THE FINAL CROSS COUNTRY TOUR:
Vans Warped Tour + Hope For The Day – Copy By Sydni Budelier, Photos by Anam Merchant
Hope For The Day hit the road on the final cross country rendition of Vans Warped Tour on June 21st, marking the 5th summer we’ve partnered with the tour to reach one of the largest demographics affected by mental health— youths and young adults, ages 10-24. The tour started on the West Coast with two sold out dates in Ventura and Mountain View, California and has since traveled nationwide, adding more sold out dates along the way. Among recent sold out shows was Tinley Park, located in Hope For The Day’s home state of Illinois, where show-goers maxed out Hollywood Casino Amphitheater’s 28,000 person capacity.
The gravity of Vans Warped Tour for us is that it’s an opportunity to raise the visibility of resources by partnering with bands like As It Is, Beartooth, and Neck Deep who align with our proactive suicide prevention mission. They have extended their influence and platform to us, and we’re able to take the stage and speak to their audiences about mental health and the importance of speaking out about the experiences that have psychologically impacted our lives.
One of the core ways we implement our proactive approach is through outreach at live events. By participating in a national tour and having a platform to reach thousands of youths we take a huge step towards breaking mental health stigma and reconditioning social and institutional policies. We’re making direct contact with people affected by mental health and enforcing a new code that teaches younger generations that “It’s Ok Not To Be Ok” and that “We’re All In This Together.”
While many show-goers have already found solace in their favorite bands’ music and have developed outlets through music and the arts, our goal is to encourage as many people as possible to take it a step further; to break the silence, share their experiences, and arm themselves with the resources necessary to help their friends and themselves if they are facing mental health challenges.
This year Hope For The Day has teamed up with The Entertainment Institute and Patty Walter of As It Is to host a pre-show meet-up before each tour date. The meet-up, “Warped Wellness: A Conversation about Mental Health” is an opportunity to talk about being proactive with your mental health and implementing healthy tools to bring daily wellness into your personal life. With a newly released song, “The Stigma [Boys Don’t Cry]” the As It Is front-man also has a chance to address the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly related to “toxic masculinity” and the outdated gender expectation for men to not show emotion. It is imperative that we revise our ideals, considering men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
We’re headed to the Southeastern United States next, closing out dates across Florida in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach during the first weekend of August. While the final cross country Vans Warped Tour comes to a close we will continue to work with artists to use music and art as a platform to advocate for mental health care. As our partner and former lead guitarist of Beartooth, Taylor Lumley, states, “I’ve been there. Music and art is honestly one of the best ways to go about starting the conversation.”
Visit us at our pop-up tent on Warped Tour to learn more about available resources and meet the bands breaking the silence with us. We hope to meet you on the last leg of the tour. Have Hope!
7/30: Charlotte, NC
7/31: Atlanta, GA
8/2: Jacksonville, FL
8/3: Orlando, FL
8/4: Tampa, FL
8/5: West Palm Beach, FL
IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK
If you or someone you know needs help, reach out;
Crisis Text Line
TEXT “ITSOK” TO 741741 (Available 24/7)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255(TALK) - Press 1 for Veterans Line
The Trevor Project LGBT Lifeline
866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) (Available 24/7)