In the middle of a performance at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in Las Vegas, NOFX made a joke that would come back to haunt them. Referencing the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting on October 1 that left 58 people dead, guitarist Eric Melvin said, “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you’re in a country band.” Frontman Fat Mike added, “At least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
The consequences were swift and resolute. Stone Brewing Co. was the San Diego Brewery behind NOFX’s beer and music festival both called Punk in Drublic. A representative for the company announced their plans to sever all ties with the band, including festival sponsorship and the production of their collaboration beer.
Stone Brewing Co. intends to donate profits from NOFX’s beer to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, an organization that offers trauma counseling for officers and first responders.
Camp Punk in Drublic music festival responded by replacing NOFX and Fat Mike’s group Me First and the Gimme Gimmes with Descendants and the Vandals as headliners . Artists Rancid, Pennywise, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are also expected to appear and perform.
The festival released a statement saying they were “shocked and disappointed” by the band’s statements, and reinforcing that the comments “do not reflect the feelings or views of the Camp Punk in Drublic festival, its staff, or its sponsors.” They will also be making a donation to a fund supporting those affected by the 2017 tragedy.
In the aftermath, NOFX responded with a statement on social media. “I can’t sleep, no one in my band can. What we said in Vegas was shitty and insensitive and we are all embarrassed by our remarks,” the post reads. “So we decided we will all get together to discuss and write an in depth, sincere, and honest apology because that’s what the people we offended and hurt deserve.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat