BROFEST NWOBHM Festival Set for Newcastle

The annual International Newcastle Classic Rock and Heavy Metal festival, BROFEST, is gearing up for it’s fourth year at Northumbria University and over the course of 3 days will be a host of top bands from today’s thriving Rock & Metal scene, along with a few surprises, many cult favourites, and some rare and one-off performances ! Once again the hordes of denim and leather-clad fans from all over the world will return to celebrate this extraordinary event in the North East – the spiritual home of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement!

Headlining the Saturday night at BROFEST #4 will be Newcastle’s very own SATAN! One of the most important bands of the NWOBHM movement, SATAN released the classic “Court in the Act” album way back in 1983, paving the way for the thrash metal craze that followed in later years. By the early 90s the band had been put on hold whilst members focussed on other projects. However the band formally reunited in 2011 and have been playing to huge crowds all over the world ever since, including a recent tour across South & North America, Japan and Europe . Shows in the UK have always been few and far between – in fact, SATAN’s appearance will be their first show in Newcastle in over 30 years! BROFEST #4 will be a monumental event where Satan are finally reunited with their hometown fans and promises to be an experience not to be missed!

Sunday night at BROFEST #4 looks to be an equally special occasion as Martin Turner plays the songs of WISHBONE ASH and headlines the closing night of the festival. Turner was the founding member of WISHBONE ASH back in 1963 and was the lead singer and bass player throughout their most critically and commercially successful period during the 70s. The twin guitar harmonies employed by the band inspired the likes of THIN LIZZY and IRON MAIDEN in the years that followed. Since 2004 Martin has been back on the stage playing all the classic WISHBONE ASH songs across Europe to widespread acclaim, with several live albums under his belt he always guarantees a fantastic performance!

Traditionally the BROFEST bill features a top international band and this year is no exception, with German headbangers DESASTER joining the line-up as Special Guests. Inspired by the more aggressive NWOBHM sounds of Newcastle legends VENOM, DESASTER will be stirring things up with their raging blackened thrash metal mayhem! This will be DESASTER’s first show in the UK in 6 years and the first ever in the North East!

In previous years, BROFEST has seen devotees coming all the way from the USA, Mexico, Japan, South America and beyond to witness some of the very special reunion shows prepared for the fans. A lot of bands around during the heyday of NWOBHM in the early 80s, for whatever reason didn’t quite get the exposure they deserved and eventually disappeared into obscurity, only to achieve cult status as their records and tapes built notoriety and spread by word of mouth amongst fans. BROFEST specialises in showcasing these reunion shows that are a dream come true for the bands and fans alike. This year is no different with notable reformation shows from the likes of GEDDES AXE and MILLENIUM, and unique rare appearances from cult legends CYNIC, HIGH TREASON, OXYM and OMEN SEARCHER to name only a few!

BROFEST is also the perfect stage for many already established bands such as DEALER who will delight fans as they play in Newcastle for the very first time, whilst WEAPON-UK haven’t played in the North East since they supported MOTÖRHEAD at the Mayfair in 1980!

TYTAN went down a storm at BROFEST #3 and will be returning to headline the Friday night of the fourth edition, with a longer set packing even more classics in!

Just confirmed to joint the line up are last year’s headliners and another world famous Geordie act, BLITZKRIEG who formed back in 1980 and signed to the also famous Geordie Neat Records label. The band have constantly toured the world and releases 10 albums over the years including their newest offering ‘A Time Of Changes ‘ which just entered the Japanese Charts at no.30 as we speak

Lead vocalist Brian Ross is also the singer in Satan and is no stranger to swapping bands as the two zigzag each other across the world . Blitzkrieg of course were given a massive boost when Metallica , the biggest rock band n the planet covered their self titled debut track ‘ Blitzkrieg ‘ on no less than three separate releases and Metallica still play the track live today .

There is a wealth of fresh young talent to enjoy as well, with throwback rockers HESSIAN from the USA playing their exclusive UK debut, and the up-and-coming BLIND HAZE well worth watching out for!
BROFEST #4 kicks off on Friday evening February 19th 2016, and runs all-day both Saturday and Sunday (February 20th-21st).

The event takes place at Northumbria University Students Union – 2 Sandyford Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 8SB. This state-of-the-art venue will once again feature the extra floor with a lounge area, food court and merchandise market for this ever-growing live music extravaganza!
Tickets are available from the official website priced at £35 (plus postage) for the entire weekend. Day tickets are also available .

For more information, including the full list of bands at the event visit the website or stay up to date with the latest news via the Facebook page


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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