San Diego craft brewery Stone Brewing has severed all ties with punk band NOFX after members of the band shared a joke Sunday night about the Las Vegas shooting in October that left 58 dead.
At The Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday night, NOFX members Eric Melvin and Fat Mike Burkett had the following exchange on stage:
Melvin: “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you’re in a country band,” to which Burkett replied: “At least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
The incident they were referring to was from October 1st, 2017 when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured. We’re just barely 8 months removed from that incident where Burkett’s remarks were said in the very location where the incident occurred.
Stone Brewing brewed the NOFX-themed beer “Punk in Drublic,” which was marketed to fans and beer drinkers alike as a hoppy lager. They were also a main sponsor of the “Punk In Drublic” festival tour that has already completed 5 of its 6 dates. Camp Punk In Drublic, set to take place this weekend in Ohio, is still scheduled to run as planned, just without the sponsorship of Stone Brewing. In addition, NOFX along with Me First and the Gimmie Gimmes, in which Mike plays bass, will no longer perform at Camp Punk in Drublic. The bands will be replaced by The Descendants and The Vandals, respectively.
Stone Brewing released this statement in response to the incident:
“We at Stone Brewing are aware of NOFX’s insensitive and indefensible statements this past weekend. 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. At this moment, there is Stone & NOFX Punk In Drublic Hoppy Lager in the marketplace that was brewed by Stone Brewing. It’s done already. Know that NOFX does not earn any money from the sale of the beer. Nevertheless, to try our best to make some good come out of these awful comments, we have decided that we will donate all profits of the beer to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, which provides post Route 91 trauma counseling for officers and other first responders alongside other safety programs, training and funding. We have cancelled any future rebrews of this beer. We apologize to the fans of the beer itself, but know that we make this decision out of respect to all. Punk rock is cool. These callous comments were the furthest thing from it.”
NOFX posted this caption to their Instagram, attached to a simple band logo that read: “I can’t sleep, no one in my band can. What we said in Vegas was shitty and insensitive and we are all embarrassed by our remarks. So we decided we will all get together to discuss and write an in-depth, sincere, and honest apology because that’s what the people we offended and hurt deserve.”
Mark Stern and Shawn Stern, founders of Punk Rock Bowling, issued the following the statement via their Instagram: “In light of NOFX’s comments during their performance at the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, we would like to offer a formal apology to those in attendance, the City of Las Vegas, the victims, and the families of 10/1.
Las Vegas is home to the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, and we do not condone the statements made from our stage on Sunday night. 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.”
With NOFX & Fat Mike recusing themselves from the upcoming Punk In Drublic events, in addition to the loss of their signature Punk In Drublic beer and sponsor in Stone Brew, it’s uncertain where the band will go from here with their Punk In Drublic themed initiatives. We’ll update this writing as the group issues a more formal statement addressing their comments and future.
Listen: NOFX – “There’s No ‘Too Soon’ If Time is Relative”