Phoenix Independents Bowl to Return in June

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Maria Vassett
Dave Driscoll Dance Machine shows off his balls at the Phoenix Independents Bowl in 2010.
And while the event was partially inspired by a music event (the popular Punk Rock Bowling concert fest held in Las Vegas every summer), it's open to both musicians and non-musicians alike.

"The event has a very low barrier to entry that's open to anyone and everyone. It's about coming together and bowling kind of as a meeting ground," he says. "I do so many events across all these subcultures and genres -- I book metal shows and country shows and indie shows and everything in between -- and all those bands don't necessarily know each other. And its like trying to do an event where they all can come and be inclusive and not where its like where its this scene or that scene."

It's also ultimately a charity event with proceeds going to Local First Arizona, which is helping Chilton out with organizing the event.

"In the past, it was kind of like the event came first and the charity came second. I knew I wanted to do the event, it felt like it should be a charity event, and Local First seemed like an obvious benefactor since its about bringing the local community together."

And although he admits that it's "not a serious bowling tournament," teams that are participating shouldn't expect it to be a cakewalk, as the competition can be sort of fierce.

According to the promoter, each team will bowl two rounds each and those groups with the best scores will go into a playoff bracket. The top three teams will then get "sweet" trophies.

"It isn't necessarily designed to find out who's the best bowler," Chilton says. "There have been a lot of teams that have taken it very seriously and a lot of teams that don't."

That may include the teams who have come in costume, such as the members of the aforementioned Treasure MammaL, all of whom sported their infamous brightly colored spandex.

Costumes aren't a requirement to participate, Chilton says, but are certainly encouraged.

"I thought about doing a costume contest with it, but then it just felt a little too gimmicky, you know? I didn't want anyone to feel like they had to dress up, but we aren't gonna discourage it," he says. "Nobody's done the Big Lebowski, but that would be awesome. It feels like someone should, right?"

The Phoenix Independents Bowl takes place at noon on Sunday, June 22. Registration is $20 per person. See the website for more details.

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I would not go to this place if my life depended on it.  Great philanthropic thing but horrible neighborhood.  We just had a murder here.

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