It started as a trip to Vegas for a bowling tournament among friends, who happened to be members of a few notable Southern California punk bands in the late ’90s. The gathering has evolved into one of the most well-known weekend-long festivals of debauchery, pool parties, poker, drinking and performances from punk bands from around the world, all converging in the Nevada desert.
Punk Rock Bowling is a three-day outdoor music festival over Memorial Day Weekend at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The fun includes some 30 bands, club shows that kick off when the outdoor fest ends each night, free daily pool parties at the Gold Spike with more bands and punk DJs performing poolside, a Texas hold ’em tournament, and screenings of punk films/documentaries. Yes, there’s still bowling, a large amateur tournament with $8,000 in prizes open to any team of four that wants to join.
This year, the outdoor festival lineup will have NOFX, At The Drive In, Rise Against, iconic Los Angeles band X, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Suicidal Tendencies, Crass’ Steve Ignorant performing the band’s songs, GBH, and the Angelic Upstarts, among others.
While daily and weekend passes will gain you entry to the outdoor fest, separate club shows will be held in bars and spaces along Fremont Street throughout the weekend, highlighting bands such as the Subhumans, TSOL, Hot Water Music, Nekromantix, Youth Brigade, Lagwagon. Warning: These club show tickets are separate from the festival admission and tend to sell out quickly.
Punk Rock Bowling’s weekend dates ensure a lineup stacked with both old and new bands, mohawks in the swimming pool, simultaneous club shows stumbling distance from each other, and plenty of booze on hand to help deal with that Vegas heat.
Assorted ticket packages and merch bundles are available.
Additionally, hotel deals are available through the festival, which runs May 25-28.
For complete details, list of events and ticket options, check out PunkRockBowling.com
– Shaun Astor