Reel Big Fish are playing on the Warped Tour.

Reel Big Fish are playing on the Warped Tour.

We are all ships at sea. And at a music festival, we group together as a giant fleet. Each stage a crowded port filled with bobbing heads, landlocked mermaids and mermen, skater boys and rocker girls, making good with the feeling that can only ever happen while a band and an audience go soul to soul.

Made all the better when the quality on display is so sublime you could barely get your filthy hands on a ticket.

Welcome to the Vans Warped Festival 2013, returning to Australia after a long rest.

The Offspring are headlining the Warped Tour.

The Offspring are headlining the Warped Tour.

When it's on, it's on. And this festival is certain to blow the minds of all those who attend. Promoter and recently named most powerful man in Australian music, A. J Maddah says this festival is one of his favourite babies.

If Soundwave, his main event, is run like a Special Forces military operation, Warped is a game of ice hockey, he says.

"It's chaos. Pucks and sticks flying everywhere and blood in every direction."

The Amity Affliction are one of the big Australian bands on the Warped Tour.

The Amity Affliction are one of the big Australian bands on the Warped Tour.

The Luke Skywalker of Australian emo, punk and metal promotion, having taken down all forces that oppose him, Maddah has recently been brought into the Big Day Out team.

Chatting while coping with the boiling soup of new venture, with Blur announcing their disappointing departure from next year's line-up, Maddah says that if the Vans Warped Tour performs well this year he will make it happen again for fans on a yearly or two-yearly basis.

Warped is special, he says, because it raises the hairs on the back of your neck, takes you back to that spark and fire of a great rock and roll show, and leaves goose bumps where there were none.

With a line-up stocked with A-grade Australian and international talent, people are sure to find something worth getting warped about. Simple Plan, the Offspring, Reel Big Fish, the Used, Parkway Drive, Amity Affliction.

The quality goes on. And for those souls who have been to a good festival know, when the line-ups pump, positivity flows.

Saying the festival is "very D.I.Y., very fly by the seat of your pants", for those who have been to one of the previous Warped Tours, expect it to be more of the same. "We know what works for our market and what doesn't work," Maddah says. "We set up and we put on a damn rock and roll show."

Along with the music, there will of course be the big name BMX and skateboard legends out there performing their magic.

With a relatively small gang of people running the thing, the Warped budget is relatively small. It is a very personal experience for the bands and organisers, Maddah says. "Living on buses, we're all in the tent backstage. Not just physically, but spiritually; there are no barriers with the bands."


Where: Exhibition Park, Canberra

When: Friday, December 6

Tickets: $107.10+bf from



Friday, November 29 - Brisbane, RNA Showgrounds 
Saturday, November 30 - Coffs Harbour, Showground
Sunday, December 1 - Sydney, Barangaroo 
Saturday, December 7 - Melbourne, Birrarung Marr
Sunday, December 8 - Adelaide, Ellis Park