Founder of Warped Tour

Music industry guru Kevin Lyman to speak with students

Thousands of people enter the parking lot of the Palace of Auburn Hills at the Vans Warped Tour in 2012.
Thousands of people enter the parking lot of the Palace of Auburn Hills at the Vans Warped Tour in 2012. Sarah Force
What could be better than hundreds of brilliant artists performing at one venue on the same day?

That’s exactly what Kevin Lyman thought when he created the annual Van’s Warped Tour.

The name “Kevin Lyman” may not ring a bell for you all, but I bet you’ve heard of Warped Tour.

“[Lyman] made his career out of learning how to brand [and] learning how to put out an idea he wanted,” music industry management junior Olivia Odette said. “He used his passion and put it into a bigger idea and created a festival that has been going on for 20 years. And he did it by himself because it was his dream and he wanted to do it. It started off with Blink 182, Paramore and Newfound Glory. Just old bands that were really small and barely had any attendance, and that’s how it started.”

Warped Tour is the longest running North American music festival tour, and it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

“It’s more than just a big deal for the music program,” Odette said. “He’s the kind of guy who will come and be a big inspiration to the students, even if they’re not in the music major. He’s basically telling you to live your dream and do what you want to do. So that’s what I hope to bring with him; an inspiration to students so they actually do what they want to do.”

If you’ve been feeling a little unsure about your path in life and future career, listening to Lyman’s story may help you out.

Victoria Pizzuto, a junior in music industry management, has heard Lyman speak before and knows he won’t disappoint.

“I think that everyone at Ferris has passion and drive for what they are trying to do with their lives, but after being drained in schoolwork and everything else on our plates, it can be easy to lose sight of that,” Pizzuto said “I trust that Kevin Lyman will remind me of how badly I want this, why I got into it in the first place, and spark the flame that has been going out recently.”

Since he’s been in our shoes before, Lyman has the special ability of relating his messages to college-aged people, according to Pizzuto.

“He knows what obstacles you will hit, and he knows how to overcome them,” Pizzuto said. “He knows a lot of people around the work in all industries and is an extremely valuable asset. I promise that Kevin Lyman will discuss something you’re curious about and will answer any question you have without holding back.”

Music industry management sophomore Kyle Pickard has been a dedicated Warped Tour attendant for the past five years and is excited to listen to the man behind the event.

“He’s such a big hitter in the industry, just getting to sit in the same room with him to hear his tips and secrets is hugely beneficial,” Pickard said.

Pickard aspires to do something similar to Lyman someday and has known about his work for a while.

“I want to do something with a label and be closely involved with music and musicians like Kevin,” said Pickard. I can almost guarantee that I will take a lot from his speech. Hearing about his own success will definitely fuel me and inspire me to do the best I can in whatever career I choose.”

Odette, who’s helped with planning and coordination of the event and is Lyman’s contact of the day, encourages all students to come and listen to Lyman’s success story.

“It’s just going to be inspiring and motivational, and it’ll be fun because it’ll have a music twist to it which is really what the music industry management program is trying to bring: some fun for some people,” said Odette.

Kevin Lyman will be speaking in BUS 111 at 7 p.m. on April 16. The event is free.