The 2017 Vans Warped Tour has officially begun! The traveling music festival is one of the most successful tours of it's type; this is their twenty second year on the road. It is estimated that over 650,000 people attended the Vans Warped Tour last year in 2016. A majority of the people in attendance ranged between the ages of 15 and 24; an age group that is also largely affected by suicide.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. Suicide claims the lives of over 44,000 Americans and over 800,000 people globally each year. It is estimated that for every successful suicide completion, there are another 25 people who attempt. Suicide has no prejudice and this is why Hope For The Day will be on the Vans Warped Tour all summer long, raising awareness and providing resources to fans.
This year, the tour started in Seattle, WA on June 16th. The first day of Warped Tour is always exciting and it marks the start of summer for many people; it's affectionately called "punk rock summer camp" by the bands and crew. Warped Tour will travel to 41 different cities this year from June 16th to August 6th. This years diverse lineup features artists and bands such as Anti-Flag, Andy Black, The Ataris, Bad Seed Rising, blessthefall, Counterparts, Courage My Love, Dance Gavin Dance, GWAR, Hatebreed, Hawthorne Heights, Jule Vera, Knocked Loose, Memphis May Fire, Our Last Night, Stick To Your Guns, and over 50 others.
The tour is a great place for Hope For The Day to spend the summer, as we focus on mental health education and suicide prevention through self-expression platforms such as music and art. Music provides a healthy emotional outlet and community for many people. It has the ability to let people know that they are not alone in their struggles and it can help people identify the emotions that they are experiencing. Music can help us begin to connect with others and to start conversations about mental health, which is crucial to dispelling the stigma that surrounds it.
We are thrilled to be working with bands such as Neck Deep, Beartooth, and Being As An Ocean this summer. You might see HFTD's founder and CEO, Jonny Boucher, giving speeches before their sets, and on certain days there may be a chance to meet members of these bands when they spend time at the HTFD tent. Their support in continuing to build a community that is willing to start the conversation is appreciated!
Being willing to start the conversation about our mental health is incredibly important, as it is the only way to break the silence of stigma that often prevents people from accessing help. We can start dispelling stigmas by realizing that It's Ok Not To Be Ok; there is no shame in dealing with any sort of mental illness and it is okay to reach out and ask for help. There are resources available to help people who are struggling; one of HFTD's goals this summer is to raise the visibility of these resources and make them as accessible as possible. The more proactive we are, the better the chance of people receiving help before they reach the point of a mental health crisis.
\\Joel Quartuccio from Being As An Ocean performing at the Oregon date of this years Warped Tour. Photo credit: Anam Merchant.//
You can help by stopping at the HFTD tent this summer and picking up some of our resource cards! These include a variety of lifeline and hotline numbers (including a crisis text line) and information on mental health resources. They are a great way to start the conversation and combat stigma within your community.
There are a lot of people who care and are willing to help; many of whom you can find at Warped Tour and in your local music scene. Suicide prevention begins with a conversation. Come visit the Vans Warped Tour this summer when it visits a city near you (all upcoming dates can be found here) and start the conversation with us!
*The figures from Warped Tour 2016 can be found here.