Less than eight months after a mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest festival left 58 dead and hundreds more injured, punk veterans NOFX decided to make light of the tragedy… on stage in Las Vegas.
Sunday night (May 27) at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, NOFX frontman Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin engaged in stage banter involving Muslims and getting shot. The seemingly off-the-cuff conversation then turned to Vegas — and getting shot in Vegas “if you’re a country band.” Fat Mike then offered up: “You know, that sucked… but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
Video of the exchange to footage, shared by X107.5 DJs Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney, has circulated on Twitter; watch it below.
NOFX thought it would be "hilarious" to joke about the October 1 shootings while on stage in Las Vegas. They said "at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans". This is disgusting and callous. We will never support anything involving this band ever again. pic.twitter.com/am3R8QJIE6
Punk Rock Bowling founders Mark and Shawn Stern denounced the band’s comments, offering “a formal apology” to the fans in attendance as well as the City of Las Vegas and the victims and families of the October 1 massacre.
“Las Vegas is home to the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, and we do not condone the statements made from our stage Sunday night,” the Sterns write. “We take the safety of our festival goers seriously and want to relay that, there is nothing funny about people being shot and murdered, ever.”
NOFX have also lost their beer sponsorship as a result of the comments. Stone Brewing, the California-based brewery that sponsors their Punk in Drublic music fest and manufactures their “hoppy lager” beer, quickly cut ties with the band.
“We at Stone Brewing are aware of NOFX’s insensitive and indefensible statements this past weekend,” a spokesperson says in a statement. “As a result, we are severing all our ties with NOFX, including festival sponsorship and the production of our collaboration beer. “We respect punk rock, and the DIY ethos for which it stands. To us, it means standing up for things you believe in, and fearlessly committing to what’s right. And it is for that reason that Stone Brewing is immediately disassociating ourselves from the band NOFX. Stone had a sponsorship deal for this summer’s Punk In Drublic festivals. Emphasis ‘had.’ That sponsorship is now canceled.”
Stone Brewing are donating all profits of the beer to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, which provides trauma counseling an other services to Route 91 first responders. “Punk rock is cool,” Stone adds. “These callous comments were the furthest thing from it.”