For those of you who are familiar with Orange County, you know that punk rock technically planted its roots here roughly 30 years ago. That’s why it’s no surprise Travis Barker continues to call it home to his annual tattoo and music festival. In its 10th installment, MUSINK brought in a parade of hardcore fans ranging in all ages, essentially transforming the OC Fair & Event Center into the ideal playground for all things punk. There was plenty to see over the weekend and AXS was there for the entire three-day event.
Presented by Famous Stars and Straps, the Low and Slow Car Show displayed the best in custom rides. The collection of curated cars showcased everything from the classic Impala to tricked-out Harleys. The exhibit was in the middle of two jam-packed rooms filled with some of the most talented tattoo artists in the world. The top tattoo convention embraces a whole culture to the likes of which most have never seen. If that wasn’t enough there were sideshow performers who were also onsite, as well as plenty of options for food and specialty beverages located in the vendor village.
Friday, March 17, the festival kicked off on St. Patrick’s Day with some of punk rock’s biggest names. A Wilhelm Scream opened the show, followed by Lagwagon. Southern California legends, The Vandals, delivered some of their favorites such as “Oi to the World!” while NOFX talked some politics and then surprised fans with a special appearance from Less Than Jake’s, Roger Lima.
Saturday, March 18, crowds packed in again, this time to see groups like Hell or Highwater and Story of the Year. Blink-182’s Travis Barker joined Goldfinger onstage for an epic set. John Feldmann, Mike Herrera and Story of the Year’s Philip Sneed gave an energized performance complete with crowd surfing and some awesome vocals from letlive.’s Jason Aalon Butler. Glassjaw and The Used then closed out the show keeping the tradition of being two of the best post-hardcore bands to see live.
Sunday, March 19, wrapped up with performances by Unwritten Law, Swingin’ Utters as well as Miss MUSINK. As the sun went down, Pennywise took the stage and brought things 'Full Circle' for fans. Bad Religion, which was the ultimate way to end the festival, closed out the weekend with crowds roaring to favorites like, “21st Century (Digital Boy),” “Atomic Garden” and “Delirium Of Disorder.”
Since Travis Barker has taken MUSINK under his wing, the event has emerged as the largest tattoo and music festival in the nation. After getting the full experience, there is no doubt that punk rock has found its place in the 21st century. It’s here. In Orange County. At MUSINK.