John Butler, San Cisco Manager To Undertake 1400km Moroccan Bike Odyssey

5 February 2024 | 12:03 pm | Mary Varvaris

Usually, only about 50% of competitors finish the race due to the rough (and long) terrain. Will Philip Stevens make it?

John Butler, San Cisco

John Butler, San Cisco (Source: Supplied, Credit: Olivia Senior)

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Philip Stevens, the manager for beloved Aussie acts John Butler Trio, San Cisco, Stella Donnelly and The Waifs, is doing something super cool this Friday (9 February): undertaking a 1,400-kilometre bike odyssey in Morocco.

Joining forces with friend Sam Pierce, the pair will participate in an Ultra Mountain Bike Race called the Atlas Mountains Race.

Raising money for the Atlas Mountains Earthquake Appeal, which aims to help rebuild homes and communities in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Stevens and Pierce will donate 50 cents for each kilometre completed. Stevens hoped to raise $700 for the appeal, but the GoFundMe fundraiser he started is already up to $7,365.

The Atlas Mountains Race occurs on a 1,400-kilometre track on rough gravel roads. Stevens writes that it’s “unsupported” and “one of the toughest such races in the world”. The race begins in Marrakech and ends in Essaouira.

Usually, only about 50% of competitors finish the race due to the rough (and long) terrain. Stevens, Pierce, and the remaining 248 competitors have eight days to finish the race, with Stevens being one of the oldest people competing.

In Stevens’ GoFundMe campaign post, he wrote, “In September of 2023, a massive earthquake struck the region, killing over 1000 people and making many more homeless. The race was going to be cancelled, but the local communities encouraged it to go ahead.

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“By raising funds for the Unicef Moroccan Appeal, we will be doing our small part to help these communities that we are so privileged to be travelling through. Your involvement will also be a huge encouragement for us to continue pedalling when our legs and heart will be screaming to stop!”

You can follow Stevens’ progress here and Pierce’s progress here from Friday, 9 February. Check out a trailer of what they’re up against below.

In the news surrounding the acts Stevens works with, San Cisco will release their new album, Under The Light, on Friday, 1 March.

Under The Light was announced in October and was preceded by the singles High, the title track, Lost Without You, Horoscope and HoneycombUnder The Light has been described as the album that “truly embodies the genuine essence of San Cisco”, according to the band, and was recorded in the first half of 2023 in LA and Fremantle.

Last month, John Butler revealed he was back in the studio – without the trio. The news follows the release of his fifth live albumLive In Paris, which arrived last March with a triple vinyl and double CD release, recorded over two spectacular sold-out shows at the prestigious Le Trianon in Paris.