Mohawks, spikes, tattoos, 98°F, and bowling. Sounds brutal, but this might be one of the best times you’ll ever have and it’s called Punk Rock Bowling. Founded by brothers Shawn and Mark Stern of BYO Records, members of the band Youth Brigade, the fledgling Punk Rock Bowling (PRB) was hatched in 1999.
Initially, PRB was just about punks actually bowling. But after moving to Vegas, and with every passing year, it has morphed into the monster punk rock festival we know and love today. The name Punk Rock Bowling can actually be a little deceiving because the is event so much more than bowling. There are also pool parties, concerts, club shows, poker, and let’s not forget all the drunken debauchery! All of this madness occurs on Memorial Day weekend off the strip in “Old Vegas”.
According to regular punk rock bowler Diana Sexton, bowling takes place at three different alleys. Only the top sixty teams advance to the finals. If you are more concerned with bowling than having a goddam good time you might be in the wrong place. The teams have names like the Glitterdicks, Los Pindejos, and the Cuntcakes.
Bowling attire consists of costumes with themes like the Pink Ladies from Grease, Girl Scouts, and sometimes even a birthday suit. You better believe there is plenty of drink and merriment involved. The bowling is more about having a good time than serious fierce competition, but if you are sober enough to win the championship you will be rewarded with a cash prize of $2400.
If bowling is not your thing there is always the pool parties! Get greased up, strip half-naked, and jump right in! You are more likely to be bumping around a blow up sex doll than a beach ball but the fun is all the same. Pool side you will be able to catch amazing bands playing a concert in the warm Nevada sun and purchase they’re latest album, stickers and t-shirts.
After the pool party it’s off to the main stage where the real party begins! At the main stage is where you are going see bands you may have never seen before or bands you haven’t seen in 25 years. Punk Rock Bowling line ups are phenomenal.
Bands travel from all over the world and come out of retirement to play Punk Rock Bowling. Here is where you really experience the “festival” atmosphere with thousands of attendees and biggest pits you’ve ever seen. The energy is contagious!!
If you didn’t get your fill at the main stage, you can check out the club shows to continue getting your punk rock fix. The clubs shows happen at surrounding venues all within walking distance and feature bands you will not see at the larger main stage shows. If you prefer your punk rock in a smaller venue, the club show is the place to be.
If you plan on attending punk rock bowling, book well in advance. Hotels and bowling book up fast and club shows sell out within minutes. PRB has become so successful it has expanded to Denver and New Jersey, which is perfect for those who might not be able to make it all the way out to Las Vegas. For punk fans young and old, PRB is an event is a must-go. It happens once a year and fosters and sense of brotherhood and community you won’t find anywhere else is music. Whatever you do, get your ass to PRB!
For more info, go to www.punkrockbowling.com