My brother and I just finished up our fourth day of Van’s Warped Tour. It’s been an incredible change of scene from the Christian fests we’ve been at up until now. It’s quite interesting to see the different reaction that we get in a secular setting.
A majority of the girls walked around in bras, literally, and most of the guys sported shirts with the f-word somewhere on it in bold letters. The reception was, as you can imagine, quite different for a cause there. We met up with our friends in the Got Your Back movement and their feelings of discomfort paralleled ours.
We didn’t do nearly as well in sales and it was more difficult to talk to people as they passed by our table. I did find it pretty amusing to see how they expressed their anger at the attrocities of trafficking. It hit me, when I was talking to a girl with an “I love sex” sticker on her shirt with her jean shorts rolled up and unzipped to reveal her swimsuit, that perhaps the horrors of sex trafficking is the perfect cause to introduce in this kind of setting. I watched as one girl read our flier and, with each sentence that described the graphic reality those girls face, her face creased in disgust and horror. A lot of these girls don’t realize that they are making themselves the objects of exploitation and are degrading themselves by conforming to the over-exposed image that society tells them is acceptable. They need to love and respect themselves and know that they are worth it. They are all so truly beautiful and valuable that it hurt me to see them drop their standards so they can feel a shallow excuse for love. They deserve real love and real respect and I wish the world didn’t make them feel so insecure about the way they were made.
Boys would come up to the table with offensively suggestive things written on their chest and would buy a t-shirt that says they are against sex trafficking. Something about it is unsettlingly hypocritical. If anything, I think that the sex industry and the things that happen to these girls is a direct consequence of perverted love that is displayed for all to see.
We only did four days of Warped back to back.
We didn’t do so well the first couple of days, but Chicago offered a nice change. We showed up late and ended up getting the best spot in the festival, right next to main stage. We nearly quadrupled our sales because of the location and because of our wonderful sales team:
We would load in at 9:30 am and work until 6:30 pm. Then we would load up, eat our only meal of the day, and drive all night to the next location. We were lucky and were able to stop and sleep some for 2 of the 4 nights, but otherwise we ran on whatever sleep we were able to get during the drive. At some points, we definately began to question if the tour was worth it, but stayed surprisingly motivated. I don’t know how God managed to keep us going, but we never reached a snapping point.
Our next festival, Sonshine, begins tomorrow in Minnesota. I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces of some of the other vendors and bands again. We join back up with Warped afterwards and I’m still working on booking some more festivals for us after that.
I love being on the move, we have been so very blessed by the people we’ve met on the road and have found safe havens in each city we’ve gone to where people have opened their homes to us. We met Pip and Ginger in Detroit, hung out at Citizen Skate Cafe in Chicago (and learned how to skateboard!), and are at B’s house in MN now. I love her family so much! They took us on a full-out tour of Minnesota our first day here and have blessed us with so much great food and experiences (not to mention sleep)!
God is good, and He never ceases to surprise me!