image via’s own Riley Taylor

Bring Me the Horizon singer Oli Sykes stirred the piss pot of controversy this weekend when he alleged on Twitter that he’d been told to stop encourage moshing on Vans Warped Tour dates. From there, rumours spiralled, eventually webbing themselves into speculation that the travelling brigade had banned slam dancing altogether.

Not entirely true, it turns out.

According to main man Kevin Lyman, who first founded the fesitval in 1995 and has been with it since, moshing and circle pits and all associated acts are not banned, but he has asked the bands to stop encouraging them. And we’re fine with that—there’s nothing more irritating than a bunch of lumbering oafs on stage barking out orders to “open that pit up” or “get a circle pit going.”

Lyman says that the decision stems from the lawsuits he’s accrued over the years from parents upset with injured teens. Answering people on Twitter, Lyman said “if you do it, fine. If the bands do it, they become responsible for all the injuries that occur.”

Curiously, one of the people Lyman replied to on Twitter said that this was a result of “aiming towards kids” ruining the festival experience. To him, we say: that’s always been the point.

Warped Tour exists for those who can’t go to club shows. It exists for the younger crowd who, without many all ages experiences, can shell out a modest price to see a whack of their favourite bands in one shot. That the demographic has changed musically or aesthetically says as much about you as it does the festival, and that Lyman’s taken to protecting his ass financially and legally isn’t anything we can take issue with.

Vans Warped Tour hasn’t banned moshing, they’ve just asked bands to stop explicitly supporting it. It’s a fine line, but in an era where parents sue over the smallest of incidents (ignoring the liabilities waived by purchasing a ticket), it’s hard to blame them for playing it safe.

And for what it’s worth, the first time I went to Warped Tour as a 14-year-old turd, the line-up was filled with jerks whipping bottles of piss towards the front. That, we hear, is something Oli Sykes can get behind.

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