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.


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

NYE Boardwalk Hall Concert Cancelled. Live Nation, CRDA to Blame?

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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