September 20, 2023

From Punk Rock to Professor: Kevin Lyman’s Evolution in Music Events

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Hello, welcome to On Production, the podcast that brings you the inside scoop on the world of production. Each week we sit down with production professionals across film, commercials, events, live tours, unscripted photography, and project based industries to hear their stories, insights and advice on the art and science of making things happen. Really excited to be talking to Kevin Lyman today, the founder and operator of the Vans Warped Tour for over 25 years. Kevin, thanks so much for being here. I'm really excited personally, to learn more about your story, lessons learned along the way, and kind of get a sense of what you're doing now and what you think the future of live events looks like.


Thanks, Cameron, thanks for having me on. And, you know, I always like how as you get older in the business, you get known for less and less. So I'm known as the Warped guy, you know, it was, it was like, there was a lot that led up to me doing that. And there's still a lot of things going on. But you know, it's great. I'm the Warped guy. So, you know, and I think what we did with production with that was a lot different than what anyone else had done to that point.


You know, Kevin, I really am glad that you called that out. Because the first thing you want to do is to explore kind of your early career, right? You know, when you and I had the chance to meet each other, your breadth and depth of experience across bringing people together, entertaining them, and giving them awesome experiences, kind of spans a wide gamut. So how in the heck did you get involved in the music and events space? Like, what was your early career and what led to the quote unquote, one thing that everybody kind of remembers you?


I think that kind of even was started, you know, growing up in Claremont, California, kind of being around groups of people that always seemed to kind of be gathering to do something, you know, it was like, Okay, how do you know, they were doing a benefit for something they were helping with someone or early on, we had no money. So it was like, Oh, we have to figure out how to entertain ourselves in our own backyards. So you know, that led to me in college, to be honest, I was walking through campus one day and had some music off in the distance. And there was a concert committee, you know, because so many kids and now being a full-time professor at USC, I recommend my students to get involved in as many things as possible; I wandered over and met some people and some of those people were very interesting when you know, you'd ever know in life where you're going to come across, but I had the chance to start learning how to put on shows there and, and later on, those people turned into a gentleman named Paul Tollett, who started Coachella and Perry Tollett his brother at that point was the same age as me. There were a lot of interesting people there. And then, you know, as I was moving through school, I started falling in love with the music scene in LA, you know, Cal Poly Pomona was about an hour from LA. I started gravitating to a really exciting time in music. And I started putting on shows out where I live to raise money for a ski club and ski team that was underfunded. And I figured out how to use some skills to bring bands out from LA to play shows in large backyards. And, you know, the first time you do a show, you think the brass band brings the PA system with him, you know, you start learning your lessons quickly, and I started learning organizations. And I think that was my skill, I guess, was the ability to get on the phone and make phone calls in trying to figure out how to make things happen. And you know, I went away for a while right after college and came back and was offered a job through that work I had done in college, at a club in Los Angeles. And it was a really exciting time. And there was the punk rock scene going on the alternative music scene. And I reconnected with those people from college. They were working for a company called Goldenvoice, a pretty famous promoter out here in Southern California. I was offered a stage managing position with them, but immediately realized that I also wanted to do other things that I never wanted to be locked into one thing. So I started my own production company, which was Kevin Lyman Production Services at that point. This was in the mid 80s.


So leading up to this, you know, as you're kind of going from totally green to more experienced. Do you have any stories of things that are related to production? Were some hard lessons learned fast that you then kind of brought with you the rest of your career specifically on the production operation side? I mean, I think there's


Yeah, production side, it didn't take long before I started moving up to bigger shows. And there's that moment in time where, you know, you probably should have asked a question, if you didn't know something, you know, starting to get more and more technical writers and contracts. And I'll never forget doing a Phantom of the Opera show. I was doing a tour of Phantom of the Opera. And they asked how many line sets were in a theater. And I kind of bullshitted my way to be honest, I gave him a number. And when they showed up, it wasn't quite right. And to be honest, I didn't even know what a line set was at that point. And the rigor wasn't very happy with me, let's just say of the show and try to drop a hammer on my head from about 40 feet, you know, so it really, really stresses that, you know, there are no dumb questions in production. There's just not asking those questions that can lead to you know, it really needs to slow down this load in and cause some confusion. So I was learning along the way, you know, like, I go back and said that, that first time I did a show, I thought the band showed up with their own PA system for a party, you know, you'd hire a band, you had to have a PA system for him to play on. So I was a fairly quick learner, I didn't repeat my mistakes. And I was able to start working very quickly around LA and getting a good reputation. And I think that good reputation I got was that I treated everyone equally, you know, whether there were the smallest bands to the biggest bands, I would try to make sure they had a good experience. And that was a time when those smallest bands in LA could turn into Stone Temple Pilots, or they could turn into Jane's Addiction, or so many bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and, and Nine Inch Nails and all these bands. And then that kind of led to more and more opportunities for me. And in 1991, I'd never gone on the road and I caught you asleep, I decided to work locally versus going on the road. My friends were making more money on tours than I was making at home. But I kind of liked that grounding of being around home and not being on the road all the time. I was invited to be the first stage manager of Lollapalooza in 1991 as a touring event. And that was another learning lesson.


Kevin, I'm really curious, like in terms of the business operations of building an events business, like is it that you think about an event that would be marketable? Is it that you find a band that you like that, you know, has an audience and you try to build something around it? Like, can you walk me through the conceptual origins of an event that you're trying to set up to build both a great moment for your customer, but then also, like, you know, build a profitable business enterprise? Like, how did you get your head around this? Is it the conception of like, an interesting event, do you think people will come to and then drive it all the way through? Is it building a portfolio of events? Like how did you kind of square the actual operations of production with the actual entrepreneurial side of it as well, figuring out how to build a business in this industry?


I think it was at 12 years, you know, it wasn't overnight, it was 12 years of observing how other people did it and helping them facilitate how they wanted their shows to be, you know, so being that kind of promoter rap that I was going through the writers and understanding how the inefficiencies of our business, there was a lot of inefficiencies going on. And so would want, you know, too many stagehands, you know, not being efficient on load ends. So, you know, people were wasting a lot of time and time was money, dressing room writers that were so over the top and they leave 90, but it was great for me because I you know, I don't think I spent money on food or groceries for about 10 years, because there was so much left behind, that I started to evolve these concepts of, and then, you know, going out on that first Lollapalooza show and watching, you know, there was a lot of inefficiencies that first year wouldn't, you know, some of the production aspects, but then learning kind of how kind of pulling that together, but also observing, and people always said, you know, you I observe the fans and how the fans reacted to shows, and, you know, how could you make a hybrid of something that's better for the artists and better for the fans. And those things would be, you know, later on implemented in something like the warp tour. And it was, it turned into a lot of things. But for me, the key lessons were like watching Henry Rollins, playing in 1991, Lollapalooza, and playing at the same time every day, and playing a lot of times to empty seats, as you know, in the afternoon, and thinking, wouldn't it be awesome for a career if he could have played right before Jane's Addiction a few nights. So that later evolved into that shuffling schedule that I would do that no one knew what time the bands played. And because the Warped audience was so engaged in music, they wanted to come earlier, and they didn't mind coming at 11 o'clock in the morning and being at a festival all day long. Some of the side effects from that, as we branched into sponsorships and things that weren't really accepted in our line of music at that point. It gave those brands a lot more touch points with the fans if they were there throughout the whole day. So, you know, a lot of it was based on how to bring the show to the fans at the best ticket price. You know, some people would say, oh, you know, I didn't think the music I was working in needed lights for effect, if that makes sense. The music was speaking so pure to the hearts of the fans, that you know, they didn't need all the bells and whistles. They just wanted it to sound good and go have a great time.


What's interesting, Kevin about your experiences, it has such breadth and depth across our culture as it has changed but you've also had a lot of different jobs like you just mentioned sponsored ers, right? Like, I would imagine, as you went up the stack in terms of managing as an executive, your various events, that you had a lot of face time on those individuals, but earlier on a lot of tactical work actually making the operations of the events happen. I want to touch on that eventually, as we kind of dig deeper into your story. But let's go back a little bit you just mentioned, you know, like getting your start learning the robes for a number of years. And then in the 80s, starting Kevin Lyman Productions, what happened when you started that business? What were the first steps you took? What were the first events? What kind of went down?


Well, one, you know, you have to start learning basic business prep principles that are across all boards, you know, how do you incorporate yourself? How do you know, build a business? Which bank accounts do you do? You know, where do you fall? Oh, wow, you need liability insurance. Now your name is getting out there, and you could be liable for certain things. So it's, you know, basic business structure, I think, sometimes what was going on and learning how to pay taxes. I mean, I'm not saying that halfhearted, our industry is a lot more, but there was a lot of cash flowing around the business back then. And I saw so many young companies get themselves in trouble, three, four years down the road, because they didn't build the basic business structure. And nowadays, you know, there's not as much cash in the business. So maybe people are getting started earlier, but I saw a lot of people get, you know, hit by the IRS later on, you know, four or five years into their business. So I tell people, it's really hard. At first when you're kind of struggling, struggling, but it's best to build a great, just solid business foundation, and to, uh, you know, I think, you know, understanding, you know, I was one of those people that would never probably be a specialist in anything, but I could understand everything by doing it in the clubs. And I say, starting in the clubs, was such a great life for me, because there you would be maybe running the monitor desk once in a while, or maybe you'd be running the lighting desk, learn enough about all the roles to do a little bit of everything and understand and actually have a intelligent conversation behind them was so important to, to where I think I went later on in life.


That's awesome. Something you're reminding me of, and talking about just basic business practices. A lawyer friend of mine said that the Holy Trinity for covering your bases, business incorporation, good contracts, and business insurance. You know, those are the three things to get you started. And on your way, just operationally for any kind of business for you in the 80s. You know, you had learned all this stuff, you got your business set up. What were kind of the first first big projects you took on that that really started to succeed for you.


I mean, I think for me, it was you know, we were running up to 320 shows a year. And never being I never was exclusive to any promoter in town. A lot of times nowadays, you know, Live Nation will have a production manager and you only work like nation shows, and there's enough volume for that, or AEG. But back then there were a lot of promoters, so no one was willing to pay me to stay home. So I said, I'm going to work every day, and never turning down a gig. One of the biggest mistakes I think some people do early in their careers. They think that I only want to work in this type of music. And that's what I learned early, there was the punk rock crowd and that's where I kind of came from. But there were other days of the week. So I'd be working at their Hair Metal shows, and I never judged what they did. I just went to work there and if there was a show on Thanksgiving, and it was a Persian show, I go work there and I just kind of see how these operated and then later on in life, you can become more specific. But at that point, I was doing about 320 shows a year.


That's incredible. Now were these spread out like venues all over


Los Angeles. All basically by sometimes do shows as far south of San Diego and up to Santa Barbara County bowl, but mostly in LA County, San Bernardino County, the palladium, the Roxy, the whiskey, the Avalon which was called the palace at that point, Santa Monica civic and countless other ones that were one offs and gone venues that we that we think golden boys have always had a knack to find an old theaters, that you could bribe the caretaker a few 100 bucks to let you in and do a show. You know, we did a lot of those in our lives. And you know, it was but I charted evolve and seeing how business kind of but I was always kind of watching. And then we did a lot of cool things back then that we don't see as much now, there was a lot of benefit shows in LA, the band, there was a community of bands that you know, if there was a Rock the Vote show or rock for choice show we were doing all those early benefit shows, integrating philanthropy into our shows all the time and we do the crazy shows. I mean, I think the craziest one was that there was a band in LA called fishbone. And one of their members joined a call. The rest of the band went and kidnapped him to bring them back but he didn't really want to come back so they got charged with kidnapping. And we had to throw a benefit show but it was amazing and the chili peppers showed up And Mary's Danish, all these bands, and we're all raising money to help them with their bail or their legal fund. And it was a really good sense of community. So that's what I felt was really also part of my later career trying to build that sense of community through these events and festivals and tours I did, and not just make them in another stop or another type of show. So you know, watching the audience base, watching the community that we had here and going back through life, led to those things later on that I did, you know, and I, we tried to do that through everything from war, to taste, to chaos, to mayhem, to all these different lifestyle events, and then starting to look at, like lifestyle and culture. And how do you build something where some people later on said the were the Warped Tour was a lifestyle traveling fair, as much as it was, as a music festival, involved, you know, involved, the brands that were relevant to the fans, the nonprofit's were such a big part of what I did, delivering it at an artificially low ticket price by using those sponsorship dollars. And, figuring out how those bands could benefit from working with those sponsors or being around those monsters. We kept that ticket price, you know, I was having a couple of meetings this week. And they were like you were just so artificially low with that ticket price. You know, you could never do that again. I said, Yeah, but but it was, you know, we were trying to do a show for, you know, let's say the other 90% of the people out there, you know, 10% could go to the large festivals, where you're paying a lot for hotels or things, we were trying to deliver it to your town, I felt for a music scene that if we brought it to your town, you know, we brought punk rock to Boise, Idaho, they didn't get a lot of shows like that. They can have a show a year that would help build our scene of music and, and we built it all together. So everyone would benefit throughout the rest of the year from being involved in these projects. I had hope


you just said something that really I think resonates with our audience, which is about the building, right? Like, On Production is brought to us through Wrapbook, right? It's a suite of tools that enables people to build a creative project in the world, and what you just described as building by a community of people to build culture into the world and see what happens. I love that, from this perception of building, right? Like, what were kind of the hard and fast rules that you and your team would utilize, to build a to or to build a job like, is it coming up with a budget first, like, what were you doing with your budget? And then who were your first hires? And how did you structure the organization of your events and your tours, so that they would function safely on time on budget and hopefully make money?


Well, we really found people that cared as much as I did. You know, that was really important. I think, you know, finding people that were from and giving people chances, you know, I think I gave a lot of people their first jobs, or I gave them maybe their second job, but elevated them quickly, if they showed promise and gave them responsibility. And we would, we would look at it, I would start kind of in the process of, you know, each year outlining you know, how many shows what we could do pretty much started with a budget, we would start to outline a budget, and, you know, figure out what we could pay. And it was a different world because we were mostly our festivals or events, we it wasn't like booking for a three day weekend, and a one off, we're booking for two months. So that was a lot of artists' development. So the process would usually start in September, October after the following year, that would end maybe August 1 right in that area, then I'd take a month, and then we would start the process of both one, it moved all at its same pace kind of was one start to explore talent for the following year, to start to contract sponsors and spill the revenue model that way, because we were dependent on sponsors to be able to put this tour out. And three, really to see where we were the summer before and where our efficiencies were and possibly inefficiencies and see how we you know, with that tour, saving one or 2%, or spending one or 2% was a big shift, because you were looking at 32 to 40 shows. So you know, it was a one we would have called the pilgrimage capacity. You know, everyone would come and hang out in the backyard and labels, managers, agents, everyone, we would sit there and bands would come by all the time and we'd play music and I'd start with a big whiteboard and I'd have an outline of a dream lineup for the year. And then we would sit there and strategize how we could help develop bands throughout the next nine months leading to the tour. And then we'd actually have the tour going and then we would be working on those sponsors in October and trying to lock in deals and then align bands that might want to work with those brands. It was then that this company was always very, very small and tight, we had a small sponsorship team, which was one or two people, we would have an operations person, and we would have a marketing person. That's pretty much we would have full time. And then your


operations team would be like building out relationships and contracts with different professional service organizations. Like I'm curious. On the department side, you've got transpo, you've got stages, where you’re bringing everything with you or renting gear in every single location, like how did that work?


No, those deals we were we traveled with everything. I mean, we were the easiest tour to ever probably deal with on that level. Because we brought our power, we brought our stages, we brought our sound, we brought our catering, there was no way people could have put this together as one off expenses. So we brought everything so my operations person spent a lot of time. I would still be very, very involved. I love production, having that production bag that I can do plus contracts, I could figure out the staging needs, I can count the pieces of barricade we need. And then their job was to go out there and make sure that it was all lined up, we would work together on that. You know, I was very loyal. I believe in loyalty to vendors. We didn't jump vendors very often. I haven't even jumped vendors in my 40 Something year career when I need them. If I need sound, I tend to go to rap sound, you know, they started in the clubs with me, and now they're the sound company for Coachella. So my first call is most likely going to go to them, you know, especially for any kind of touring or anything I'm doing in California. And my staging company was Klieg staging the first sl 250s. I think Brian country, we're really used for my tours. And if I need those, I'm sure he's got them in the backyard there changes the plywood every year, we used to call it the 100, the $40,000 pieces of plywood, because he'd go, I need a $40,000 advance and all they do is change the plywood on the stage each year. And we would have our stages back. So it was a small group. And you know, we would build up for that summer, we had people that really love to tour with us. They knew that they were going to have a job each summer. And they might tour with other people throughout the year. But knowing if they at all, possibly they had a position with us.


How many people did you employ on any given tour? As you were kind of taking everyone with you? Were you hiring folks locally? Were you bringing everyone with you like what was the headcount of the kind of circus necessary to make this thing happen?


Well, Warped Tour traveled and it got too big. At some points, we were traveling with 1000 people on the road, the sweet spot for that was about 600 to 750 people, and that would include all artists and touring personnel, my staff would include, you know, we would be you know, our stage managers, our production managers, our catering crew, our truck drivers, our bus drivers, we would have this great production team was about 150 to 200 people. The rest were artists that were on the road with us. And then of course, the local promoter would provide the stage hands for each local day,


when the tour started really getting its rhythm and its stride. Did your business have other projects that you were doing concurrently? Or did the tour end up just kind of taking Kevin Lyman productions? Attention fully? I


think people thought that I was pulling out of you know, the parking lots with truckloads of money. But the people would, you know, we didn't realize that, you know, it was like it was a great foundation for my business. If the business wouldn't have survived. We didn't make it. It wasn't like Kevin Lyman could just work two months a year and call the rest of the year just to get ready for the following year. We were constantly doing other productions. And some of that would be our own events, which were the chaos tour of the Mayhem Festival, right partners on that, but we were the operating team behind that. We were doing one offs all the time, you know, special events, fashion shows for Comic Con, whatever and new people would call and but we were working, you know, I needed to work year round economically. It wasn't, didn't allow me not to do anything. I needed to do other things. I couldn't just be dependent on a work tour.


What are the differences in the economics of an event organization today versus when you were building your business over the last couple of decades? Well,


we've reached a period right now. It's funny because now I'm kind of more of a sounding board. You know, I used to produce things like my charity golf tournament I had on Monday or I had a charity Bowling Tournament show in Vegas before that when we were a young festival, but we're really seeing that we made a real fundamental mistake in the music business. And that's where my voice is being best used right now. One being a full time professor at the University of Southern California. I'm getting lots of young people interested in the business. And I hope with a little bit of the mindset that I had, that you can have a good attitude, do good business and don't complain. So I've got a lot of young people that are now starting to fill. It was funny when we started the warp tour, if you have worked when you worked on Warped Tour at the beginning, the rest of the industry looked down on us a little bit. We weren't traditional, we were the punk. You know, we were, you know, we were non-traditional. We were like the misfits of the music industry. A lot of the old touring crews Oh, you worked Warped Tour, that's not a real tour. That's, you know, not realizing that the Warped Tour was the hardest working tour out there. I'd worked on big arena tours and things and, and there's they're working, don't get me wrong, their days are long. And I would never just you know, that's a great career. But no one realized how hard it was to move that show each and every day, and sometimes playing up to 20 days in a row with that show. So 25 years, they're almost 28 years, almost 30 years later, those people with Warped Tour on their resume are very respected in the industry, they've grown into a lot of our industry leaders. But we were not as an industry whole mentoring and bringing up young people enough. So when the pandemic hit, a lot of people left the business my age, people decided, Okay, I'm done, I've gone home, first time, I've been in a bed for more than a week at home, oh, you know what, I'm not gonna go back to that touring lifestyle, I'm not gonna go back to that production lifestyle, and your body changes, you know, when you're doing it at that pace, you don't know any better, you stop, it's hard to pick up, you know, it's like, you're, you're like a pro athlete, almost that you're, you're running at such a high pace that when you stop, it's all of a sudden, you can't do it. Again, it's just not the ability. So right now I was dealing with some resumes for friends and trying to recruit, because they can't find that mid level management person to bring up in the business right now we don't have that middle young person with that basis of some experience that is ready to move up. We people were ignoring that and ignoring the need to train people. So I think across the board in the production world, whether it's, you know, we know we lost a lot of truck drivers, we lost a lot of bus drivers, but lighting companies sound everyone short, skilled people. And we're not talking highly skilled people, just people with those skills that can be fine tuned with it within the organization that you can become the leaders. So I'm really trying to help identify a young talent that can be maybe accelerated, like there's no better time to get into the music industry. If you want to be in the live events production business than now. There's never been a better time and more doors open. But when you need those skills we're lacking and right now. So that's really what my role is in the business right now is trying to identify people that have that fundamental and show the, you know, you get a gut feeling about someone that I can maybe find someone that's willing to invest in them a little bit of time to train them to move them up very quickly within their organization.


You know, Kevin, that speaks a bit to your current work. And you mentioned that you're a professor at USC, can you describe what school you're working for, describe your classes, and maybe help us understand what lessons you're teaching to your students in your program.


It's interesting, because it is about timing and the Life and Work tour was designed to end in 2019, which was nothing like timing it right before a pandemic. So it was great, you know, in the sense for me, we probably would have bankrupted us if we were planning to go out in 2020. But I had also been recruited in 2018, to come over and be part of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, which has a Music Industry Program. And at that point, I've been traveling, like I said, I had to do other things throughout the year. So I was going out to all these colleges around the country, and as a guest, lecturer and speaker, so I was traveling around, and I know these programs they have at these universities, but I was like, you know, I found it interesting. You know, if you're gonna have these programs, you need to have people that are still currently involved in the industry. And there's people over there that were teaching that I had worked for me at one point or were interns or worked on and worked over now teaching adjuncts and so the timing was right, so bedsides it, okay, I'll come over here. This is great. The challenge tested me very hard to stepping into the world of academia. A couple of weeks after finishing your last tour, I try to teach the students that same attitude going in there, you know, with, you know, one, I want them to have some philanthropic thought into their DNA by the time they leave that they want to leave the world in a better place. And that through music, we can do that. So I work very closely with them. I give them a good understanding of how the business works. And like I helped find them jobs I've been able to place. I have helped place 30 to 40 people into the business already in the years I've been there. And now it's funny because now More people. My daughter's still weren't shown and she goes, Oh my god, I'm out there and everyone comes up and goes are you professor Lyman which still doesn't ring. It's kind of funny actually Professor Lyman's daughter and she says, Oh my God, they're all USC students out here and they're all great workers. So I'm trying to instill in them that they can go in there with that good attitude and and make those connections while we're and it's been a lot of fun and I'm excited now because I think we're in a good flow and and we do you know what we work on mental health. That's a big topic in the industry. Right now we do a mental health festival on campus with Linda Bennington, Chester Bennington, we lost from Linkin Park when she came over and worked with our students on a mental health event. So I'm hoping to put well rounded people into our business that come into the business and want to leave in a better place when they will be leaving decades down the road.


That's really incredible. Kevin, in addition to your, or I should call you, Professor Lyman, that's really


the funniest moment in time, I think, was when we were on a tour bus leaving West Palm Beach on the show. And the phone, my phone rang on the bus, it was on Bluetooth, and I just hit it while a bunch of people were hanging around. And it's been a long hot day, downtown Florida. And it was having a couple of beers with us and it came over the speaker, you know, someone on the phone said is this professor lime and I've never heard people laugh so hard. Like the best comedians of the world, all they had to say was Professor Lyman, and my friends laughed. Like halfway to work. Repeating professional, or other word on the bus was said but professional lineman, and it would send them into fits of laughter for a while, but it's kind of grown on me a little bit. You know, it's kind of grown.


I love it. I think it serves you well, you know, the elder statesman of the live events industry, specifically within music, I think it's awesome. And I think it's a really cool way to give back to an industry that has given you an incredible career, as well as, you know, kind of keeping these important cultural events going. I mean, they really make a big impact in the world. You know, people meet their partners there, they make unforgettable memories, they get to consume and share culture, you know, like concerts and live events are such powerful embodiments of our civilization. So it's a really, really cool thing in terms of the work product. But getting it done requires a tremendous amount of insight. And you've learned a lot of hard lessons over the years. You know, before getting into some of the key lessons, I think that you've learned. I'm curious, you know, what other current projects and responsibilities are you taking on in addition to your classes and your students? You mentioned your golf tournament in the Bowling Tournament? What other types of things are you interested in today?


Oh, my gosh, I know, I got involved with brands sometimes too. If you know, lifestyle brands. So, you know, I worked with a company called Saint Archer brewery, when they were founded, it was skateboarders to surfers and, and I helped guide the culture of that brand. I help in the background of brands I invest in like beatbox beverages. And I was involved with a company called first wire and as of now I have a minor equity interest in a new club in in Hermosa Beach, that was, you know, you help people out in life and you don't expect anything, and I've helped this person out and she's wonderful that bought the club. And the next thing you know, she says, Kevin, you've got a small equity in the club for always helping me. So I'm having fun introducing people to this club called St rock and her most of the beach that she's putting a lot of money into remodeling and going to be really a hub of the community again, down there. So you know, I am busy all day long, I consult for a few companies, I sit on a few boards, I work on nonprofit stuff, definitely enough to fill up my time each day. And you know, you get that itch, you know, and then you know, right now it's I route a couple of summer vacations for me and my wife each summer, we never got to do those two vacations that normal people do so I sit here and I was actually right before I got on with you are going to be spending some time in Italy and one of my friends from the industry is going to be over there. So we're going rendezvous on the Amalfi Coast for a day and maybe go out on a boat so I'm doing those things that we gave up to build what we have, you know, our family you know, I was gone each summer but now we get the chance to to enjoy that and we've been doing that for the past couple years usually and overseas and right bought a Sprinter vans. So it's very similar to touring your route out where you can go, get your campsite reservations, figure out where you're gonna go. But you know, start to get the itch again, maybe on to do something larger, bigger, there's some opportunities out there. I don't think it ever leaves your blood, I just probably just gonna have to be a little different because physically that's the sad part. Your body does give out. I was never a person who sat in the production office. I was always in the middle of the field, whether it was riding my bike or out in the middle of the field with the fans, and physically I could We'll go do a two months who are now, I don't think, I guess if I had to, but I don't think my body would allow me to do it the way I did it the way and I just don't know if I could change. So I'm gonna have to adjust what I do. But I think there'll be some stuff on the horizon coming up here. You know, one more big summer of travel planned with my wife right now.


I think that's awesome, you know, very well deserved. I'm curious. You know, finally, just to wrap up, I'm really curious. You know, as you look back, and you look forward, what lessons have really stayed constant throughout your career? And have those lessons learned? You know, what do you want to pass on to aspiring production professionals, or even willing to just share with your contemporaries who maybe are listening in,


we have to really stress that there's a human element to this business. I mean, there's fabulous tech, there's technology and more, we'll keep talking more technology. And I see software that you can put in, it's still a people business, and it's treating people with respect and treating the fans with respect. And I don't think we can get away from that. I tell my students, I think all of you know how to learn. But I think we're losing the process of the ability to think, you know, and be able to think our way out of situations and in a quick fashion. You can't google, hey, there's a storm coming towards my venue. What do I do now? You have to have that instinct to be able to go out there and communicate to people what you need to do. So I am really stressed now and it helped them try to realize that we are a human business and the people and we were based on people, personalities, we can use technology to support us, but it's not going to replace us. And anyone who really thinks that it is it's not especially in our business if we there's got to be a lot of humanity left in our business.


Awesome. Well, Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It's really exciting to hear about all the stuff that you're doing at school, the events, the club, all of it really wonderful to hang out and thanks for being on.


Yeah, thanks for having me on camera. Take care.

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