If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I love to profile different prog-related festivals and events. Why? I truly believe that progressive rock festivals are some of the best events for prog fans to learn about new music, feel solidarity with other prog fans, and recognize the strength of their community. For artists, its a great opportunity to meet other artists, mingle with fans, and network.
Last year, I had the honor and privilege to attend the inaugural ProgStock festival, and wrote extensively about each of the acts I saw. It was an amazing time, full of great music, conversation, and fellowship. While last year boasted an amazing lineup, 2018 will be even bigger and better, with heavyweights such as Eddie Jobson (who will perform the music of UK with the help of Marc Bonilla, Thomas Lang, and Alex Machacek), IQ, Enchant, Mystery, new supergroup In Continuum (featuring Dave Kerzner, Randy McStine, Gabriel Agudo, and Marco Minnemann) and numerous others, listed above in the advertisement. Thomas Palmieri, who is the festival organizer and the mind behind ProgStock, answered a few questions about how the festival came to be and what we can expect this year.
How did ProgStock come to be?
This three-day festival was founded to solve a few positive problems. First, even though a handful of fun Prog gatherings exist around the globe, artists are eager to play in the Northeast United States during the autumn months, where and when not much else in Prog circles takes place. Second, we know that Prog fans are seeking a comfortable, classy venue to see their favorite bands perform. Add in a great host town that’s close to a huge airport and regional rail transportation… and that’s most of ProgStock’s story. The only thing we need for this to be complete? You! And with you, there will be much rejoicing at North America’s New International Progressive Rock Festival, which is ProgStock.
One of the most impressive parts of ProgStock last year was the beautiful venue. Tell us about it!
From UCPAC.org: “The Mainstage is housed in the restored “Rahway Theatre” – which has resided in Downtown Rahway since 1928. This historic landmark has become the centerpiece of the recently established arts district of Rahway, New Jersey, which has played a vital role in the revitalization and cultural renaissance of the community.
The magic of this venue lies in the heart of the facility; a restored vaudeville theater and silent movie palace that has stood the test of time and an ever-changing world around it. Like many of its fellow historic sites and theaters, it remains a monument to an era past while still contributing to the community’s future.”
From ProgStock.com: “The historic Union County Performing Arts Center landmark was originally a vaudeville-era silent movie house. First opened in 1928, this is a beautifully restored multipurpose facility that is the centerpiece of the recently established arts district of Rahway, New Jersey. UCPAC is playing a vital role in the cultural renaissance of the community. UCPAC is run by a non-profit organization staffed by professional, hard-working employees and is supported by an outstanding volunteer corps and its local community of residents.”
Tell us about Rahway, the city where ProgStock will take place.
Rahway, NJ is about 20 miles southeast of Manhattan, NY. With rail connections to NY Penn Station and Newark Airport, Rahway is perfectly situated for a festival with attendees from across the country and around the world. Rahway has a strong arts community and recent downtown revitalization efforts have created a vibrant city with loads of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and hotels.
Who are the ProgStock organizers?
ProgStock is the brainchild of Tom Palmieri, a life-long Prog fan and IT consultant who has recruited an amazing team of concert/festival organizers and promoters; sound and lighting engineers; and photographers to put together a well-run, exciting, entertaining festival where fans and musicians come together to celebrate the art of progressive rock.
How would you position ProgStock in the ecosystem of current progressive rock festivals?
ProgStock is now the ONLY progressive rock festival in the northeast United States. It is held in early October, when the climate is ideal to walk around beautiful downtown Rahway. ProgStock prides itself on giving the artists the time and the means to put together the best show for the audience and providing the fans an intimate experience to listen to great bands, meet their favorite artists, and mingle with the musicians in a relaxed environment.
What would you say is your mission at ProgStock?
ProgStock wants to provide both musician and fan the best festival experience possible. The musicians are treated with the respect we feel they deserve. All of our bands are compensated for their performances and provided with equipment, sound, lighting, accommodations and hospitality. Our attendees get to experience great progressive rock music in a beautiful, comfortable venue and interact with the artists in a relaxed environment. Everyone is a VIP at ProgStock.
What is the Progressive Coffeehouse?
The Progressive Coffeehouse is a regular installment on Marty Dorfman’s radio show “The Waiting Room with The Prog Doctor” on The House of Prog (houseofprog.com). With Marty as our host for the event and broadcasting live from the event, The Progressive Coffeehouse has lent its name to Friday Late Night at ProgStock. Beginning at midnight after our first night of performances in the main theater, The Progressive Coffeehouse will be held at a local restaurant aptly named, “The Waiting Room.” There will be performances by four artists: Dark Beauty, Steve Unruh, Rachel Flowers, Robeone.
We also have another late night event beginning at midnight after our Saturday performances. This event will be held in the Hamilton Stage building, which is part of the UCPAC and will feature two full bands: Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, Fernando Perdomo & Out to Sea Band.
Where can I purchase tickets?
Purchase tickets at this link:
How can I make a donation to ProgStock?
ProgStock accepts donations through a 501c3 arts support organization, Fractured Atlas. You can find information about this program on our Tickets and Donations page: https://www.progstock.com/2018/tickets-donations/
I’d love to market my prog-related business at ProgStock. How can I do that?
ProgStock is also offering corporate sponsorship packages for companies that would like to market to the fans and audience of ProgStock.
Buy tickets to ProgStock here. And check out the incredible lineup! Don’t miss out on ProgStock 2018!