No Values Festival: A Historic Punk/Hardcore Extravaganza

Article Contributed by L. Paul Mann | Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2024

No Values, the biggest punk/hardcore festival in American concert history, took place in Pomona, California, on June 8. Organized by Goldenvoice, now a subsidiary of A.E.G. Worldwide and famously known for promoting the megafest Coachella, the festival celebrated Goldenvoice's punk rock roots. In 1981, Goldenvoice was a D.I.Y. company that booked punk gigs at Southern California venues such as Fender's Ballroom, the Olympic Auditorium, and Perkins Palace.

Bad Religion | No Values Festival

No Values Festival | Pomona, California

Jakob Nowell | Sublime | No Values Festival

Jello Biafras Incredibly Strange Dance party | No Values Festival

The festival brought together old-school acts like Bad Religion, Black Flag, and the original Misfits with newer bands carrying the torch. Highlights included Jello Biafra joining Agent Orange and the Dillinger Escape Plan (reunited after seven years!) and Sublime (fronted by the late Bradley Nowell's son) covering punk classics and performing rare Sublime tracks.

Lineup and Performances

Black Flag | No Values Festival

The Vandals | No Values Festival

The Dickies | No Values Festival

Fishbone | No Values Festival

The Adicts | No Values Festival

The lineup featured a mix of old-school and newer bands, including the Adicts, the Adolescents, Agent Orange, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Cro-Mags, the Dead Milkmen, the Dickies, the Exploited, Fear, Fishbone, the Jesus Lizard, Social Distortion, Suicidal Tendencies, the Vandals, the original Misfits, Ceremony, Fidlar, the Garden, Joyce Manor, and Viagra Boys. It was a full-circle moment for all involved, including Goldenvoice co-founder Gary Tovar, who named the company after a type of weed. Tovar even appeared at the festival to introduce T.S.O.L., the band that headlined the first-ever Goldenvoice show in 1981.

Festival Attractions

No Values Festival | Pomona, California

Hepcat | No Values Festival

The festival offered various attractions, such as the Goldenvoice Lounge with old punk flyers, a "Jello-a-Go-Go" dive bar with Jello Biafra, former leader of Dead Kennedys, spinning old records, a Vans-sponsored skating showcase with surprise guest Tony Hawk, and a ska-centric stage with bands like Hepcat, the Selecter, the Skeletones, and the Untouchables. Limited-edition ska T-shirts designed by Eric Stefani, a former member of No Doubt, were also available.

Logistics and Issues

Suicidal Tendencies | No Value Festival

Most performances ran flawlessly, on time, and with impeccable sound quality. Numerous food and drink booths and air-conditioned cooling zones provided respite for exhausted mosh pit fans. The festival's only significant downside was the marathon traffic jam at both entrances to the parking lots. Fans who didn't arrive early were forced to wait hours for entry. Some even complained on social media about waiting hours to park, and some who had paid for preferred parking were turned away due to the oversold V.I.P. lot. The exiting process was similarly problematic after the final notes of music.

General Advice and Observations

No Values Festival | Pomona, California

Cro-Mags | No Values Festival

Black Flag | No Values Festival

A great rule of thumb for any music festival is to arrive as early as possible and leave before the headline set ends. Despite the parking issues, the festival featured quick-moving concession lines, various food options (including vegan), a well-organized schedule, and easy access to different stages. The only difficulty was deciding which stages to prioritize, given the sheer number of bands.

Surprise Performances and Memorable Moments

No Values Festival | Pomona, California

The festival had several surprise performances, such as Jello Biafra joining Agent Orange and the Dillinger Escape Plan. Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies also made a surprise appearance with the Dillinger Escape Plan. Jello hosted an unusual event: a karaoke sing-along featuring premiere punk rock singers and classic punk rock songs played by a D.J.

No Values Festival 2024

Suicidal Tendencies | No Values Festival

Sublime | No Values Festival

Suicidal Tendencies delivered the most authentic hardcore punk set of the day, with the largest mosh pit and crowd surfing. Sublime, featuring Bradley Nowell's son Jakob on vocals, performed songs by Bad Religion and the Descendents, along with some of their own songs for the first time since 1996.

Female Representation and Notable Acts

L7 | No Values Festival

L7 | No Values Festival

No Values Festival 2024

The festival had a predominantly male lineup, resulting in long lines for the men's restrooms. However, one of the highlights was L.A.'s all-female punk/grunge band, L7, who delivered an energetic and refreshing performance. Other female performers included Pauline Black from The Selecter and Kat Moss from Scowl. There were also two female members of punk elder statesman Iggy Pop's supergroup, including Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Matt Sweeney from Skunk/Chavez/Zwan, and session drummer Urian Hackney. The multi-generational audience enjoyed Iggy's performance, which included bringing a fan on stage.

Iggy Pop | No Values Festival

The Damned | No Values Festival

The Damned, another group of elder statesmen, gave a memorable performance with their classic lineup from the early '80s.


No Values Festival 2024

Overall, No Values had its challenges, but with better parking and more diversity in the lineup, it has the potential to continue being a successful and iconic punk festival.