Does anyone remember when punk meant drinking cheap beer in alleys behind gritty basement clubs? It seems the days of the music being exclusively the antithesis of the mainstream are gone, and the days of festivals and nostalgia-filled reunion tours have created a strange genre where the bands are far more popular today than when they actually wrote new music. But one band that has been through both eras — putting out music and touring the entire time — is NOFX.
No stranger to DIY endeavors, NOFX singer and bass player Fat Mike started Fat Wreck Chords, which has and continues to put out music from bands that have become staples in any punk record collection. And the quintessential ‘new school’ band, NOFX, has evolved with the times, progressing from gritty beer-soaked basements to organizing and headlining its own festival.
Named after the band’s “Punk In Drublic” album (if anyone familiar with it wants to feel old, that record came out in 1994), the tongue-twister and business-branding-friendly Fat Mike Presents Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival will hit the Cal Expo Center in Sacramento on Sunday, Oct. 15.
Along with NOFX will be Irish Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly and ska-punk mainstays Goldfinger and Less Than Jake. It should be noted each of these bands also has been together since the early 1990s. Punk bands Bad Cop Bad Cop and Get Dead also will be playing.
If there are doubts as to the daylong festival following the model of nostalgia tours, some of the other festival features quickly put that to rest. The Punk In Drublic Fest will have free craft beer tastings, including Stone Brewery’s Punk In Drublic lager, brewed and bottled exclusively for the tour. Non-alchoholic options will be available for sampling, as well.
Whereas some might argue that bucking stagnancy and upping the scale may not be punk, for a band that has been together since 1983, the Punk In Drublic Festival shows what a more mature crowd may want at their shows: free beer. (Also, ‘No spiked collars’ is included the festival guidelines, so it appears that safety and insurance considerations are also in the realm of these mature punk productions.)
Tickets are $39 and include craft beer tastings. Standard and Meet-and-Greet VIP passes with added perks are also available.
Go to punkindrublicfest.com for more information.