RUTLAND — Starting Friday, skateboarding pilgrims will flock to the hills of Rutland Township for the 16th Annual Bowl Bash at Skatopia which promises “88 Bands of Anarchy.”
Bowl Bash is an unofficial and offbeat tourist destination that “dare not speak its name” in the hallowed halls of officially sanctioned Meigs County events though it still brings in visitors who spend money here.
This year’s event begins Friday well into Sunday morning with those 88 bands playing on three stages - bands like Nassau Chainsaw, Green Jelly The Snotty Kids, The Stink and The Cooties. It’s an annual weekend of music, skating and tired eyes watching the sun come up over a Rutland hollow. As usual, no tickets are sold for the event though a donation is greatly appreciated for admission, according to Brewce Martin, owner of Skatopia.
Yesterday, Martin and crew were busy preparing Skatopia for the bash and its pilgrims; pilgrims who have likely read the Rolling Stone spread or seen the documentary “88 Acres of Anarchy” and/or the MTV Skatopia True Life episode - and they want to know more. The True Life episode which was broadcast this past April, featured footage shot at last year’s Bowl Bash - the episode was aired across the nation on the Emmy-award winning series, casting a light on a small but notorious corner of Meigs County.
Myths, rumors and truths about the place aside, Martin has claimed his place “isn’t just a place to party” and that “99 percent of the time out here it’s just normal life going on.” Martin has also poked fun at the Skatopia stereotypes, saying it “isn’t full of poverty-ridden dirt bags” though he’s admitted it attracts a diverse population when it comes to those pilgrims who arrive at the gates.
“This is the funny thing, there are all kinds of people here just like when you go to Wal-Mart...you don’t know who you’re going to see,” Martin has said in the past.
A complete list of bands can be found on Skatopia’s official website.