Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman received Billboard‘s Humanitarian Award Tuesday night for his work with anti-opioid initiative FEND (“Full Energy, No Drugs”). The FEND app uses gamification to educate youth on the dangers of drugs.
Following Warped Tour’s cross-country conclusion and tragic, overdose-related deaths like that of We Came As Romans vocalist Kyle Pavone, Lyman launched FEND to bridge the gap between youth drug use and proper opioid education.
“Traveling the country the last few years,” he explained at the launch event, “the stories always drift to opioids. I’ve always been the person [to] jump in and try [to help]. … The FEND app is educational. It’s always about education to me. There’s just no education out there … on the opioid epidemic.”
Billboard recognized Lyman’s commendable efforts with FEND, the quintessential music chart publication honoring the iconic concert promoter with its 2018 Humanitarian Award.
“Kevin has been promoting non-profits through the Vans Warped Tour since its inception, and the results have long been inspiring,” says Billboard editorial director Jason Lipshutz. “The opioid crisis is impacting everyone, and the entertainment industry is no exception. Kevin’s efforts have created a positive impact and deserve to be recognized.”
The Warped Tour founder says his experience touring the country with a litany of music acts informed his view of drug use. And he wanted to use his newfound freedom to tackle the urgent crisis that’s taking the lives of so many young people.
“Too many members of the Vans Warped Tour family have been affected by the opioid epidemic,” offers Lyman. “With the Vans Warped Tour coming to an end I had an opportunity to continue to reach out to youth and make a difference. FEND was an amazing opportunity to educate youth.”
Lyman previously urged AP readers to take the drug epidemic seriously in a passionate op-ed, writing that it’s “now time that the people who can help realize the show does not have to go on, and unless we get our people help, it won’t go on.”