Mohawks, Mayhem, and Mosh Pits: The Scene @ Punk Rock Bowling 2021
By / October 5, 2021

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The festivals never stop here in Las Vegas. We’ve gone straight from Life is Beautiful into another weekend of music at the 22nd annual Punk Rock Bowling Festival. PRB took place at the Las Vegas Downtown events center from September 24-26 and we were on hand for three days of moshing to Descendents, Circle Jerks, and Anti-Flag. First, let’s take a look at the schedule which I love because there are no overlapping sets and very few gaps between sets so you can catch a solid eight hours of music if needed (and after the past 18 months, it is indeed needed).

Punk Rock Bowling is a two-stage festival with acts bouncing back and and forth the the main stage and the Bridger Street stage. The main stage has tons of space and artificial grass to sit down on. Unfortunately, this is Las Vegas and even in September it was in the mid-90s during the day so for at least the first few hours, most fans had to hide from the sun under the massive beer garden in the back. Although on a more positive, note, I never once considered that it might rain during the weekend.

Besides the three days of outdoor festivaling, there are pool parties, after hour shows, and (of course) a bowling tournament. It all happens in downtown Las Vegas, which in recent years has become the most interesting part of the city as I found out over my double festival 10-day stay. In the photo gallery below, I run through the highlights and people that made up Punk Rock Bowling 2021.

Friday Night Headliner: Descendents

Having unwillingly absorbed most of the Descendents discography due to my way cooler college friends, I was surprised to learn that I knew most of these songs and this was a solid capper to the first night of the fest.

We Were Promised Mohawks

And wow, did PRB ever deliver with some epic hairstyles.

Most Energetic Band: Pears

The Fashion of PRB

Lots of t-shirts. Lots of jean jackets. Lots of fun stuff.

The Bronx

Dillinger Four

Frank Turner

It takes some balls to come to a punk rock fest and pull off an acoustic set, but Frank Turner did it anyway.

Mosh Pits…From Far Away

Usually, I like to get right up into the center of the action to take photos of crowdsurfers and headbangers, but didn’t this year because, you know, massive pandemic. Instead, I did the most punk rock move of all – sneaking into VIP so I get pictures from a distance.

The Aggrolites

All

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to see why Punk Rock Bowling has been so successful for so long and has such a dedicated fan base. The festival delivers exactly what it promises and I got the impression that I was one of the few first-timers in attendance. Dates for 2022 have not been announced yet, but expect the festival to either move back back to its traditional spot on Memorial Day Weekend or maybe they make the fall festival permanent. I say, why not both weekends?

Born during a backstage Bonnaroo downpour, Vito's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to all the great festivals that this wide world has to offer.