Shawn Stern is a true OG of punk rock. As the frontman for seminal punk act Youth Brigade, and co-creator of the iconic Punk Rock Bowling music festival, Stern has been a leader in ensuring that the genre stays alive and well for the disenchanted masses. Here’s a dive inside the mind of the man leading the charge, bringing the punk rock music festival to Las Vegas every year.
What goes into constructing the lineups for this festival?
Well, Mark [Stern, co-creator of PRB] is the one who books it. We talk about it. Basically, his first thing is to try to get the three headliners and there are only so many bands that can headline a festival like Punk Rock Bowling. You were there in 2017 – that was the year Iggy Pop played. When you get someone like Iggy – or this year we got Madness – when you get somebody big like that, that tends to make things a little bit easier. We end up having a lot of bands repeat. We try not to do bands more than once every two to three years but trying to find three bands that can headline a music festival like this is not always easy. We’ve talked about getting Madness for years. And The Specials too.