NOFX pull out of Vegas music fest citing backlash over old joke about mass shooting
NOFX have pulled out of the Punk Rock Bowling Festival in Las Vegas out of respect for the victims of the 2017 mass shooting in the city, which the band joked about on stage during a gig there in 2018.
"I was so f---ing excited to play it this year," NOFX said in a statement posted on the festival's website on Monday. "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."
The punk rockers, known for their dark and crass humor, faced criticism in 2018 after they joked about the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas, where 58 people died and more than 500 people were injured in 2017.
While onstage at the 2018 installment of PRBF, the band joked about not being shot over a song, before saying of the mass shooting, "I mean that sucked but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans." They apologized soon after, saying, "There's no place here to backpedal. What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. 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."
Further explaining their decision to drop out of Punk Rock Bowling this year, the band said in their statement, "There has been a lot of hate messages and threats because we are on the bill, It just feels wrong. We know we said s---ty 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."
Another punk rock band, Descendents, is taking NOFX's spot at the top of the bill on Sept. 24.
"But not Everything Sucks, I talked to Milo [Aukerman, Descendents frontman] yesterday…. And he's comin! Decendents are taking our spot! It's pretty f---ing 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," their statement concluded.
The festival announced it would email Friday-only ticketholders to explain their options following the line-up change.