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Van Warped Tour: More than performances

Although most people think of Vans Warped Tour as just another music festival, there are quite a few different aspects to the daylong event heading to the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.

This year, alongside performances by about 100 bands, energy drink trucks, merchandise tables and nonprofit organization’s tents, artists will teach workshops to their fans. Musicians from backgrounds in varying genres will host 45-minute workshops discussing their techniques, their music and offering a Q&A session with attendees.

Christofer Drew Ingle, lead singer and guitarist of indie-rock band Never Shout Never, is among those hosting a workshop at the Darien Lake stop. Ingle, who taught a similar workshop on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour, said he prefers the interaction with fans in the workshop to that in the band’s merchandise tent.

“I think I like this better because it’s more human,” Ingle said. “When you’re at the merch table, it’s kind of robotic trying to talk to everyone. It’s definitely a better connection.”

Ingle got involved with the Entertainment Institute, the organization that arranges the workshops, through his manager.

“He thought it sounded cool, and I was open to it,” Ingle said. “It felt good to kind of teach, and it helped me to get better.”

Ingle said teaching the workshops has allowed him to interact with fans in a way that inspires him.

He said he draws on ideas from fans who talk about their ideas for songs or what they’ve been working on.

Ingle hosts the class in a Q&A format while staying on the topic of music as much as possible. He doesn’t want to exclude fans that aren’t necessarily musicians and songwriters though.

“I would say this is for anybody, but I try to stay on topic as much as I can, like what I’ve been doing and answering any question anyone brings in,” Ingle said.

At the end of the workshop, Ingle said he likes to play a song or write a poem with the class.

Other workshop hosts include Matt Greiner, drummer of August Burns Red, talking about his drum technique; Lisa Johnson, photographer of Vans Warped Tour, who will take her five students into the pits to photograph a band’s live performance; and Lloyd Roberts, guitarist for Neck Deep, who will discuss songwriting and guitar techniques. In total, 25 workshops will be hosted at the Darien Lake stop.

To be admitted to the workshop, you need your Warped Tour ticket, as well as a separate workshop ticket that can be purchased for $25 per workshop through



What: Vans Warped Tour

When: 11 a.m. Wednesday

Where: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

Tickets: $48.50

Workshops: $25 each


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