Warped tour draws wide range of passions

Published July 10, 2014
The Scranton Times-Tribune (paywalled)
By Medea Giordano and Nicole James

A sea of rainbow-painted hair, full-body tattoos and bare skin stretched as far as the eye could see at Vans Warped Tour on Wednesday afternoon at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain.

Some concertgoers waited hours to enter the venue for the all-day music festival because of logjammed traffic simultaneously en route to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ doubleheader at PNC Field as well as Montage Waterpark.

More than 11,000 fans packed the mountain as temperatures peaked at 85 degrees with 76 percent humidity, according to AccuWeather reports. People tried to beat the heat while they enjoyed their favorite bands. Morgan Sledzinski, 17, of Scranton, said she made sure to drink plenty of water to avoid passing out like she did at last year’s Warped Tour. Others stripped down to their bathing suits to keep cool.

In addition to hours of live music on 10 stages stretched across the grounds, dozens of vendors hawked band merchandise and music lessons. Other booths pitched educational causes. The Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation used the tour to reach a younger demographic.

“Fifteen to 30 are the primary ages for testicular cancer,” said David Campbell, 34, a survivor from Olyphant, adding there is a 95 percent survival rate if the cancer is detected early.

The Canvas Foundation gave visitors a choice of painting their bodies or a mural with a monetary donation for student art supplies that donors could designate for local schools.

The crowd ranged from school-aged to retirees, whose styles could be described as everything from Goth to flower child to punk.

“No one gets judged by what they’re wearing or how they act,” said Jamie Dugan, 15, of Hamden, New York.

“It’s a good freedom of expression,” added her mom, Tracy Dugan.

Warped Tour also brought together music fans with many different tastes, from rap to ska to hardcore, for a common purpose.

“We’re a huge family that just comes for the music,” said Scranton resident Cara Lutchko, 17. “Even though there’s different genres, we come for one thing.”

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