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Atlantic City Wasting $1.4 Million on Live Nation Warped Tour on Beach.

Will This Help Atlantic City?

Music to our ears. An Atlantic City casino operator calling out the infamous CRDA, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

The CRDA just OK’ed giving the LIVE NATION concert promoter a $1.4mil check to produce a financially risky beach concert called the WARPED FESTIVAL.

$1.4 mil wasted on Vans Warped Festival. Attracting the wrong crowd to Atlantic City. (14-25 yrs old)

CRDA Chairman Robert Mulcahy says the two-day Warped festival will bring tens of thousands of music fans to Atlantic City. The Chairman made no mention of how risky this particular festival is, financially. Local business, including those who run casinos, are skeptical.

The Warped Tour was a popular, traveling punk rock show that started in 1995. It featured bands like Blink-182, Paramore, Deftones, Green Day and My Chemical Romance. Over time, the Warped Tour died a slow death due to that music peaking in the early 2000’s.

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman cited dwindling ticket sales, a smaller pool of potential bands, as key reasons for shutting down tour.

Warped was only good in the 90’s. After that, it was a mixture of the same old bands doing the same thing with diminishing returns.

On Friday, Feb 1, during a WOND 1400am radio interview, Joe Lupo, Regional President of Hard Rock Atlantic City voiced his frustration with CRDA.

‘Why are we giving $1.4 mil to the Live Nation concert promoter? What’s the return on that WARPED TOUR $1.4mil investment? We could be doing so much more with that $1.4mil in this city.’

Hard Rock AC President, Joe Lupo
Joe Lupo of Hard Rock Atlantic City

During the interview, Lupo reminded everyone of who provides the most tax revenue. Who employs most of the people. Casino employees need a certain customer: those with substantial disposable income.

Lupo: political pressure on CRDA to vote a certain way.

No problem if you bring a Billy Joel or Bon Jovi type act. Attract those with money. Those likely to stay the weekend. Hotel rooms, restaurants, gaming, shows. The Warped show will not bring the kind of person that provides us stability and growth.

Hard Rock’s Joe Lupo talks about the CRDA: Why are casinos paying for this (Warped Tour) and not getting a return for it? They have a board of so many people. Ridiculous. Not gonna accomplish anything. Individuals merely voting for whatever somebody tells them to. Who thought this was a good idea? Why pay for staging (on the beach), when there’s a stage in Boardwalk Hall?

Live Nation would never put this show on, if they had to risk their own money.

Joe Lupo, Hard Rock AC
CRDA. Qualified to Subsidize AC Concerts?

The letters, CRDA, stand for Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Portions of AC casino profits were supposed to revive Atlantic City. That’s why CRDA was created.

I used to go to the Vans Warped Tour in the late ’90s and the difference between then and now is simply that the skate-punk movement is much smaller and less interesting now. Music trends have moved.

Geoff Gordon, Live Nation’s Philadelphia regional president: “It’s a great location that has great hotels and restaurants and casinos. Live Nation believes Atlantic City is a perfect fit for this punk festival. Locals disagree.

A previous CRDA agreement with Live Nation just ended. In the past 3 summers, CRDA doled out $9 million for AC beach concerts.

Why are monies earmarked for the betterment of Atlantic City, being used to benefit few…. namely, those connected with CRDA?

Live Nation handles band acquisition, permits and licensing, concert logistics. Live Nation to pay CRDA either $250,000 or $9 per ticket, paid or unpaid, whichever is greater.

Where is that $1.4 million payment to Live Nation coming from?

  • Convention Center Division operating budget
  • Atlantic City Tourism District
  • Community Development Fund.

Previous Live Nation shows in AC featured Maroon 5, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown Band and Pink. Exact attendance never made public. Exact PAID attendance never made public. Profit share with City of AC never made public.

Pink and Maroon 5 on the beach. Pink was great. But fans hated the Live Nation beach experience.

2019 WARPED FESTIVAL: 5 shows only

6/8/2019 Cleveland, OH @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
6/29-6/30, 2019 Atlantic City, NJ @ Atlantic City Beach
7/20-21, 2019 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater

The Vans Warped Tour — frequently called a “punk rock summer camp”.

Warped Tour: created spaces for metal, punk and ska fans to meet their idols and mosh together. The show’s popularity has declined among both bands and attendees. The Warped Tour doesn’t have the same cultural cache it once had.

The end of Vans Warped Tour, a festival stuck in the past

Time to say goodbye to Van’s Warped Tour. The “punk-rock summer camp,” which began in 1995.

NEWSWEEK: https://www.newsweek.com/why-warped-tour-ending-2018-712890

End of the Warped Tour: What the loss of rock’s ‘cheap, scruffy’ roadshow means for the concert biz


CRDA’s top priority are the casino cash cows. Not the revitalization of Atlantic City. CRDA ignores dark streets, empty lots that don’t pay taxes, crime, business leaving the city, dumping ground for former sex offenders, magnet for social services, needle exchanges, etc.

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  1. Joe Lupo is 100% correct, the CRDA people have no idea what is going on. I never went to college and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how to bring in money…Answer A or B
    A-do you want 20.000. people coming to town who hitchhiked there (It’s 2019 not 1969) or

    B- Do you want 20,000. people coming with money and who may stay the weekend, and spend money in restaurant, stay at casinos, visit LOCAL restaurants. Maybe spent money at local shop’s ….etc…etc……etc

    As for as the CDRA board members go……Maybe they should take a trip to
    Kansas and ask the Wizard for a brain.

    1. Maybe you should all try a reality check. You, Todd, Ed, and Joe Lupo. You all have pretty much no idea what you’re talking about. I went to AC to see the Blink 182 and A Day to Remember show on the beach (unfortunately cancelled because of weather), two bands that are prime material for a Warped Tour reboot, and I stayed the entire weekend. That would be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Your post just shows how ignorant you actually are. I’ll be at the craps table long past when all of the Bon Jovi fans have ditched their denim for a bed.

    2. Well my good sir,
      A) it’s sold out, completely. Now, I’m not sure how many people that is, but I guarantee you people aren’t hitchhiking there.
      B) I just spend $570 on a LOCAL hotel and tickets. I will have to eat there at LOCAL restaurants as well as almost everyone else going. All of these people need to pay for parking as well.
      C) it’s a central location between the northeast and central Atlantic states, people from all over are going to coming to your grimey city, yes I said, AC is disgusting, you go beyond the boardwalk and you might as well call yourself dead. I’ve had locals tell me, be careful if you go off the boardwalk. So stop praising AC like it’s some Oasis and accept the fact that a lot of people are going to be there and spending their money.

    3. It is three days before Warped Tour is to begin. My daughter (22yr old coach for an Olympic gymnastics camp), my niece (30yr old registered nurse), and I (52yr old mom to 5, grandmother of 2, Public Public and Administration major) are flying from Florida to New Jersey for the show. We have purchased tickets, are renting a car, we will be buying food, souvenirs and other sundry items during our stay from 6/27-7/1. So far on Twitter (you know that thing only millennials use to be political- that’s sarcasm by the way) the largest number of attendees are adults who grew up with Warped. The end of the school year heralded cheers from concert goes young and old as they could hear bands both old and new at a price they could realistically afford on after- school job pay. These adults who are now parents, doctors, nurses, lawyers, even cops have sustainable income and can afford a weekend at a casino hotel, spend $100 on dinner and drinks and pay for taxis. Being from a state that thrives on tourism and a city which just warmly welcomed over 200,000 people for a 3 day long Pride festival I know the value of a tourist’s dollar and know that the key to successful business is repeat customers. We are better for it. The tourism industry in the Tampa Bay area is thriving, largely due to the festivities like those scheduled for Pride month. No reasonable community should turn away a dollar spent in your city. I worry now for my safety, not from the concert goers but how we will be treated by people living in the area who are benefiting off of my dollar.


  3. Joe is absolutely spot on. The CRDA would of been better off putting that 1.4 million in a paper shredder. It could cost the city more for security and clean up than it would be worth. Tens of thousands of music fans to Atlantic City? Yes, fans with no money to spend in restaurants or rooms. Live Nation missed the mark big time on this one. Atlantic City is NOT a punk festival type of town. Locals and casino owner agree. Start listening.

    1. Are you living in this century? First it’s not a punk rock festival. There are many genres from ska to rock to electronica and yes punk and pop-punk music. How do you think working people are getting to the event? You cannot bring food into the venue so yes, we will be spending money on food and drinks. The event ends at approximately 10:00 p.m. each night. Where do you think we sleep? Just try to book a hotel this weekend! Even the casino/hotel/ticket packages at locations which partnered with warped are sold out.

  4. Yall are saying this is a bad idea but do any of you realize how HUGE warped tour is?!? It fills my Facebook and Instagram timeliness for MONTHS before and after. This will help the city, even if you don’t see it. These people are still going to be spending money in the city. Some of them WILL stay for multiple days. Warped Tour also brings in bands that, believe it or not, people WANT to see. What’s so bad about this? People saves for months, sometimes years to make this event happen for them.

  5. You people have no idea how much this will help your city. My family has been a supporter of Warped Tour for 14 years. Warped Tour brings the community together and helps many causes (far too many to name). I’m a middle aged professional woman from a working class family and we have been taking our family vacations every summer to see Warped Tour in as many cities as possible. The end of the tour was a sad time for us. We will be visiting your fine city this summer and spending our well earned money. I hope you welcome the Warped community with open arms!

      1. Yes, I am. Sounds like we have a lot in common!! Are you making the trip to Mountain View too? We are, family vacation this year!! AC is a quick weekend for us since we live in a neighboring state.

  6. I can’t believe some of the ignorant things I am hearing. What makes you believe the festival attendees don’t have any money? You pointed out yourself that Warped Tour began in 1995…….yeah, so everyone who attended it when they were teenagers are now in their 30s and 40s. We have jobs, we have money, and we love punk rock music. I’m a lawyer with a solid income who attends Warped Tour annually……but because I don’t like the same crappy music as you I must be poor? Also, you do realize that Coachella’s demographic is also 17 – 26, right? And that is the most profitable US festival of all time. 120,000 kids go every year and spend $400 just on the ticket alone.
    This just sounds like the ramblings of a bitter old man. What an embarrassing piece of journalism.

  7. I’m from Boston. I love to gamble, and I’m a punk fan. I’ve been to Vegas and Mohegan/Foxwoods many times, but have never visited AC because of its reputation as being an old, run down boardwalk town. As soon as I heard about this show, I canceled another trip I had planned for that weekend in lieu of this one. I’m absolutely amped for Warped Tour to finally be worth making a trip for and not having to take a day off work in the middle of the week to attend.
    I know nothing about this CDRA, but I can tell you I’m going to be dropping a LOT of money that weekend that I would otherwise never spend in AC.

  8. I’ve never had any desire to visit the trashcan known as Atlantic city. When it was announced that warped would be in AC I didn’t care, as I’m sure most others also did not care.

    As soon as the lineup was revealed I was shocked and jumped on the tickets, booked a room from Thursday to Monday. Within an hour of the information released I had spent a grand on this trip. That’s money that’s going straight into your shit economy. I know I’m not the only one that had this same reaction, perhaps not many are staying as long as I am but I decided to turn this into a vacation for my girlfriend and I. This article and so many of the comments here are garbage. You all have no idea how well this will pay off.

    “Attract those with money. Those likely to stay the weekend. Hotel rooms, restaurants, gaming, shows. The Warped show will not bring the kind of person that provides us stability and growth.”

    Get out of here with that trash. We’re all grown ups now. We have real jobs with real money. I’m driving from 14 hours away for this. From what I can see this shitbag city doesn’t deserve our business.

  9. Does anyone know what business Todd Lovitz owns so I can be sure I don’t accidentally spend any of my money there next weekend?

    1. I’m right there with you Lauren! Any business not supporting Warped Tour will not be visited by anyone in my group! We opted to stay outside of AC for the weekend mainly because the businesses that complained about the festival quickly jacked up prices for the weekend and we already anticipated 40 or 50 dollars for parking so why not stay in a nicer area for less money and drive into AC both days.

    2. Same! I will not be patronizing his place of business (wow a warped fan who knows how to use words like ‘patronize’)!

    3. He owns the Pier 21 T-shirt and novelty store. He happily sells merch that makes his arguments hypocritical and therefore in valid.

  10. Went to Warped in AC with 4 people from Florida, average income between us is 500k/year. I’ve been going to this show for 15 years and wasn’t going to miss the last one. Every news article out now says Warped was a success for the city and brought in way more than the 1.4 million it cost to bring it to AC. (Hotel prices were up 5x that weekend) Get your facts straight before you bash it. If it’s true that you own a store in the area, I bet you’re hoping we come back next year.

  11. Ryan,
    My daughter, niece and I also attended Warped 25 this weekend. We flew up from Florida, so we did not “hitchhike” up. I am 52 (the 3 of us are not jobless kids). This was my 2nd warped and I loved every minute! Not only did we dine, shop and play in AC, we spent money staying in Sea Isle so we spent money, as I am sure many others did as well, which benefitted the whole state. Even the evacuation during the storm was fun in its own way. By the way, during the 2 hour break in the show, I saw hundreds more Warped goers eating, gaming and shopping in Bally’s (where I wound up). I’m certain that Ceasar’s, other casinos and dining/shopping venues benefited from the nearly 30,000 people needing shelter who also had money to spend.
    Hope you had a great weekend!

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