Teenage Bottlerocket brings new ‘Ghost Story’ single to Tampa for controversial ‘vax-tax’ concert

After backlash, the show moved from St. Pete's VFW Post 39 to Skatepark of Tampa.

click to enlarge Teenage Bottlerocket, which plays Skatepark of Tampa in Tampa, Florida on June 26, 2021. - Jonathan Weiner
Jonathan Weiner
Teenage Bottlerocket, which plays Skatepark of Tampa in Tampa, Florida on June 26, 2021.


Some outlets are calling Teenage Bottlerocket’s upcoming Tampa Bay gig a “vax-tax” concert, but at this point the band is probably more focused on playing its new single, “Ghost Story,” for fans during a 12-date mini-tour of the South and Southeast.

In case you missed it, that St. Petersburg, Florida concert where the price of admission depends on your vaxx status recently announced a move across the Bay to the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT).

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay first reported that Wyoming pop-punk band Teenage Bottlerocket was set to play the VFW Post 39 on June 26 where promoter Paul Williams set ticket prices at $18 for those with proof of vaccination and $999.99 for those who aren't.

At the time, Williams said he was bringing the show to the venue because he wanted to help the Southeast’s oldest VFW Post, which has been struggling to make it through the pandemic. He also wanted to see his friends again in the safest of settings. But in recent weeks, press from across the country latched onto Williams’ concert, and that meant pressure from anti-vaxxers and those who make online threats against those whose views don’t align with theirs. Under that pressure, Williams told CL that the VFW has decided not to host the show.

So onto SPoT the show goes, with new set times and safety measures for fans. In a big show update, Williams outlined updated parking and show policies—pluis gave details on limited edition show posters and T-shirts. See his update and a site map below “Ghost Story.”

Teenage Bottlerocket show update from Paul Williams

1.Skatepark of Tampa will remain open for regular business including the skate shop which will also serve as a secondary entrance to get your wristband until 9pm when the skate shop closes.

2.Wristband/ticketholders have in/out privileges and skating is free for them. Shredders 18 and over will need to fill out a waiver and if 17 or under your parent must be present and sign for you.  The pro part of the park will close at 10pm.

3. The pro part of the park will close at 10pm.There will be a secure bag check area so you can stow merch and/or your skateboard during the show.  This will be free, but tips are appreciated for your hard-working volunteers.

4.The grassy parking areas are free, and the paved parking areas are $5.  The paid area you will have in/out privileges in case you need to go to the store or whatever.  Tips are appreciated for all volunteers.

5.Besides all of the rad Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar, and Rutterkin merch, there will also be merch related to this event and some seriously cool surprises.  The flyer artist, Adam Turkel, will also be on site selling prints of the original show poster that went around the world.

6.Discounted tickets for the upcoming Brendan Kelly show at The Bricks will be available for $10, cash only.  Secret World will also have some merch at this table in case you want to load up before seeing them open for Brendan Kelly.

7.While there is an ATM at the venue, we highly recommend grabbing cash before you go.  Not all merch will be able to do card transactions, plus you want to be able to tip those volunteers.

8.There will be ride shares from Saint Pete to Skatepark of Tampa for this show.  In fact, if you are one who needs a ride please let us know here.

9.The first person through the ticket line will get the last of the original 20 artist signed and numbered posters.

10.The next 20 through the line get the very last of only 150 hand bills that were made before this story hit the news.  Could be worth $2 on eBay someday so don't miss out!

Site mat for the Teenage Bottlerocket concert at Skatepark of Tampa in Tampa, Florida on June 26, 2021. - Paul Williams
Paul Williams
Site mat for the Teenage Bottlerocket concert at Skatepark of Tampa in Tampa, Florida on June 26, 2021.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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