TWLOHA On Vans Warped Tour: A Community Of Music

Reblogged from To Write Love on Her Arms

Hey All,

Here is another amazing volunteer story by our lovely friend Abi!

Music has always been a dear friend of mine. It has gotten me through some of the darkest moments of my story—and it has also been there to celebrate the lighter times.

This summer, I had the opportunity to help out at Vans Warped Tour in Holmdel, NJ, volunteering for a nonprofit I previously interned for called To Write Love on Her Arms. As I am originally from the United Kingdom, this was my first exposure to Warped Tour, and I have to say, I have never experienced anything like it.

I woke up on July 13, filled with nerves and excitement; I did not know what to expect. All I knew was I was going to be meeting a lot of TWLOHA supporters, and it was going to be a very hot day. I walked through the gates and entered a new community, one that had been travelling across the nation since June 16 in the name of music. As I watched so many bands, organizations, charities, and vendors set up for the day, the nerves began to kick in stronger. I wasn’t sure I was going to have the courage to talk to too many people.

My nerves were soon conquered. At 11 AM, the gates were opened, and people from across the globe and of every age began pouring through the gates. The excitement on each person’s face was refreshing. Thousands had now entered this unique community. Like the rest of us, they were there because of music.

Meeting hundreds of TWLOHA supporters was surreal. So many people came to the booth, showing their TWLOHA tattoos and giving thanks for everything we had done for them. It was surreal because I am a supporter too. TWLOHA has helped me so much, and interning with them was my way of giving back to a group of people who helped me live my life again. I might have been behind the booth, but I too was a supporter, thanking TWLOHA for everything they had done for me.

I am a wallflower; I tend not to do well in crowds. But at Warped Tour, I talked to anyone who came to the booth. The heat and humidity made my hair frizzy, and I had eyeliner sweating down my face, but it didn’t matter. We were all sweating, we were all hot messes, and we were all having a great time.

Through the bands, charities, and nonprofits I met on Warped Tour, I was reminded of such good in the world. I was reminded of all the people and organizations dedicated to making this world a better place. It is comforting to know we are not alone, and we have voices to speak up and help others—and ultimately, ourselves.

Volunteering at Vans Warped Tour was like hanging out with your friends, but by the thousands. The big crowds became our home for the day, and we shut the gate on our day-to-day lives to fully embrace a community of creativity, expression, and love. We were all there because we have all been touched by music and the community that comes along with it.