans Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman, has once again taken to the internet to speak about the petition started to get Jake Mcelfresh (aka Front Step Porch) taken off the tour due to allegations of sexual harassment against underage girls.

Lyman, who had previously posted on Twitter that the situation at hand would be examined and addressed when he returned from his vacation, has revealed that he would be returning earlier than expected to “deal with the situation that had been brought” to his attention.

As if having to cut your holiday vacation short to deal with a major controversy wasn’t bad enough, it looks like a lot of bands are trying to cash in on the drama by asking him if they can replace Mcelfresh on the tour.

So many have been taking advantage that Lyman has had to ask them to stop asking and posting request to do so on his social media accounts.

We should also point out there has been no official word on his decision or towards which side he’s leaning towards.

A few days ago, Mcelfresh posted statement online in which he said that he was aware of the accusations against him and would be taking step to address the situations at hand. As for his record label, Pure noise Records which were the first to comment on the matter, they have not released any statement since their initial response a few days ago.

At current time, the petition against Mcelfresh has reached over 10,000 supporters.

Front Porch Step Issues Official Statement About Allegations

It’s been more than 24 hours since news broke that a petition had been started to get Front Porch Step taken off of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour line-up.

Now, Front Porch Step himself, Jake Mcelfresh, has issued a formal statement about the matter at hand.

“I am aware of the serious allegations and sensational things being posted on the internet about me and my personal life. While this is personally difficult to experience, I am taking the appropriate, meaningful, and objective steps to address the severity of these things and the horrendous words being used. I would truly hope that others who have or will propagate these serious allegations will do the same.”

For those not familiar with the situation, the petition on Change.org was started to get Mcelfresh taken off the 2015 Vans Warped Tour after allegations were made against the musician that he had sent vulgar messages to underage girls. The accusation also states that once the girls had asked Mcelfresh to stop, he would continue with the sexual statements and harassment.

Mcelfresh’s record label, Pure Noise Records released a tweet yesterday informing followers that they were not at liberty to speak about the situation because of the legality of the issue.

Kevin Lyman, founder of the Warped Tour also tweet late in the evening yesterday, advising followers that at that precise moment, he could not speak about the matter because he was on vacation, but once he returned to the States, he would make sure that the issue would be examined, thoroughly.

Currently, the petition has garnered almost 8,000 electronic signatures as can be seen below.

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Petition Issued to Get Front Porch Step Off Of Warped Tour 2015

UPDATE 2: 

In the early morning hours, Jake Mcelfresh tweeted his followers that he was aware of what was happening and that he would be making a statement about the accusations.


 

UPDATE 1:

Kevin Lyman has issued a quick tweet about the allegations against Jake Mcelfresh. Don’t expect any answers because the Warped head honcho is currently on vacation with his family.


 

While Pure Noise Records were riding a high yesterday with the release of their Winter Sampler and new album announcements from some of their acts in the new year, today brings some bad news for the record label.

A petition was started on Change.org asking Vans Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman to drop the act from their 2015 line-up. Lyman and company posted on the official website that Mcelfresh would be one of the acts next year.

According to the description of the petition: “There have been multiple instances of Jake Mcelfresh talking to underage girls and sending them vulgar photos. He has been asked to stop by these girls every time and continues with the sexual statements and harassment.”

In a tweet to their followers, Pure Noise has issued a simple statement that they are not able to speak about the matter due to the “serious legal nature” of it.

Read a tweet from the record label below.

As of now, Mcelfresh has not responded to the accusations, but considering Pure Noise has already announced they cannot further discuss the matter, we don’t think he’ll be commenting on the accusations any time soon.

Being that it is not our place to take sides, only report the story as it happens, we will be leaving the link to Change.Org here and if you feel the need to add your name to the growing list of backers, you are more than welcomed to do so.

Escape the Fate Vocalist Issues Cancellation Statement

escapethefate

After being put in the hot seat earlier this week by Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman, Escape the Fate have finally released a statement as to why they have pulled out of their tour with Chiodos as well as the upcoming European edition of the Vans Warped Tour.

In case you do not know the back story, Escape the Fate decided to alert Lyman that they would have to pull out of their Warped Tour engagement due to frontman Craig Mabbitt, wanting to be present when his longtime girlfriend gave birth to their second child. Lyman took to Twitter to call out the band for only giving them three days warning about what they were planning on doing. Lyman went so far as to threatening to reveal the real reason for the departure, but the next day had writers remorse and took down the tweets and apologized to his followers for sinking so low. As for Escape the Fate, Mabbitt’s statement can be read below.

“Dear fans of Escape The Fate:

As many of you know, we had to cancel our upcoming European Warped tour And European headlining dates with Chiodos. This was not a decision we took lightly nor wished to make. The fact is that Escape The Fate has had a number of challenges recently – with Monte and Michael, with those in whose trust we previously placed our business and with our families. But all of these challenges are currently being overcome so Escape The Fate can continue to be a band for many years to come – and to be the best band we can be so this never happens again.

It is true that there were many factors that contributed to our inability to do the tour but after it became clear that my girlfriend was facing continued complications with the birth of our son, I had to make the decision to be with her. I’m still at the hospital as I write this, and am happy to report we now have a healthy baby boy!

Nothing is more important to us than our fans and we intend to make it up to all of you. 2013 has been a difficult year for us, but we are confident that we are now poised to make 2014 the best year we’ve ever had. Your support is so appreciated and means more than you can ever know.

Craig”

Warped Tour Founder Calls Out Escape the Fate

escapethefate

Escape the Fate might have buried the hatchet with Falling in Reverse, but it seems that the band have waged a new war against someone who they shouldn’t have gone up against; Vans Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman.

Last night, the band announced that they would be dropping of their upcoming tour with Chiodos which also meant that they would be backing out of the European edition of the Vans Warped Tour. According to the statement made by the band, which can be read below, the band decided to back out of both tours because frontman, Craig Mabbitt has decided to stay with his girlfriend for the birth of their second child.

“The members of Escape The Fate regret that they will be unable to carry out their touring plans for Europe, including the European run of The Vans Warped Tour UK and dates with Chiodos. Vocalist, Craig Mabbitt’s longtime girlfriend was due to have their second child prior to the band’s European run. She is now overdue and Mabbitt can not travel, as he needs to be home, by her side for the birth. The band sends their sincerest apologies to The Warped Tour, Chiodos and especially their European fan contingent and hopes to get to Europe in 2014 to the cities they are missing.”

Of course, Lyman spoke out about the last-minute departure of the band and decided to take matters into his own hands by calling out Escape the Fate on Twitter giving them a public ultimatum to come clean about the reasoning behind leaving, or that he would reveal all.

A few of Lyman’s tweets and responses to others below.

“@escapethefate pulling out of the Europe shows has nothing to do with having a baby, tell the truth it will set U free. Shame on u 4 lying.”

Since the news surface, Lyman has taken down the post from his social media account, but this morning he wrote the following about the situation. He also elaborated that the band had only given him a 3 day warning letting him know that they would have to pull out of the tour.
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Now the question is, why did Escape the Fate decided to leave the European Vans Warped Tour? Do you believe them and their excuse that Mabbitt decided to stay with his girlfriend?

Parents Free All Summer Long at Warped

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Just when you thought the “let your parents in at Warped Tour” was just a one day fluke, it turns out that Warped mastermind, Kevin Lyman has decided to stretch this entire idea out for the entire Summer. Instead of having to pay the $40+ for parents to get into the festival and sit inside of the parent day care, they will now be allowed in free of charge.

Watch the video below where Lyman explain why he has decided to do this.