Punk Rockers NOFX Shooting Joke Falls Flat in Las Vegas, Fallout Comes Fast and Furious
Posted on: June 3, 2018, 11:07h.
Last updated on: June 3, 2018, 11:07h.
NOFX probably won’t be invited back to play Las Vegas again anytime soon. Although that may be the least of the band’s worries after what one band member made light of at a Vegas punk rock music festival last weekend.
The veteran punk rockers are facing hefty backlash after making a joke about the mass shooting which took place in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, leaving 58 country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest music festival dead, and more than 500 injured before the gunman responsible took his own life.
The crowd at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival reacted with shocked silence and groans as the band made light of what has been called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Now, NOFX has not only been dropped by one of its main sponsors, but many of the band’s fans are bailing on them, too.
The quick quip onstage only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to outrage nearly everyone in attendance. Festival organizers certainly weren’t impressed and have since apologized to concert goers and removed NOFX — along with their guitarist’s cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes — from their lineup.
I’d say getting shot in Vegas … I mean, if you’re in a country band,” NOFX guitarist Eriv Melvin can be heard saying on stage, in a video of the incident posted to Twitter.
Singer “Fat Mike” responded with, “You, know, that sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
It would have been tasteless anywhere in the world, but was particularly offensive in Las Vegas, where the recent tragedy is still extremely raw.
Beer maker Stone Brewing has subsequently cut all sponsorship ties with the band. Not only that, but the company will discontinue the band’s personalized “Punk in Drublic” beer. Proceeds from the remaining beer will be donated to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, which provides trauma counselling to officers.
For their part, the band has apologized. In a posting on NOFX’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the members write that they haven’t been able to sleep since the incident:
“What we said in Vegas was sh***y and insensitive and we are all embarrassed by our remarks,” the post reads.
The band has been known for its off-color, sophomoric humor over the years and is promising to issue a more in-depth apology soon. But it may be too little, too late for some former fans.
There was no angry mob at the concert in the wake of the joke, but there’s one forming on social media.
One of the more than 2,000 responses to the band’s Facebook apology said, “Don’t bother. I have already deleted NOFX from all my playlists. I had family and friends at the concert in Las Vegas including 1st responders.”
Another man says that the apology is not accepted, adding, “You are no longer welcome in Las Vegas.”
Others were a bit more forgiving, pointing out that bad humor has always been a part of the band’s shtick. “Yeah it was a stupid thing to say. Still a fan. Still in my playlists,” wrote one fan.
NOFX was also dropped from an upcoming punk festival in Ohio this weekend.
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