Steve Van Doren, VP of Promotions at Vans
Steve van Doren, son of one of the founders of Vans shoes, has been partnered with Warped since 1995. Each year before the tour starts, Van Doren sets up hundreds of Vans sneakers on rehearsal day so each crew member can begin the tour with a fresh (and free) pair of shoes. Incredibly, Van Doren has traveled with Warped on every tour date until two years ago, when health troubles forced him to cut back his presence at the fest (he expects to be present for 40 percent of this year's tour). "I'm an older guy at 56 but I'm a teenager at heart," Van Doren said. "It's so great being out and seeing the young people, plus I get to see what the market is like. I'm always watching feet to see what they're wearing." As for the selection of bands, Van Doren says, "I just adapt to whatever Kevin [Lyman, Warped founder) throws out. I've been around skateboarding my whole life and that's the kind of music they listen to. I do enjoy alternative and punk rock, Pennywise is one of my favorite bands and I loved seeing the Specials a few years after the tour started. When the tour is over, sometimes I'll go home and I put on a CD and my wife is like, 'Uh, what's that?' And I'll say, 'This band is great! You just gotta watch them live and appreciate what they do and how hard they work.'"
Aubree Lennon for Fuse
June 16, 2012