Editor’s Note: This story has been modified from its original version to reflect a change in venue. Punk in Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival will now be held at Bell Bank Park in Mesa.
Cameron Collins was drinking beer and listening to punk music when he had an aha moment.
“I’ve always been a NOFX fan, and I was doing beer festivals,” Collins says.
“One night I was sitting in my backyard, having some beers and listening to NOFX, and it hit me that this would be an amazing festival concept.”
Collins then called his good friend, NOFX bassist Michael “Fat Mike” Burkett, to pitch the idea.
“It was Cameron’s vision to do a festival that was the opposite of the Warped Tour and is something for older punk rockers who want to get wasted,” Burkett says. “I love Warped Tour, but I didn’t want to worry about what bands I’m missing, I wanted to feel like I was in a backyard listening to music and drinking a beer.”
Though Burkett scoffed at the idea at first, he later jumped on board. He says “Punk in Drublic” — the name of NOFX’s 1994 album — would be the perfect moniker for the festival.
Punk in Drublic comes to Bell Bank Park on Saturday, March 19, with headliners NOFX as well as local legends Authority Zero and the Venomous Pinks. Beer and local food trucks will camp out there.
“Punk in Drublic is just a good title because this festival is about drunk punk rockers,” Burkett says with a laugh. “What could be more fitting?”
Known primarily as a touring punk rock party, Punk in Drublic came into its own last year in Worcester, Massachusetts, according to Burkett.
“Last year felt exactly like what we had planned,” Burkett says. “It just felt so good to hang out with our bros, and we feel like Punk in Drublic is a real success because it is now exactly what we intended it to be.”
With a successful show in the books, Collins and Burkett are anxious to get their favorite show back on the road and party with their best friends.
“We don’t book anybody who we don’t like to hang out with,” Collins says. “Everyone on the bill is friends that we would want to hang out with afterward.”
With a lineup of friends stacked on the bill, Burkett had one request for the venues: hold the festival outside.
“I don’t want to play clubs anymore or a big festival,” Burkett says. “I feel (outdoors) provides a safe place for people who want to hang out and have a good time. This tour feels like I’m at home.”
Because of this, Collins says Punk in Drublic feels less like a traditional music festival and more like a genuine good time.
“Everybody leaves Punk in Drublic with their sides hurting from laughing. They have a great time,” he says. “It’s a comedy show with great music and tons of camaraderie, which makes it unique. There is nothing I do that’s like it, and there will never be anything like Punk in Drublic.”
The atmosphere at Punk in Drublic is so relaxed that Burkett feels less pressure with performing.
“It’s not a grueling tour, and what’s really fun about this is that I’m not trying to impress people as much,” he says. “These are fans, and they’re loaded. Because we’re the last band, we don’t have to try as hard or be as good,” he adds with a laugh.
Additionally, Burkett admits that his band is rare in that it does not practice and the set list is penned the day prior.
“I write the set list the day before, and we don’t practice, because that would make us predictable,” he says with a smirk. “I will, however, always throw in at least one song that people are not familiar with.”
Burkett isn’t fond of today’s modern punk rock, so he focuses on creating a show that pushes audiences outside of their comfort zone — with a few laughs thrown in.
“These days, punk rock is mostly pop with safe lyrics and safe shows,” he says. “I’d rather get in trouble, which I do a lot, and put on a show that is punk and makes people a little awkward and makes them laugh. Punk in Drublic is not a business. It’s a party that we throw. We’ve taken the approach that we’re OK with whatever happens.”
Punk in Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival
WHEN: Noon Saturday, March 19
WHERE: Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Drive, Mesa
COST: Tickets start at $55 for the 21-and-older show