Phoenix Independents Bowl
Phoenix Independents Bowl

By Ally Richmond

On July 8th, the Phoenix Independents Bowl will return for its sixth year.

The “Indie Bowl,” as it is affectionately named, is a local bowling tournament that features teams made up of Phoenix’s best bands, local businesses and citizens. The tournament will be held at one of the only independently owned bowling alleys in Arizona, Let It Roll Bowl.

The tournament first started in 2008 with the intention of bringing local musicians together, but has evolved into an event that fosters a sense of community within the musical community and beyond.

“The goal was always to do an event that could bring people in the music scene together that wasn’t just at a show. If you have a show inherently who it will attract will be based on who you have play the show,” says Stephen Chilton, owner of Psycko Steve Presents, the concert promotion company that started the event. “The goal isn’t to bring the ‘punk scene’ or the ‘metal scene’ or even the ‘indie rock scene’ together, but to try and bridge all sorts of genre or style divides and just bring music fans together. I work with lots of band in lots of genres and the goal was to try and bring that together on neutral lanes.”

Teams at the 2018 Indie Bowl will include Fairy Bones, Cornish Pasty, Sundressed, The Rebel Lounge, and the Psyko Steve Presents team. Anyone is welcome to participate in the tournament, not just musicians.

“We mostly market this to bands and local businesses that work with bands, but we are open to anyone who wants to join and be a part of it. It is for teams of four, so you just need three friends. Some bands are doing it as strictly their band members, other bands are augmenting their teams with friends and family to represent,” Chilton says.

Teams must bowl at least two games before their leaders advance to the playoff bracket to determine the winning team.

Prizes for the winning team include trophies and bragging rights, of course.

The games begin at noon and cost $25 per bowler, which includes two rounds of bowling, shoe rental and a T-shirt.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Local First Arizona, an organization that seeks to help local businesses, and in turn help communities.

“Growing community is a project that never ends. Some of the bands who are excited about this year are the same bands that started with us 10 years ago, but many were not around then, and many that were around that first year then are no longer bands,” Chilton explains. “There are always new people coming into the scene and people who are growing in it. One neat thing about what I do is I get to watch these musicians grow and do new things. It is always great seeing the new bands people start or watching musicians quit touring and start their own businesses. So many of my favorite local businesses have been started by people that were musicians. From Cibo to Stinkweeds to Golden Rule Tattoo to Welcome Dinner to Lost Leaf, all were started and owned by musicians.”

If you attend the event, as a spectator or a participant, please use #PHXIndieBowl in your social media posts to help promote this event and the small businesses it supports.

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