As the architect of the Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman is credited with creating the industry’s top alternative music fest, now in its 12th year. “My heart and soul is in punk rock,” says Lyman, who also toiled on the first Lollapalooza. Warped has since outlasted that fest and is considered more relevant than Ozzfest. Begun as a roadshow with 20 acts, the tour now boasts almost 90 artists on 10 stages. Last year, it played to almost 1 million fans and grossed nearly $20 million, and is widely credited with breaking many acts, among them Yellowcard and Less Than Jake. Lyman also successfully mixed music with sports like skateboarding and motocross — before it became fashionable — and with tech firms like Apple. Sponsors such as Vans (in its 11th year with Warped) get access to a consumer base critical to their growth.
P.O.V.: “If we have a great show and keep costs down, it all works. But nobody’s getting rich.”