Earlier this month, we announced that we’re presenting a mini-festival to benefit RAICES this August. Featuring Colorado bands Augustus, Native Station, Ben Hanna Band, Whiskey Autumn, and The Beeves, along with Chicago’s ChinaRose, Benevolence Festival is slated for this Saturday, August 18th at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing from 2PM-10PM. Throughout this week, we’ll be bringing you info on each of the artists involved. Today, we’re featuring the festival’s headliner, Augustus. We sat down with festival director and Augustus member Jim Herlihy to chat about Benevolence Festival and why the issue of family separation at our nation’s borders needs our attention in the music community:
Jim, what made you want to organize the Benevolence min-fest benefit for RAICES? Why is this issue important to you?
This issue is sort of a "straw that broke camel's back" for me. The psychological trauma that these children have to endure because of our government's actions made me sick to my stomach. I sometimes get into a cycle of thinking, "Well I didn't help out that situation, so why should I help out this situation?" And that just perpetuates itself and I often times end up doing nothing. This was a time I wanted to do something and putting an event like this together is a small part towards helping people in need.
There is a lot of political turmoil in our country right now. Do you have any other comments on it?
It's almost hard to describe all that is wrong with the current political environment in a few sentences. For starters, the fierce tribalism that has seemed to intensify over the past couple years and a growing distrust of media is worrying. The fact that our president perpetuates these tendencies for his own political gain is irresponsible and reckless. His flaunting of long-standing norms from not fully divesting from his business, to exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to antagonizing the media shows a man less concerned with governing a nation and more concerned with his own image. His lack of understanding about complex issues makes him totally unfit for the job and the fact that it feels normal to have his as our president is incredibly sad.
What is Augustus working on currently?
We recorded a five-song EP titled 'Idle' late last year and we have released two singles from that record this year with a full release slated for fall of this year. We've also been releasing one song for $1 every month through our Patreon campaign. These songs are part of our Rarities series and feature acoustic versions, live songs, covers, and alternate versions of our tunes.
What can fans expect from your fest set this weekend? Anything special planned?
This fest will be unique here in Boulder because of the lineup. It features local rock bands in a town not typically known for a rock scene, and this will be the first time all of these bands will be on a bill together. We're even bringing in ChinaRose, a band we recently played with in Chicago. All of the bands are donating their time for this cause and all of the money made from the event will go to RAICES.
What does Augustus have planned for the fall?
We're releasing our fourth EP this fall with a California tour, and a couple of headlining shows here in the Front Range area.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I was incredibly encouraged by everyone that wanted to be involved in this event. Twisted Pine, Bolderbeat, and all the bands were so willing to get on board and it made me very proud to know that we were all in the same scene together.
We can’t wait! Tickets are $6 at the door. Stay tuned for chats with the rest of the artists on the bill.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.