20 Years Ago Vans Warped Tour Made Las Cruces A Regular Stop
Between 1995 to 2019, Vans Warped Tour was one of the biggest musical festivals in the United States (and the world). For us in El Paso & Las Cruces, we would get excited during the summertime because we knew exactly where Vans would be; they would always go to the home of the Aggies: New Mexico State University. More specifically, the practice fields (or Intramural Fields).
NMSU became a regular stop for good reason. It was a wide open field with plenty of space of all the stages & tents to be set up. And it all started at the 2003 Vans Warped Tour.
That was the first time that Vans came to Las Cruces; July 16, 2003. Some of the notable bands included Pennywise, Less Than Jake, Rancid, The Used, Thrice, & Avenged Sevenfold.
Not much footage of the 2003 Vans Warped Tour exists except for this home video of Agent M of Tsunami Bomb being interviewed by a fan.
I only went twice to Vans Warped Tour; in 2010 & 2011 & anyone who went knows how HOT it was. It was crazy trying to find shade & water with the sun beating down on us. But we didn't care. We were there to have a great time.
In my opinion, this is where they really started making it a big deal. 2010 was the first time I noticed the official Vans pages started to make Las Cruces feel like an official stop on the tour.
This where you would see an influx of people uploading their personal videos of the bands who performed at Vans those years:
The last time Vans Warped Tour would show up in Las Cruces was back in 2017, two years before they would call it quits in 2019.
I'm not sure why they didn't show up in the last year of the festival (especially with Las Cruces being a stop on the tour for over a decade). I know for a fact fans would've LOVED to go to a show; we would've put up with the heat just to say we got to go to say goodbye to Vans.
But I'm thankful that Las Cruces, somewhere so close to El Paso, was a mainstay on the tour for so long.