SI-FEST: Brisbane’s Heavy Music Community Bands Together For A Greater Good


Words By Shannon-Lee Sloane {The Colourful Writer}


Brisbane’s Heavy Music Community Bands Together For A Greater Good

Si-Fest 2021 – A Benefit Show For Simon Of Massic


Sometimes life likes to throw you an unexpected curveball. Straight in the kisser. It hits hard and fast, with no or little warning and makes you hit the ground, stunned or even worse, completely knocked out. When and if you recover, it has changed you, there’s an after burn, a sting that won’t quite go away or at the very least, a memory that won’t fade. 

A good friend of mine and one of almost the entire metal and heavy rock community in Brisbane recently copped one of these. I recall the morning I saw the news. I woke, early, to my alarm. Rolling over with blurry eyes and a groggy feeling from the usual night of not enough sleep, I grabbed my phone to stop my alarm and scroll social media to help wake myself up. 

The first thing I saw took my breath away. It brought tears to my eyes. Simon, a dear friend and frontman of Brisbane’s groove metal masters, Massic was in hospital. Simon was out for his usual morning run and had collapsed due to an exploded aorta. 8 hours of emergency open heart surgery and an induced coma followed. Simon has a beautiful partner and children too. Not only was this affecting him, his family was hurting too. My heart broke. 

I could not concentrate that day at work. I felt like none of it mattered. It made me stop and think of my own mortality. Of my partners, and my childrens. It was a shock to the system. 

Fortunately, and miraculously, Simon pulled through. Showing what I have always known of the man, that he is strong, determined and a fighter. His performances on stage with Massic are simply an extension of the power he holds within. I cried with relief when I heard he was ok. 

But what now? Now it was time to heal. A long process. And now he needed our help. 

One of the hardest working and lovely men in the heavy music world, Kris Peters of Heavy Mag (also one of the best wordsmiths I am blessed to know) decided it was time for the metal and heavy rock music family in Brisbane to unite. Thus Si-Fest was born. He got my partner, PistonFist guitarist and partial manager of the Mansfield Tavern, Jimmy Robertson involved. Now a venue was locked in. The bands came easily, because A. We are spoiled for choice on talented metal and heavy rock bands in Brisbane and B. Everyone loves Simon, so everyone wanted to help. I got myself in the mix of helpers too and here we are. 

So on February 20th at the Mansfield Tavern, seven bands will grace the iconic Rock Arena stage in support of Simon. All money raised will go directly to Simon and his family to cover medical costs already outlayed and ongoing recovery related expenses. There will also be some impressive auctions, raffles and other ways to contribute your money to this good cause, with a drum skin signed by Ugly Kid Joe, a double pass to Steel Panther/Sevendust, double pass to Under The Southern Stars, double pass to Monsters of Rock at the Mansfield, double pass to a future Octane Entertainment show of your choice, double pass to the AC/DC Story in Redcliffe and a double pass (including meet and greet) to the next Brisbane show by The Screaming Jets. Along with plans for Si-Fest shirts and hoodies as well. So many awesome opportunities to help and also win cool shit for yourself! What more could you ask for? 

What I did ask is for some of the bands and people involved to tell me what they thought of playing this mini festival, what it means to them, what Si means to them. The responses did not surprise me at all. 

The bands playing are: Adriatic, F.U.C, Diskust, PistonFist, Azreal, A Somerset Parade and Elephant (who will be playing their comeback show). 

“After learning of my buddy Simon’s near fatal incident whilst running, like many others in the Brisbane and national metal community, I was stunned. It was a worrying couple of days and really makes you realise that so much can change in an instant. Thankfully, he pulled through and is on the mend! I’ve always had a lot of time for Simon. Chatting at gigs, playing shows together, going for runs and even raising money for charity last year when I teamed up with Simon and Chris from Massic to do the push up challenge.

Once we learned Simon was on the mend, Krispy of HEAVY mag floated the idea of a benefit show to help raise some much needed funds for Si and his young family, to help cover costs of surgery and medical bills, as well as time off work and general day to day. When FUC were asked to be a part of it, we had no hesitation in joining a stellar line up of Brisbane finest to help out a mate and all round top bloke. We’re super stoked to be a part of Si-Fest, and look forward to playing some thrash with a bunch of great bands and mates, to help out a mate in need!”
Toddy – FUC.

F.U.C

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“When we got the news about Simon it hit us very hard as you don’t expect this to happen to anyone you know let alone this young and full of life. 

Simon is a super kind dude and always takes the time for a chat when we cross paths, we can only hope that the recovery for Simon is fast and if this event can relieve a few things for him and his family, well that’s great for everyone.”

Tonnes of love, 
A Somerset Parade

A Somerset Parade

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“Our friendship with Simon goes back a few years to a show we played together with Massic at Gladstone. It was one of the MUDU fests. Good times.

What Simon did, in retrospect is a great example of his character, but at the time was just surprising and heartwarming (what a good chance to use this word)! After Adriatic played he came to us with the greatest excitement to tell us how he loved our music and performance. He kept praising us and we spent the whole evening chatting and really got along. Soon after he posted a video on Facebook screaming with the Adriatic CD in hand. He revived my old European spirit of a hardcore community and family which led to the birth of the SCHEMA collective. Simon was the first person to truly reach out to Adriatic (which for years had been an outsider band) and to help us slowly integrate into the scene.

So the news about his ordeal was so distressing and actually heartbreaking to all of us. We are super grateful that he’s recovering and will do anything we can to help him and his family. So this show, doing what we do best is a godsend! We love you Si and we love the thriving Brisbane scene that can pull together to help make things a bit easier!”
Stoyan Adriatic

Adriatic

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The evening we met Simon was down in Lismore many years ago he was playing a gig with us with his first band at the time. I noticed he was wearing a Crowbar shirt (not the band, the venue RIP btw)
The intense motivation that was coming from this short man was insane the screams, was like a maniac let loose on stage. So after the show had to meet him had to say what a show that was just to shake hands with the future of many wicked vocalist of Australia.

We became close mates ever since, from going to see bands and shows to family events together we even gave Massic their very first show which was Metalfields Festival many years ago, that’s when a new chapter of metal hit the shores of Brisbane and Gold Coast.

For us to play Si Fest wouldn’t just be an honour but it’s a thank you for what he has done for us as a band and to the music scene all around. This is only the beginning for Simon!! Bring it on!!

The morning we found out about his incident shattered many hearts I had phone calls left right and center from friends and his family. We are so glad he has pushed through and this is only the beginning for Simon we know greater things are yet to come.

– Chris – Azreal

Azreal

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Simon is a legend. one of the most down to earth and genuine supporters of the whole scene. A passionate fan and listener and an even more intensely passionate and fun to watch front man.

It’s been a while for us but couldn’t be more stoked to be able be a part of Si-fest to put on a show for the man himself. He’s always been a big fan and supporter of elephant and can’t wait for him to hear the new tunes.”

– Micky – Elephant

Elephant

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“After hearing that one of our mates & one of the nicest guys going around from one of our favourite Brissy metal acts was so close to tragically leaving us & more importantly his wonderful family, we couldn’t be happier to jump onboard with this show to help out & raise as many funds as we can for Si & his family.

It makes us proud to be part of a community that is so readily accessible to give time & efforts to help each other when times get tough & this is certainly one of those times!!”

– Jimmy – PistonFist

PistonFist

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We can’t wait to play this show for Simon! He’s a big supporter of what we do but more importantly he’s a big supporter and an integral part of the Australian music scene. He has been nothing but a positive aura and influence to Brisbane and the Gold Coast music scene. That first show back with Massic will be the show that people remember for decades to come. Everyone in Diskust camp loves you Simon and wish you the speediest recovery! Get your ass out to this one Maniacs and show your love for this man.”

– CJ – DisKust

DisKust

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“When I heard what had happened to Simon it floored me. Not just because of how (kinda) young he is, but also how fit he was. It made me realise my own mortality straight up and seeing as how I know I will never follow through with a health kick/fitness regime I thought the next best thing was to honour his fight by doing the one thing I am good at. Putting on a benefit show. I rang around and realised that there are loads of people who love and respect Simon and would be glad to donate their skills to a benefit show so off I went.

Simon is probably one of the nicest people I have met in this industry and his fight is an inspiration to us all. To be able to help in any way gives me great honour and the way the entire metal community has gotten behind Si-Fest is a tribute to the high regard in which he is held. Simon, you are a muse and inspiration to us all so good to see you on the road to recovery. Hopefully this event makes things even a little easier for you. Big love my brother.”

Kris Peters – Owner/Director – Heavy Magazine

Kris Peters

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Grab your tickets to Si-Fest 2021 HERE NOW.


Si-Fest is proudly brought to you by:

HEAVY Magazine + The Colourful Writer + Mansfield Tavern

Listen to the Si-Fest Spotify Playlist right HERE.

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