Warped Tour Founder Vows To Press On Despite Being Punk'd

On top of the usual headaches, this year's outing has been plagued by scam artists.

The past few months have been a bit hectic for Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman.

In addition to wrapping up the initial dates on the European version of his Taste of Chaos tour, he's been putting the finishing touches on the second U.S. edition of Taste (which kicks off February 16) and gearing up for the 12th incarnation of Warped, an annual rite of summer for the Manic-Panic-ed masses.

In addition to all that, he's also had to deal with an unprecedented amount of — as he puts it — "bullsh--" surrounding Warped '06, including a rather messy situation involving bands trying to bilk sponsors out of money and gifts by claiming to be on the tour (see "Warped Founder Tells Fraudulent Punk Bands To Stop Cheating Corporate Sponsors") and another incident involving a man named Lou Galluch, who, depending on whom you ask, was either misrepresenting himself to bands as a tour booker or simply doing a little advanced recruiting for Warped '06.

Regardless, it's all added up to one heck of a headache for Lyman, so much so that he's contemplated shutting down the Warped Tour after its 2006 run. It's a decision that would sufficiently bum out a whole lot of kids but just might keep Lyman happy. And married.

"Every night when I go home, I have to explain to my wife why I'm still doing this," he sighed. "I mean, it wears you down after awhile. We try to book this tour and we reach out to bands and they all want to be on the main stage. They all have a sense of entitlement. And every day for the past 12 years I have the same conversations and I give out the same explanations. The sheer minutiae of my day-to-day routine is astonishing."

Of course, when MTV News spoke with him a few weeks back, he was in the middle of the whole Galluch situation, and was admittedly having a bad day when he made claims about possibly shuttering the Warped franchise. When we reached him on Friday (January 13), he was sitting in the Pasadena offices of 4 Fini Inc., the production company he started in 1995. And though his cell phone was constantly ringing (as it always is), he was in much better spirits.

"This year's Warped has been significantly more of a headache to book, but I'm not going to shut Warped down, nor am I going to hand it over to someone else to run it for me," he laughed. "I'm learning to relax a little bit, to try and de-stress about some things, and though it's been a pain this year, I can't wait for the tour to start. The first day is going to be great."

That first day, he said, will be June 15 in Columbus, Ohio, with an additional 47 cities (including Salt Lake City, Denver, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cleveland and Montreal) booked. He's already announced a handful of acts for this year's lineup (see "Motion City Soundtrack, Thursday, NOFX Already On Board For Warped '06"), and he'll be announcing more bands in the days to come.

And though he's still bothered by the countless individuals who are constantly making his life an endless stream of annoyances, he's trying to take it all in stride. After all, Warped is his baby, and he's willing to take the good with the bad.

"Honestly, if this stuff wasn't happening, then I would be a bit worried," he said. "I mean, I love that people are talking about Warped. When it all stops, it'll definitely be weird."