(Full disclosure: I did not receive any free concert tickets, backstage passes, airline tickets, free hotel rooms, or anything extra to Punk Rock Bowling this year in exchange for this article.)
There’s only a week left until Punk Rock Bowling and my liver already hurts. Before my head starts pounding from standing next to enormous speakers for three days, before the Vegas-sized hangovers, and before the sunburn temperatures start dancing on 100 degrees, let’s cover the happenings surrounding the 20th Anniversary of Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A super rad and totally punk rock method of getting to Vegas (translation: cheap) is to ride the bus! But fuck the Greyhound bus, I’m talking about MegaBus. The company recently announced their initial service between Phoenix and Las Vegas beginning Memorial Day Weekend. As of the writing of this post, there are still a few seats left on the Friday 8:30 a.m. departure from downtown Phoenix, arriving in Las Vegas 5 and a half hours later for only $5 + fees. No kidding. This isn’t one of those crowd-sourced buses that only leaves if it gets enough people, either. If you leave Phoenix on Saturday night at 6:20 p.m., you’ll only pay $1 + fees. I swear to Jebus – check it out for yourself.
Flying to Las Vegas is definitely the fastest way to get to and from Sin City. I’ll be doing it on Sunday aboard Southwest Airlines with some points that I saved up over the years. If you’re flying to Vegas on Sunday afternoon, let’s do a shot at 28,000 feet! If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, chances are the major airlines are a little steep when you’re budgeting for merch and booze. Their latest fares leaving on Friday and returning Monday are over $150 each way. Allegiant Airlines has a few $100-ish tickets available… For now.
If you haven’t seen the lineup, the complete list with set times (so you won’t bug the hell out of the promoter) is available here on the Punk Rock Bowling website. If you haven’t purchased your club show tickets, #1) you’re new to PRB, and/or #2) you’re a slacker. There are only a few club shows with tickets left:
Thursday: Nekromantix, The Turbo A.C.’s, The Creepshow @ Freemont Country Club
Friday: The Bronx, Dwarves, The Shrine, Fireburn, Sciatic Nerve, One Square Mile @ Bunkhouse Saloon
Fishbone, Aggrolites, The Steady 45’s @ Place of 7th
Hagfish, Radioactivity, The Barstool Preachers, Bothers @ Backstage Bar & Billiards
Joey Cape, Tim Barry, Joe McMahon, Elvis Cortez @ The Beauty Bar
Saturday: John Doe, Blag Dahlia, Steve Soto, Yotam Ben Horin @ The Beauty Bar
Sunday: The New Darkbuster, The Beltones, The Generators, The Bad Engrish @ Place on 7th
Greg Lee, Jesse Wagner, Chris Murray @ The Beauty Bar
Monday: Punk Rock Karaoke, Phenomenauts, Agnostic Blunt @ Fremont Country Club
Alternatively, you can hit up a few shows that aren’t directly part of Punk Rock Bowling:
Friday: Mickey Rickshaw, In The Whale, Jerk @ Hogs & Heifers Saloon
Saturday: D.I., Tiki Bandits, Intoxicated Rejects, and a whole bunch of other bands @ Hartland Mansion
(The Tiki Bandits are also playing Saturday night with Act of Sabotage at the Double Down Saloon)
Reno Divorce, The Nuns of Brixton, Onoff @ Hogs & Heifers Saloon
Sunday: Authority Zero, Gods of Mount Olympus, Sled @ Hogs & Heifers Saloon
Naked Aggression, Who Gives A Fuck, Infested, Brutal Resistance, Bad Ass @ The Garth
Narcoleptic Youth, Yeastie Boys, Broken Patron Saints + more @ Double Down Saloon
Don’t forget those pool parties! There’s nothing like the smell of suntan lotion, cheap beer, and chlorine/urine water! Tag one of these pool parties (U.S. Bombs bailed out, by the way) at The Gold Spike all weekend.
Alternatively, you can avoid frying your ass and washing your mohawk in the pool by checking out Chip Hanna in the Rush Lounge on Friday night, or Days N’ Daze Sunday afternoon. Both shows are free.
Store Your Shirt
Locker Lou is helping you store your shirt during this year’s Punk Rock Bowling. No need for fanny packs this year, you can store your belongings in a reserved locker! For $35 (plus a $20 refundable key deposit), you can rent a medium sized locker on-site for 3 days to store all of your Crass memorabilia. Reservations are limited and must be booked online.
What’s Vegas without a good happy hour? The first 1,000 humans (I’m really not sure why they specified that unless they’re expecting a last-minute rush of gingers) to enter the festival each day before 4 p.m. receive a free drink at the Hooligan Happy Hour inside the Gutter Bar tent. A free drink would pair excellent with the art show and opening bands. Jussayin’.
Food trucks in Phoenix are good. Food trucks in Vegas are legendary. Case in point: Slidin’ Thru. If you don’t get The Porky, the Captain’s Order, or the Yaya from the Slidin’ Thru truck, we can’t be friends. At least 10 incredible Las Vegas food trucks will be slingin’ noms at Punk Rock Bowling this year. You can choose from fried lobster hot dogs, sliders, double decker pizza grilled cheese, and monster ice cream cookie sandwiches. Make yourself hungry now by checking out the food lineup here.
- Eric Navarro (Managing Editor of The Hard Times) and John Michael Bond (Daily Dot writer) host a free night of comedy at Troy Liquor Bar inside the Golden Nugget.
- L7 present their band’s documentary “Pretend We’re Dead” for free at the Inspire Theatre on Saturday afternoon. If you stick around for the whole movie, L7 and Blue Hats Creative will be sticking around for Q&A about why they broke up for 15 years, or whatever you want to ask them.
- Creativity will be well-represented by a variety of artists at the festival grounds during the Broken Frames: Arts & Images from the Alleyways art show. You may recognize a few of the contributing artists: Matt Skiba, Fat Mike & Soma Snakeoil, Tim McIlrath, Sean Rowley, Chris Spiegel… The show is free and they’ll even have wine available to make it classy!
There are plenty of hotel rooms in Las Vegas. Whether or not you want to pay out the ass for a room is up to you. Might I suggest VRBO, AirBnB, or HomeAway? There are a TON of loft condos and apartments with rooms for rent near Freemont Street.
A few of the don’t’s the festival highlights on their website
- Re-entry is not allowed
- Chains are not allowed
- Bag policies follow the same rules as most major concert rules
- Cameras are permitted, so long as they don’t have detachable lenses (JOE…)
- Animals, strollers, umbrellas, selfie sticks, spikes, knives, shanks, outside food & drink… no.
- Here are the rest of the FAQ-type stuffs
There WILL be a beer garden, ATMs, air conditioned bathrooms for everyone (!!), and free security gropings upon entry by men (and women) with sweet beards and disinterested glares.
Don’t get your ass kicked in the pit. I’ll see you at the 20th Anniversary of Punk Rock Bowling!!!!
GO PUNK YOURSELF with Craven Moorehead airs every Sunday on 98KUPD from 7-9 p.m.