Inaugural It’s Not Dead Festival brings back punk rock roots

Anyone that claims that punk is “dead” obviously did not attend the inaugural “It’s Not Dead” festival on Saturday in San Bernardino, California.

The one day punk rock outfitted event was run and hosted by Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman, who also played a role in the “Taste Of Chaos” reboot the weekend before.

Fans of literally all ages gathered in the scorching triple digit Southern Californian weather to see infamous punk bands that have stood the test of time.

The event had attracted more than 20,000 attendees ranging from teenagers to middle-aged adults.

In addition to all of the bands playing that day, the festival also featured a variety of food and merch vendors.  Many of these vendors were “warped tour veterans” such as MusiCares, The Entertainment Institute and Pure Noise Records.

Many factors that the Vans Warped Tour was known for, such as the skate/BMX vert ramp, made an appearance at the festival.

Every single band that played the event was posted on the Vans inflatable “billboard” that is most commonly seen at Warped Tour. Every band had their set times posted except for the four headliners: Descendents, NOFX, Bad Religion and Pennywise.

The order that these four bands were going to play was randomly determined by a spinning wheel onstage.

Once Lagwagon concluded their set, Descendents graced the stage as the first headliner.

NOFX followed right after Descendents, giving the crowd the last bit of ska/reggae music for the night.

Bad Religion and Pennywise concluded the night with the strongest sets of the day.

The festival was an overall success and united punk rock fans of all ages.

It also showed that although the word punk can change and have many different meanings to many different people, the original song and dance still remain the same and still rings true to this very day.

Many fans wondered if the vert ramp and many of the bands that played that day would make an appearance for the 2016 Vans Warped Tour. Many other fans wonder if there will be another “It’s Not Dead” fest this time next year.

Many memories were made at “It’s Not Dead” regardless of the unanswered questions left over at the end of the night. It’s obvious punk is not going away anytime soon and that alone should lead to another installment of the festival.


Did you attend It’s Not Dead? How was it?  Comment below.

Post and photos by Matthew Saunders

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About Matt Saunders 85 Articles
My name is Matt and I am a photographer/staff writer for this site. I'm a writer, photographer, musician, gear enthusiasts, and dreamer. My favorite genres are nü metal, indie pop/rock and pop punk. Other than music, dogs and burritos make me happy.

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