An annual festival keeps the memory of a friend and his dream alive. One of the few things worth fighting for. It’s simple when you think about it, a metalhead is nothing without music and friends.

Wookfest was a celebration of life. This inaugural festival was created in memory of lost musician, Jeff ‘Wookie’ Ziolo, a friend who touched the lives of many.


I decided to attend this event with longtime friends JD Peterson and Roger Schultz. We headed out to the benefit concert later than expected and found Durty Nellies (180 N. Smith Street Palatine, IL) packed!

We entered the venue and were treated to a large screen video offering of friends reminiscing about the good times they shared with their fallen brethren. There was a silent auction of items donated by artists and family, as well as festival T-shirts and a raffle.

Chicagoland land artists attended this event in full force. Many of them played a song as tribute to their fallen solider, a man who fervently supported their craft. The lineup featured some of the best the Chicago underground has to offer. (A full line-up of the event can be seen below) Although, every band in this event deserves acknowledgment for their support. The acts that caught my attention, in no particular order, were:

Armored Assault: A progressive thrash metal act from Niles, IL. Armored Assault has a strong local following and for good reason. Their frenzied invasion is unpredictably fearless! See them open for Jungle Rot at the Brauerhouse (1000 N. Rohlwing Road Lombard, IL) August 11th.

Kastasyde: Are a metalcore influenced groove metal act from Chicago. This was my first time see them live and I was impressed. An angry onslaught that appears to have all the right ingredients. This is a group worth keeping an eye on.

God Dementia: A literal ‘super group’ comprised of Chicago legends. God Dementia deserves a record deal! Viciously disillusional for the fan with a brain, their attack will send you for a respirator! Catch them September 1st at the Livewire Lounge in Chicago.

Maggot Twat: A memorable grindcore act from Chicago established in 1998. Maggot Twat may have stolen the show with a heartfelt song entitled “Wook” set to the famed Beastie Boys anthem “Girls”. The clever offering came at the perfect time and put them on my metal radar.

Caldera: A metalcore act from Chicago put on an emotional performance. An effort that would have made Wookie proud. Caldera showed some real flashes, time will tell the fate of this moniker.

I hope Wookfest continues on and catches on. Much like Macabre’s Holiday of Horror this could be a yearly celebration of the Chicago metal scene.

An annual festival keeps the memory of a friend and his dream alive. One of the few things worth fighting for. It’s simple when you think about it, a metalhead is nothing without music and friends. This loss has been turned into a celebration worth remembering every year. Metal is the outlet that brought us all together and I say we keep it that way. \m/

Wookfest 2017 – Complete Lineup

The Adler Kings

Pist

Drudge Puppet

Whut?

Armored Assault

Speedfreak

Maggot Twat

Kastasyde

Bill Ura Dik

Act Of Destrction

God Dementia

Everything Must Die

Caldera

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