After taking a year off, the It’s Not Dead 2 Festival returned to the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino on Saturday, August 26, 2017. This year’s festival featured four stages, with notable performances from: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Voodoo Glow Skulls, OFF!, Kevin Seconds, The Interrupters and Wraths.
VIP packages gave fans entry into the venue 30 minutes before doors, a commemorative laminate, three beer drink tickets, and backstage lounge access. Included with the backstage lounge area were private restrooms and a VIP bar.
In addition to the live performances, the “Art’s Not Dead” and “Punks Well Read” exhibitions returned. The “Art’s Not Dead” exhibit featured art inspired by the punk scene, and those in it. The “Punks Well Read” exhibit featured author readings and signings throughout the day.
In traditional Warped Tour fashion, Kevin Lyman chose not to announce the set times for the It’s Not Dead 2 Festival in advance. This encouraged fans to brave the heat and arrive early to ensure that they wouldn’t miss their favorite bands. The first bands to perform were: Spider on the Cuckoo’s Nest Stage (Stage 4), Channel 3 on the Fenders Stage (Stage 2) and Wraths on the Mike “Gabby” Gaborno Stage/Gary Tovar Stage (Stage 1).
This year’s It’s Not Dead lineup spanned more than four decades of punk music, making it the perfect opportunity to discover new music and reminisce about your early punk days. There were performances by veterans such as The Adicts and Guttermouth, as well as newer acts like The Interrupters and A Wilhelm Scream. The festival also featured the supergroups OFF! and Me First and Gimme Gimmes.
In addition to being a celebration of all things punk rock, the It’s Not Dead 2 Festival also marked the conclusion of Rancid and Dropkick Murphys co-headlined “From Boston to Berkeley” tour. Dropkick Murphys were the second to last performance, and energized the crowd with hits such as “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”. Despite being exhausted from the heat, fans continued to mosh and sing along with Rancid as they played hits such as “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho”. Rancid’s set also featured songs from their recently released album, Trouble Maker, including “Ghost of a Chance”.
The only problem with the It’s Not Dead 2 Festival was the heat, and that’s something the event planners have no control over. Water bottle refill stations and misting stations were added to the event this year, and they were greatly appreciated. The first It’s Not Dead Festival was held in October, so perhaps next year the festival will once again be pushed back to fall.
When the It’s Not Dead Festival failed to return in 2016, I was unsure about whether the festival would ever return. Fortunately, the festival made a magnificent return this year, proving that punk rock never dies! I’m thrilled that the It’s Not Dead Festival has returned, and I can’t wait to see what the lineup is like next year.
– Martin Shook
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All photos by: Martin Shook