What is ProgStock, exactly?
ProgStock’s main stage will feature music that most radio hosts would find to be too long and too complex to play on-the-air. Dancing in 7/8, indeed, is left to fans who are accustomed to calculating high math in their heads. It’s easy to assume — because even the massive force of Apple Music doesn’t feature a decent Prog option — that the genre is dead. Alas, the Internet is largely credited for bringing together Prog’s most loyal and growing fandom.
This three-day volunteer-run 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 arts-friendly host city 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 is…You! And with you, there will be much rejoicing at The American Northeast’s Only International Progressive Rock Festival, ProgStock.
We are incredibly pleased to bring this festival to you together with our partners at the House of Prog Internet Radio station, and the NJProghouse Progressive Music Series. We are enormously grateful for their support for, endorsement of, and participation in this Herculean endeavor.
The History of ProgStock
We are BACK ON STAGE in 2021! ProgStock 2021, which will take place October 1-3, 2021, at the Union County Performing Arts Center’s Main Stage in Rahway, New Jersey, is the fifth edition of an annual volunteer-run event whose mission is to shine light on one of the most exciting and creative genres of rock music, Progressive Rock. The festival has been designed as a hybrid event, including in-person attendance, access to artist meet-and-greets, and participation in after-parties…but also offering live streaming and the ability to view performances for a limited time after the festival concludes.
Once popularized in the late 1960s and early 1970s by bands like Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull and Rush (to name but a few), the genre has spawned hundreds of bands all over the world ever since its heyday. Despite the near-demise of the record industry that once exposed this music to the masses, artists from all over the world have continued to create this kind of music and have found audiences that cherish it and crave for more. Since 2017, ProgStock has provided a vehicle for these artists to play to audiences and in surroundings that they might not be able to achieve on their own.
In that spirit, ProgStock provides its international audience (which includes visiting patrons from Europe, South America, Canada, and elsewhere) with a varied menu of Progressive Rock acts from all over the world (when we can). Although there are (and always will be) many American bands on our roster gaining this valuable exposure, we also try to include some examples of international acts that are either less well-known in the USA and deserve the chance for international exposure, or are seasoned performers with a rich history of musical achievements, as incentive for more patrons to attend the festival. It is exactly the mission of ProgStock to bring such music to our stage, because we strive to be one of the few places in the USA where such music can be experienced by our audience.
ProgStock is the American Northeast’s only Progressive Rock music festival, due to the relocation of another storied music festival, RoSFest, from Eastern Pennsylvania to Florida. We are located in the tri-state area conveniently close to New York City, which attracts patrons and performing artists from all over the USA and the world. Our audience has grown tremendously since we began in 2017, and we were expecting healthy growth for our 2020 edition…until the pandemic scuttled those hopes. As in prior years, we planned to continue bringing new experiences to the festival to complement the performances, including special guest appearances and meet-and-greets, audience participation opportunities, fine artists whose artwork is renown within Progressive Rock circles, and the involvement of sponsors and foundations related to music education, historical preservation, and support of independent musical artists. And now, in 2021, we are proudly resuming that plan, and we’re ready to bring you a festival experience you will never forget!
In 2017 and 2018, ProgStock was blessed to have Tom Brislin, a New Jersey native, perform both singly and with his band, Gold Rotation, and now Tom is a full-fledged member of the multiple Platinum-selling American rock band, Kansas. In 2018, ProgStock was honored to have the extraordinary talents of Eddie Jobson headlining the festival, and recently Eddie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Platinum-selling English rock band, Roxy Music. In 2019, ProgStock featured the Juno Award winning and Canadian Platinum-selling rock band, SAGA, and we were honored to feature and help raise funds for the Bob Moog Foundation, which preserves and carries forward the legacy of Bob Moog’s revolutionary innovations in music synthesis that has impacted almost every genre of music for decades. In 2020, ProgStock persevered through the pandemic by bringing over 100 live-streamed performances to the living rooms of our audience, culminating in a virtual 2-day festival featuring the classic American prog-rock band, Crack The Sky.
Take a nostalgic trip into ProgStock’s past…and then share some of the great memories you have with us on social media…by looking back at prior editions of our festival. We could not have produced any of these without you, and for that we are eternally grateful!