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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Warped Tour season is upon us once again. Some of us are seasoned veterans, but some of us are Warped Freshmen, so ATB is here to help! Our team has compiled a video series surrounding our favourite summer festival.

This video will help you figure out the best choices for what to wear!

What are your Warped Tour fashion tips?

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Every summer, the Vans Warped Tour takes off across the country, bringing fan-favorite and up-and-coming musicians to fans everywhere. The festival also attracts vendors and non-profit organizations that aim to share their messages with teens in the scene. The Canvas Foundation has been traveling with Warped Tour for multiple summers sharing their message and working to provide funding for art programs in schools around the nation. ATB sat down with Lydia Tavera to talk about the Canvas Foundation, its goals for the summer, and how you can get involved.


How long have you been with the Canvas Foundation?

I started working with Canvas just this summer. Connor, my partner who’s out here with me, has been with them for five or six years. I think they’ve been on Warped Tour for ten years or so. The majority of what Canvas does is with Warped Tour and sometimes they’ll do High School Nation or other events.

Can you explain your mission and what exactly the Canvas Foundation does?

The Canvas Foundation is a non-profit that helps fund art programs in schools that have lost funding. Through donations, we’re able to give back to these schools that have lost funding. We go through and see what each school needs. Kids can submit their schools for funding, too, which is really cool. We also have shirts that we sell and all of the shirts have designs on them that have been submitted by student artists, which is great. Mainly we want people to have a good time and we want people to realize that art is so important and keeping it alive is what really matters.

What differentiates the Canvas Foundation from other organizations?

On Warped Tour at least, a lot of the organizations are about suicide prevention or anti-depression or animal activism. We’re really the only ones out here at least this summer that are really pushing to keep art in schools. Art is our main thing. I know there are other organizations that are doing similar things, but there’s not a lot of them that are well known, and if there was a bigger one we could get a lot more done. Also, just given the current political climate, a lot of funding is being cut for art and people aren’t talking about it, so we’re trying to make people discuss it. We’re trying to get the message out there more than anything.

What is an average day like for you?

We wake up and go to load in. Something I didn’t realize before going on Warped was that the trucks parked in the middle of the field is where everyone’s stuff is, so you have to wait there in the morning with your dolly, haul everything in, wait to get placed, take it to your site, set up, and then we’re out there from the minute doors open to around 6:30 or 7:30 selling paint and calling people in. We’ve been trying to do a lot more work with bands, too. I just kind of wave at them until they come over and then we talk to them about what we’re doing and see if they want to get involved. We’re going to start doing a lot of canvases that the bands will paint. We have Movements doing one. I think The Gospel Youth is going to hop in. We’re trying to get Atilla. We’re going to have them sign the canvases and then we’re going to sell them at the tent. It’s a lot of “Here’s what we’re doing. You should come and help us.” It’s also really fun seeing the kind of people that want to paint themselves because you never know who it is.

What can people expect from your booth this summer?

Stained clothes, but in the most fun way possible. I’m going to be out there doing a lot of the social media stuff, so I’m taking a lot of pictures. I’m going to be doing weekly roundups where any pictures I take get posted on Facebook. Instagram will be going all summer. It’s a lot of fun. It’s crazy and it’s madness, especially if you get unlimited paint because you can come back all day. You’ll get free shade and unconditional love. We’re just out here trying to get kids involved and it’s a lot of fun. You can expect to leave covered in paint and really happy. You’ll probably see some band members stop by because we’re trying to make that a thing, but who knows? Also, bring $20 and buy a t-shirt. It comes with a free bag, a wristband or sunglasses, and unlimited paint all day.

Interview with the Canvas Foundation // AtTheBarricade.net

Will you be working with any bands during the summer?

Yeah! Movements today lent us their drills so we could build new canvases. A member of The Gospel Youth is coming to the tent in a bit to build a new canvas with us. We’re pretty close with Carousel Kings right now. We’re trying to get Atilla in on something. It’s crazy! It’s like a big family out here, and the more bands we can get involved the better. A lot of people we talk toare really excited about it, so it’s just a matter of meeting people. But special shout out to Movements. Patrick [from Movements] came up to the tent and was talking to me for half an hour about art, his experiences in high school, and about how his programs got cut, so they have been nothing but helpful. They’ve lent us their tools. They’re absolutely amazing. It’s really awesome being out here. A lot of people on this tour are just like, “Ugh. Their paint stains our stuff.” But at the same time they love what we’re doing, so it works.

What are your biggest goals for the summer?

For Canvas, we really just want to raise as much money as possible. I’m working very hard not to rebrand Canvas because it’s goals are already very specific. We know what we’re doing. We know who we are. We’re keeping art alive and we’re all going to have fun doing it together. For me, I just want to make sure people know who we are. When someone walks up to the To Write Love on Her Arms tent, they don’t ask what’s going on. They know what’s going on. They’ll buy a shirt and be stoked about it. I want Canvas to be that but for art, so I’m trying to really build our social media following. I’m trying to keep content flowing and really engage people, more so in a “This is what we’re doing” way and not just a “Hey! Get some paint!” way. So far, it’s been awesome. We’ve had a lot of people come up and say “Oh, I work at a school” or “My school lost funding” and it’s really important for me to communicate with these people and have those talks. I know it’s easier if you’re [an organization] like Can You Hear Me?. With them, you can sit down and have a conversation about “This happened to me and this is why I feel this way.” For Canvas, it’s a little more interesting because you can say “How did art affect your life?” You really have to spark these conversations and I think that’s what’s going to make us memorable and that’s what’s going to make us stand out.

Personally, I want to watch a full Neck Deep set. I have yet to do that. I’m really trying to make friends with as many people as I can on this tour because so many of us are doing such amazing things. It’s like Yeah, we’re not the lead singer of this band, but they’re working to save the oceans or he sets up this entire stage every day and it’s awesome. The coolest people in the world are out here and I’m so blessed to be a part of it. This is my first summer out here and I just want to make the most of it. It’s exhausting and messy and dirty. We have a shower on our bus, thank God, but I just want to have the best summer of my life. I’m out here with my best friend, too, and he makes it very easy.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you encounter while on the road?

Trying to fit everything in your bunk is a lot harder than you’d think it would be. Luckily, I have the coolest bus mates in the world. I think it’s just learning how to adjust to this new lifestyle. Being the new person on tour is kind of difficult because you have to work your ass off to prove yourself. It is incredible what you can lift when someone asks you if you need help. Like, I could not lift an easy-up tent by myself unless someone was like “Do you need help?” and it’s like “No. I can do this. I’m here.” Proving yourself is a big thing. You have work your ass off to get here and you have to work your ass off to stay. As Canvas, I think our biggest obstacle is just making people stop and listen to what we’re about. The second you say it’s donation based they kind of leave, but once you explain what it’s for, people get excited and they get so happy about it. I think it’s also hard trying to avoid stains on our clothes and trying to avoid stains on other people’s tents so they don’t hate us.

How do you attract people to your tent?

Sometimes it’s like “Hey! Want some body paint?” I’ll just wave at people until they come over. That’s how I’ve been getting a lot of the bands to come interact with us. Our volunteers are such a big part of it, too. We’re also giving out free bags all summer if you follow us on Instagram. A lot of it is just bothering people until they come over and if every two out of ten people you ask comes in then you’re still having a good day.

You guys are doing a screen printing class with The Entertainment Institute this summer. What is that like and how did it come about?

My boss Austin Phillips and Chad Long, who runs Choonimals, run a screen printing company called Tour Print in Portland, so this summer they partnered with TEI to do a screen printing class. They’ll screen print things in front of you, too. There’s bandanas, hats, and shirts. It’s really cool because we have this entire collective out here with Canvas, Choonimals, and TEI/Tour Print. We’re all out here busting ass together. Today I went and covered for the Choonimals tent. We’ll go help Chad and we’ll break down together. It’s just really awesome having a collective that stretches across so many things.

What made you want to get involved with The Canvas Foundation?

It’s an awesome message. Like I said, there’s a lot of similar organizations going on at Warped, which is cool, but for me art is so important. I interned with a non-profit dance company last semester doing photography and stuff. Watching the way non-profits organize themselves and start doing things and get their mission across is so incredible. I kind of knew that was the route I wanted to take. It’s a lot of hard work, but Canvas is so busy and so fun. It’s maybe one of the hardest tents to run all summer because people don’t want to give you money to paint. It’s also really difficult if it’s just you setting up. We have fifteen huge boxes, two dollies, three tents. It’s crazy. But at the end of the day you can sit down in your paint-stained clothes and just think that you had the coolest day in the world and it’s awesome. I love my job. I’m also working with my best friend in the world, Connor Amsden. He is the absolute best and I could not be on this tour without him.

What kind of things do you do during the rest of the year?

Canvas does different pop up events. We do a lot of stuff in Portland because that’s where we’re based. We did Chain Fest down in Santa Ana last year. I know we’re thinking about setting up at some other festivals. If anyone has any festivals they’d like us to get involved in, please let us know. Personally, I go to school at Northeastern [University] in Boston. I absolutely love it. I study Music Industry. I’m there during the week and on weekends I travel a lot and do merch at different festivals, which is absolutely amazing.

How can people get involved with you during the summer and throughout the rest of the year?

We actually have volunteers every date of Warped Tour. Spots may or may not be filled for upcoming dates this year, but we still have openings for a lot of them. You can send us an email or we have a link up on Facebook. You can also get involved throughout the year if you send us an email. Austin, the CEO of Canvas, organizes everything and we take volunteers from everywhere.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Warped Tour season is upon us once again. Some of us are seasoned veterans, but some of us are Warped Freshmen, so ATB is here to help! Our team has compiled a video series surrounding our favourite summer festival.

The first video of this series will help you make sure you’re prepared for another punk rock summer. See you there!

Are you going to any Warped Tour dates this summer?

Join the conversation,  Tweet us!

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It’s 2017, I feel like we shouldn’t have to be talking about this again, but festival season is approaching. Line-ups are being announced and again there’s an astonishing lack of women on the bills. This is not a new thing: lack of representation has been a huge issue, and fans and journalists alike have been calling out festival organizers, especially in the last couple of years. We would think by now they got the message, right? I know.

In January, UK festival Reading & Leeds began announcing their line up. In the first announcement, there was only one woman on the list of 11 performers. That’s on the other side of the Atlantic, though; what about North America?

On Wednesday, both Lollapalooza and Warped Tour announced their line ups. The latter is taking 90 bands on the road; 14 are made up of women and 3 of them are playing the main stages. However little in number they are, these acts might be the most interesting ones on the whole tour. I’ll explain below.

Reading and Leeds: Back at it again with sexism

On January 20th, the first batch of performers for Reading & Leeds festival were announced and included headliners such as Muse and Kasabian. 20 acts, 57 male and 1 female: Against The Current’s singer Chrissy Costanza. Here’s a visual that shows a startling reality.

 

Were people happy? Of course not. Reading & Leeds organizers were called out, stories were written on the lack of representation, hell broke loose on social media. Alternative Press interviewed Chrissy about the situation and, of course, she agreed it was infuriating to say the least, but she also brought a different perspective to the discussion: fans need to support female artists and bands first so that promoters know what to look for. She referred to a poll about the Reading & Leeds line up that asked who people wanted to see on the festival. All they got were male bands (and obvious choices such as Paramore and PVRIS). Chrissy’s point is that we have to directly show organizers we are into female acts so that they can be aware of who to book.

It’s an interesting point of view, which leads me to ask… isn’t pointing out the lack of female representation directly showing promoters we want more diversity in festivals? Is media doing enough to forward the talk on representation? How much influence do fans actually have on line ups? I can’t actually answer all of these questions, but there’s definitely enough to think about there.

Can these women save this year’s Warped Tour?

March 22nd brought us the Warped Tour line up announcement. It may be only me, but it feels like this is the least exciting group of acts this tour has ever had—I can’t honestly remember the last time when I went through the list and couldn’t find one band that made me want to go. (To be fair, it might mean I am getting old, but remember how amazing last year was?)

Earlier this year, Kevin Lyman & co. had already given fans the Warped Rewind at Sea cruise, which is happening in the fall. 14 bands and 2 special guests are confirmed, and the only woman is Babs from Emo Nite. There are still more acts to be announced, though.

All things considered, there wasn’t much hope for women at Warped Tour this year–I mean, do female musicians want to go on a tour who supports anti-choice organizations and gives a platform for pedophiles?

Despite all that, Warped’s line up has 16 acts made up of females or with females in them. This constitutes 17.7% of the 90 performers. Three of these acts are on the Journeys’ main stages: New Years Day, Jule Vera, and Save Ferris.

Since I am complaining about this situation, I believe it’s fair to say that apart from the bands playing the main stages, I did not know many of the female acts on Warped Tour this year. Maybe they are not the style I’m into, maybe they weren’t on my radar, or maybe I simply ignored them.

I wasn’t excited about any of the “male bands” (should we start saying male bands like we do girl bands?) I knew, so I went out to check the “female bands”. I opened all of their Facebook pages, as well as searched their songs on Spotify. One of the first bands I came across was War On Women. They followed the Warped announcement with the following post:

War On Women has accepted an offer to play Vans Warped Tour this summer. This might be surprising for some, and I understand why. We are “anti-” a lot of things that Warped Tour seems neutral on, or even worse, “pro-”. While in the past it might have been on a smaller scale, we have always been fully comfortable forcing our way into potentially hostile environments to share our intersectional feminist messages with folks who might not hear it otherwise. We take that challenge on because we are very privileged people in most ways, and we always hope that if we’ve opened a few people up to the things we value, they might be more likely to find out about bands like G.L.O.S.S., Downtown Boys, and La Armada. We won’t be checking our activism at the door this summer, and we are so excited to share our safer spaces project with you in the coming days. Stay tuned.

You can check out the full statement here.

It made me wonder: are women going to use this platform to promote change? Warped Tour is a show where a lot of people, especially young people, go to check out acts they don’t already know. The festival goers are so immersed into the music and the scene that what happens affects them. People find their new favorite bands on Warped Tour. If they’re moving through stages and catch War on Women talking about the issues they care about, is it likely they’ll catch the message?

I sure hope so. The people in this scene have had enough of important voices not taking sides. Kids have had enough of not feeling safe in what was supposed to be their safe space. Maybe attending this year’s Warped Tour is less about singing along to the same songs by the same bands all over again; maybe it is about hearing more important messages. Maybe it’s not about the number of women, but what they can say.


What do you think needs to be done for the festival scene to progress forward?

Join the conversation,  tweet us!