In 2018, NOFX made headlines after Fat Mike made light of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting at Route 91 Harvest festival during their set at Punk Rock Bowling, also set in Vegas. “At least they were country fans,” he’d quipped after a back and forth with guitarist Eric Melvin. They apologized a few days later, but then sort of mired that with Fat Mike lamenting that NOFX were “banned” in their own country over the remarks. Later, in 2019, they released a song called “Fish In A Barrel,” penned in 2016, to benefit the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action.
Punk Rock Bowling is set to return to Vegas this September, and NOFX were originally slated as headliners. Now they’ve dropped out and the Descendents are going to replace them. The festival posted that it was due to circumstances out of their control, but also shared a statement from Fat Mike that attributed the decision to ongoing issues surrounding those comments from a few years ago. Here’s Fat Mike’s statement:
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