A quick off-roading trip through Black Mountain led us to our destination, a cement square sandwiched between two hills with a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Valley. Slowly the trucks trickled in, wooden palettes likely taken from the nearby Costco in their beds—and before I could say “Smirnoff Ice” coolers were on the ground and the flames had been lit. I was attending my first (and last) bonfire—a widespread tradition among high schoolers here—and after an hour or two of radio rock and syrupy malt liquor, we packed up and hit the road home.
A group of Basic High School students weren’t as lucky this past June, when a 55-gallon fuel drum exploded at a celebratory graduation bonfire, sending seven to the hospital with severe burns. This week, classes start again at Basic, and on October 1 Sunset Station will partner with the school to put on #BasicStrong, a benefit concert featuring Yellow Brick Road, with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting the families of the injured students.