Vans Warped Tour co-founder Kevin Lyman plans to launch a traveling country tour next summer.

Lyman, who also bowed the Taste of Chaos and Mayhem tours, tells our former colleague, Billboard's Ray Waddell, that the time is right to move further into country. Given the tremendous sold-out success of last week's Stagecoach Festival, we'd have to agree. Plenty of the other multi-day festivals, such as Bonnaroo or Austin City Limits, incorporate country acts, but there is no multi-city, multi-artist tour geared toward the country audience. (Although George Strait has taken out six or seven acts on past tours and made a veritable festival of it).
The first country tour will feature a dozen acts and a similar number of singer/songwriters, Lyman says. Like Warped, it will be sponsor-driven and feature a number of ancillary activities, such as action sports participation.

"We want to customize what we've been able to do with Warped [in the punk genre], and last year with Mayhem in metal," Lyman tells Billboard. "We invested a lot of time with the metal labels before we put that tour into motion, and we've put a lot of time into this [new] project."