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Hard Rock Acts Gearing Up for Chaos

Los Angeles – Though the new outing that Vans Warped tour founder Kevin Lyman is launching this February is called Taste of Chaos, the event is moving forward like a well-oiled machine.

“To get a second year on this project, we have to have at least 3,000 people per market,” Lyman says. “I think we will do more.”

Taste of Chaos will take place at indoor venues and feature such hard rock acts as the Used, My Chemical Romance, Killswitch Engage and Senses Fail. There will also be sponsored booths and activities prior to each show. Major partners include Nintendo, MySpace and Samsung.

The tour begins Feb. 18 at the Edge Concert Pavilion in Orlando, Fla., and ends April 2 at the Mesa Amphitheater in Phoenix, Ariz.

Early sales indicate that Taste of Chaos is already on track to be a success. As of mid-December, Lyman said it was “selling very much like a Warped show. The highlight is Philadelphia. We sold more than 1,800 tickets (at the Tweeter Center for Feb. 25) the first weekend.”


Lyman, who is organizing Taste of Chaos with John Reese, president of Freeze Artist Management, and Darryl Eaton, booking agent for Creative Artists Agency, says he had been looking for a new concept that could emulate the highly successful Vans Warped tour.

Warped has been bringing together punk rock acts at outdoor venues each summer for the past 10 years. According to Lyman, Warped’s 10th anniversary tour in 2004 was the event’s most successful ever, selling 30% more than any previous year with more than 650,000 tickets moved.

“We’d been talking about doing something in the winter time, leaning toward heavier artists,” Lyman says. “Everyone wants to start a concept tour, but the artists don’t want to give something up to move the project forward. They want huge guarantees. They want to get paid top dollar.”

Reese, who manages the Used, says that ultimately, bands signed on with the tour because of the opportunity to reach larger crowds.

“Normally, these acts might be playing 800- to 3,000-seat clubs, and now they get to play in front of many more people,” he notes. “We also make the show more of an event.”

Negotiating with venues, which will range in capacity from about 3,000 to 10,000 for the tour, proved easier than expected because of the National Hockey League industrial action.

Howard Jones, vocalist for Grammy Award-nominated Killswitch Engage, says playing indoors is a plus.

“Everyone doesn’t have to endure really bad weather, and we can actually focus on having a good time and make sure that everyone that comes has a good time. Hopefully we can make some sort of impact.”

Additionally, the event’s low price, between $20 and $25 per ticket, is expected to generate steady sales leading up to each show.

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