NOFX Drop Off Las Vegas Festival Out of Respect for Mass Shooting Victims
NOFX have removed themselves from a headlining spot at Punk Rock Bowling 2021. The punk band chose to drop off the festival out of respect for the victims of the 2017 massacre in Las Vegas, which NOFX joked about onstage during a 2018 Vegas gig.
NOFX have made a career out of non-PC and gallows humor, but at Punk Rock Bowling 2018, the general consensus was that they crossed the line. "We played a song about Muslims and we didn't get shot. Hooray,” Fat Mike said from the stage.
Eric Melvin followed up Mike’s joke with, "I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you are in a country band,” before Mike added, “I mean, that sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans."
Sixty people were killed and over 400 were injured at the Route 91 Harvest festival after a gunman shot indiscriminately from the window of his hotel room. It was the most deadly mass shooting in the history of the United States.
"There’s no place here to backpedal. What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful," the band said soon after. "We crossed the line of civility. We can’t write songs about how people in this world need to be more decent, when we were clearly being indecent. Las Vegas has always been a welcoming city to our band, and to make light of the tragedy that occurred there was egregious."
NOFX were scheduled to headline the first of three days at Punk Rock Bowling 2021, but they’ve been replaced on the bill by Descendents. Punk Rock Bowling shared the following statement from Fat Mike:
I’ve been playing and bowling at Punk Rock Bowling since the very first one when there were only 22 teams. PRB is my favorite time of the year. Like so many of you, I not only get to see my favorite bands, but I also get to see my punk friends from high school. This event is my reunion, it’s my convention, and it’s my church…. I was so fucking excited to play it this year….. but sadly we are not going to. NOFX had a meeting this week and decided we shouldn’t play out of respect that wounds are still healing. There has been a lot of hate messages and threats because we are on the bill, It just feels wrong. We know we said shitty things that caused it, so we get it. Sorry to everyone that wanted to see us. It’ll have to be in a different city. Hopefully we can see you all in Vegas when the time’s right. But not Everything Sucks, I talked to Milo yesterday…. And he’s comin! Decendents are taking our spot! It’s pretty fucking cool that we are being replaced by a better band! I wish I could be there to see 'em.
Actually very sincere,
Fat Mike and NOFX
The 22nd annual Punk Rock Bowling festival will take place Sept. 24-26 at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.