Las Vegas, NV – Veteran punk rock band NOFX has lost both a sponsor and performance opportunities, after the band members joked onstage about the Oct. 1, 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting that left 58 concertgoers dead, and injured 700 more.
The band’s tasteless jab occurred on May 27, while they were performing at the Punk Rock Bowling music festival in Las Vegas, Billboard reported.
“We played a song about Muslims and we didn’t get shot. Hooray,” NOFX front man Fat Mike told the crowd.
“I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you are in a country band,” guitarist Eric Melvin noted.
“I mean, that sucked. But least they were country fans and not punk rock fans,” Fat Mike replied, as the crowd began to boo. “You were all thinking it!”
Backlash over the offensive comments was immediate.
“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,” Punk Rock Bowling founders Mark and Shawn Stern told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“We do not condone the statement made from our stage on Sunday night,” the founders added. “We take the safety of our festivalgoers seriously and want to relay that there is nothing funny about people being shot and murdered. Ever.”
By Wednesday, Stone Brewing announced that they were severing all of their dealings with NOFX.
“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,” the company said in a statement, according to KTNV.
Stone Brewing noted that punk rock represents “standing up for things you believe in,” and a commitment to doing what is right.
“It is for that reason that Stone Brewing is immediately disassociating ourselves from the band NOFX,” the company said. “Stone had a sponsorship deal for this summer’s Punk in Drublic festivals. Emphasis 'had.' That sponsorship is now canceled.”
Stone Brewing said that NOFX would not receive any proceeds from the sale of the collaboration brew, and that no more would be produced.
“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,” the company said.
On Thursday, organizers of the upcoming Camp Punk in Drublic music festival in Thornville, Ohio also cut ties with NOFX.
Not only will the band not be performing, but the organizers also cut Fat Mike’s other band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmies, from the lineup, according to the festival’s Facebook page.
“While NOFX is known for their dark, uncomfortable humor, the festival producers of Camp Punk in Drublic are shocked and disappointed by the band’s recent statements about the Route 91 Harvest Festival victims and country music fans,” the festival’s organizers said in a statement, according to Pitchfork. “These statements do not reflect the feelings or views of the Camp Punk in Drublic festival, its staff, or its sponsors.”
The festival said they also planned to make a donation to “a fund benefiting those affected by the 2017 tragedy.”
The band issued a statement on their social media accounts on Thursday, and said they would be preparing a formal, extensive apology.
“I can’t sleep, no one in my band can,” the post read. “What we said in Vegas was s----y 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.”