Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creator of Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman tries his hand at Country

Kevin Lyman creator of some of Rock Music's biggest tours, is now running the Country Throwdown Tour

Kevin Lyman's claim to fame is the now legendary Van's Warped Tour. Building on that success, he went on to help create Taste of Chaos, Mayhem Festival, Coachella, and now in its second year, Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour. Although these tours are all memorable for different reasons, Lyman states Warped Tour as his favorite saying, "Warped was the first thing I ever did. Punk rock in L.A. will always hold a special place in my heart." 

Lyman is now taking his experiences of the road and knowledge of successful tours and applying that formula to country. "It's a new age of country and these artists all put a great show out. I want it to be more than a music festival, but a life experience, something more," he said.

One of the major keys to Lyman's tour success have been the sponsors, "It wouldn't work, especially the ticket prices. We have no control of that. Thanks to sponsors and funding, we are able to manage," Lyman said. Warped Tour had originally just been the music with no corporate sponsors. Sneaker giant Van's, jumped on board the following year, and helped make Warped Tour what it is today.

On coming up with the idea of Country Throwdown, Lyman states it was just a matter of needing change. "I was at Down from the Mountain nine years ago doing production, and as I was looking at the audience, I noticed we needed more diversity." Lyman then took a trip to Nashville to become engrained in the music.

The main headliner of this year's Throwdown is country legend, Willie Nelson. "Having someone like Willie makes this is a big deal. It was like having NOFX and Pennywise on our second year. We were legitimate," said Lyman. The final stop of the tour is Texas, for Willie's Picnic. Lyman says, "It's a big thing in Texas, historic and a great atmosphere. You know, end with a bang." As a matter of fact, Lyman knows a thing or two about picnics, "On the first day of Throwdown, the country boys showed me how to BBQ a pig, some good old hog cooking," he said with a laugh.

"No Doubt, Sublime, Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, and even Katy Perry," are some artists that Lyman says have blown up on these tours. Asking Lyman what he looks for in a potential touring band he says, "Bands have to be patient, write good songs, and get a big local following."

What's sure to be a long and busy summer for Lyman and crew, with the simultaneous touring of Warped and Throwdown, there really isn't much to be said. When asked about any future tours in the works, he simply said with a chuckle, "We have 96 shows this summer, it's a little crazy."

For more info on Warped or Country Throwdown visit- and

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