As it’s been sadly said, Warped Tour—the longest-running touring music festival in North America—is coming to an end after its 2018 cycle. For 24 summers, Kevin Lyman and co. have set up a small punk-rock town in a different city daily, showcasing the scene’s most exciting bands alongside displays of skateboarding, comedy, clothing and nonprofits—a combination that’s changed over the tour’s varied two-decade tenure.
The final lineup announcement March 1 revealed many Warped veterans are making guest appearances throughout this year’s cross-country run, which got us thinking: What bands have played Warped Tour the most? We decided to do some digging, crunch the numbers and figure it out. See the results of our labor below. (If you’re curious how we did it, we even included a little methodology section at the bottom for your inner-nerd enjoyment.)
READ MORE: A look back at Warped Tour 2008
Less Than Jake: 12 Warped Tours
A band who have truly seen every Warped generation, Less Than Jake participated in 12 summers, dating back to 1997. The Florida natives played the tour consistently since then, owning a spot in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016. In 2018, Less Than Jake aren’t playing the full summer, but they are making a few appearances in July and August. (In 2004, Less Than Jake didn’t play the tour, but they did perform at the 10th anniversary show after the last official date. If you think that counts, that’s a whopping 13 Warped Tours.)
Simple Plan: 11 Warped Tours
Simple Plan, with their 11 appearances, take the coveted No. 2 spot in the list of bands who have played Warped Tour the most. The Canadian pop-punk delegation are about to celebrate their 20th year of existence, playing Warped every year between 1999 and 2005 and then again in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Plus, they’re giving the tour a whole-hearted goodbye with a full cross-country run in 2018.
Anti-Flag: 10 Warped Tours
Anti-Flag began their Warped domination in 1999. Over the past 20 years, they participated in another nine touring campaigns: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 through 2012 and, after a five-year break, again in 2017.
Motion City Soundtrack: Nine Warped Tours
Even though they called it quits in 2016, Motion City Soundtrack still had enough time to rack up nine Warped appearances and land a spot on this list. They made appearances in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, and, lastly, 2015. We did a little more research and found that the band did in fact play a few of the shows in 2002.
Motionless In White: Nine Warped Tours
A staple in the newer class of Warped veterans, Motionless In White made their first, one-day Warped Tour appearance Aug. 2, 2006 in Massachusetts. In a little more than 10 years, the band were able to accumulate another eight summers (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016), which will round out with this year’s entire cross-country run.
Silverstein: Eight Warped Tours
After making their first appearance in 2004, Canadian post-hardcore outfit Silverstein have played Warped a whopping eight times. They made appearances in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 and will say goodbye with multiple July dates in 2018.
Pennywise: Eight Warped Tours
Pennywise performed at the second Warped Tour in 1996. The old-school veterans made their last appearance at Warped in 2010, picking up eight runs along the way (1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008).
READ MORE: A look back at Warped Tour 2007
Reel Big Fish: Eight Warped Tours
During an interview with Fuse in 2013, Reel Big Fish reflected on their first Warped Tour experience in 1997. At that point, they had played another five years since then (2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013), but they would go on to play another two (2016 and 2018).
Every Time I Die: Eight Warped Tours
When asked what bands he hoped would perform at the final Warped, Kevin Lyman said Less Than Jake and Every Time I Die. The latter thanked Lyman on Twitter, saying “Warped Tour changed the life of the band and the lives of every member, so if this is the last year, you just tell us where and when to plug in.” Turns out that has become a reality: Every Time I Die will play the entirety of Warped Tour 2018. They made their first appearance in 2002 and went on to participate in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Sum 41: Eight Warped Tours
Canadian punks Sum 41 made their first appearance on Warped Tour with several dates in 2000. They went on to play 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2016. They also will be saying goodbye with a July 17 performance in 2018.
How we did it: Wikipedia has lovely documentation of every Warped Tour lineup since 1995, displayed in an easy-to-copy chart. We paste (paste without formatting, Shift + Option + Command + V on a Mac) the Wikipedia chart in a Google Sheet, cleaned up the rest of the data (entailed a little regular expression action) and downloaded the spreadsheet in CSV format. We then wrote a short Python script to iterate over that CSV, counting up how many times each band played the tour and saving the counts in an array. After that, it was as easy as sorting the results in the array to print out the 10 bands with the most counts. Since the announcement is so new, we manually went in and added the 2018 lineup data. We also went through and manually fact-checked to make sure everything here actually happened.
Were you surprised who made the list?