The Vans Warped Tour has been on the road for nearly a month now! This week the tour made stops in Charlotte, Camden, Wantagh, Hartford, and Scranton.
\\Blessthefall performing in St. Pete, FL. Photo credit: Anam Merchant//
Featuring over 60 different artists and bands, the tour is no easy feat to tear down and rebuild on a daily basis. However, it has been a success so far - the tour is approximately halfway over!
One of Hope For The Day's partners on Vans Warped Tour this year is a band called Neck Deep. Neck Deep are a pop punk band from the UK. You can catch them all summer on the Journey's Right Foot Stage! The band is also getting prepared to release their second full length album, The Peace and The Panic, on August 18th. You can find more information about the album here.
\\Neck Deep performing live. Photo credit: Anam Merchant//
Neck Deep's front-man and vocalist, Ben Barlow, is quite outspoken about mental health and his own struggles. It has been prevalent in the band's lyrics for years and their new album is no exception; the catchy chorus from the single "Where Do We Go When We Go" consists of the lyrics "Pain, pain go away / Come back another day / I just wanna get one up on life before it kills me".
Last year, HFTD released it's first "Things We Don't Say" zine, for which Ben wrote a featured article. Noting that he began struggling with mental health issues at the young age of sixteen, Ben elaborated on what had helped him personally, explaining that "The power to make real change is ultimately down to you, but when faced with a tough decision, I found that some of the most eye-opening moments of my life came from talking to my close friends and family, and then doing a little soul searching afterwards. Don't bottle it up, let it all out, trust me, it's therapeutic."
\\Neck Deep performing in Denver, CO. Photo credit: Anam Merchant//
As Ben wrote, it is incredibly important to not bottle up your emotions and struggles. Consider the mind like a bottle of soda; if you hold everything inside for too long the pressure will build into a situation that is hard to manage and it can lead to a mental health crisis, comparable to the bottle of soda exploding from the built-up pressure.
Reaching out to others and channeling your emotions into healthy outlets so that this point of "explosion" or crisis can be avoided is an incredibly important aspect of suicide prevention. For a lot of the people and fans involved with Warped Tour, music can provide an outlet so that we can help ourselves and others before we reach the point of a mental health crisis. It starts with something as simple as Ben Barlow writing about his own experiences in Neck Deep's music, and then leads to their fans connecting with it, starting conversations and forming friendships at concerts through their mutual connection to the band's music. It's not hard to see the positive impact Neck Deep and many other bands on the tour have had; all you have to do is spend time reading comments and posts from fans on social media.
\\Neck Deep performing in Orlando, Fl. Photo credit: Anam Merchant//
It's important that this connection and outlet lasts after the concert has ended. Do not be afraid to reach out to your friends, family, and community if you are dealing with mental health issues; there are a lot of people who care about you. The stigma surrounding mental health can be frightening when you are trying to ask for help, but there are thousands of other people who feel the same way.
\\Come and stop by our tent this summer! Photo: Anam Merchant//
Don't forget to stop by the Hope For The Day tent this summer on Warped Tour to start the conversation about mental health with us! You can also pick up various resources to help you and your community break the silence around mental health; including volume 2 of our Things We Don't Say zine, which features a new article from Ben Barlow. All of the upcoming Warped Tour dates can be found here. See you on the road!