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Threats and ‘hate messages’ lead NOFX to pull out of Punk Rock Bowling festival

NOFX
(Image credit: Fat Wreck Chords)

NOFX have withdrawn from their previously announced headlining appearance at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas after receiving threats and hate messages.

The Los Angeles punk band caused controversy at the 2018 staging of the Punk Rock Bowling event when they made jokes onstage about the mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival, in which 60 people were killed and more than 800 injured after 64-year-old Nevada man Stephen Paddock opened fire on the festival crowd. 

Referencing the killings in 2018, Fat Mike joked, “You know, that sucked but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”

The group later apologised, saying, “What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civility.” Following the controversy Fat MIke claimed that the band were effectively “banned” from playing any major venue in the US.

The band have now pulled out of the September event after receiving threats and abuse ahead of their proposed return to the city.

In a statement on behalf of his band, Fat Mike says: “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 favourite 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”

As stated, Descendents will now headline the festival’s opening night on September 24, above Frank Turner and The Menzingers.