The RoSfest community is very important to me on so many levels and my long-term goal is to keep RoSfest going for as long as we can in order to benefit the “progressive music family” as a whole for both musicians and Prog music lovers alike. The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, PA has been a memorable host to us for the past eight years, but even though our reputation continues to grow as the best North America Progressive Rock Festival, our audience attendance has been slowly declining.
As many of you are aware, we recently relocated to Sarasota, Florida. Our decision in selecting this location was not only because of its beauty, beaches, arts and entertainment, but because we believe Sarasota would make the perfect location for RoSfest to continue to survive and grow. Besides having an incredibly approachable downtown social area with blocks of restaurants, bars, hotels, Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, and shops that are bordered by Parks on the Sarasota Bay, Sarasota is home to the SARASOTA OPERA HOUSE offering an incredible acoustic experience residing in a $20 Million renovated theater. Our new home theater is in WALKING DISTANCE to hotels, restaurants, shops, and parks surrounded by views of the Gulf.
There are many additional attractions that people from all over the world visit Sarasota as a destination vacation spot for such as Siesta Key Beach, “Rated as the #1 Beach in the USA, 2017”, Selby Botanical Gardens, The Ringling Museums and Grounds, The Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium, the Art Center Sarasota, The Circus Arts Conservatory, Longwood Key, St. Armands Circle, and Lido Key for Kayaking the Mangroves or the Bay. In the coming weeks, we will share additional information about Sarasota that will include maps, photos, videos and details to help familiarize everyone with the area. New host hotels will be designated and after hour parties will continue, but all within walking distance as most of you have requested.
I’m aware that this news may upset some of our supporters, but please understand that in order for RoSfest to survive, we’re hopeful that our RoSfest family will give Sarasota a chance so that we can keep bringing you the best that progressive music has to offer!
RoSfest 2018 is now in the books and we are now looking forward to the future. Mark your calendars, the dates for 2019 are May 3rd, 4th, & 5th.
In case you haven’t heard, we announced Riverside as a headliner for 2019.
There are so many people to thank this year and I would like to start with my staff, beginning with my beloved partner in the festival business, Beth Ellen Wilson. I am grateful for Beth’s dedication to the festival and she spent long hard hours working on the beautiful artwork for all our logos, t-shirts, merchandise, and promotional work. Beth added a beautiful dimension that was missing at RoSfest and it makes me very happy to hear the women of prog say, “I love the women’s merchandise”. I would like to thank Donna O’Donnell for her dedication to the festival and for her hard work in facilitating the work permits for Special Providence. Once again, you rock! Special thanks go out to our Production Manager, Kevin Madrishin, for another successful year. Kevin spent long hours ahead of the festival making sure the bands had all of their backline questions answered and made sure we had the correct equipment necessary to use at the festival. I hope you like the new title “NUMBER 1 PRODUCTION MANAGER!” Once again, I’m very honored to call you my friend. Big huge thanks go out to Rita Kay Drew and Octavia Brown, our unsung heroes at RoSfest. They were responsible for the transportation of the bands and were quick to assist with anything else needed. “I’m a Barbie girl!”
Thanks again to Brendan Leber, and Dana Ocher, the official sheepherders of RoSfest. You did an awesome job this year! Thanks to Larry Dawgiello for handling the merchandise table this year. I am so happy you work for us. It’s great to have you on our team and the good thing is we didn’t have to hear that Larry song this year. Thanks again to All Sound Pro for providing a sweet system at the after-hours party on Saturday night. Banjo was awake this year! Thanks go out to Nick Andreas, and Mason Rouser, who handled security. You guys did a great job this year. Another special thanks to the best stage crew and Lighting company a promoter can ask for. You guys are the best in the business. It has been an honor to work with you. You’re all irreplaceable. As well as Joel Barrios, our official photographer.
Special thanks go out to Zeitgeist Media’s, Adele Schmidt, and her partner Jose Zegarra Holder for videotaping the show. Plus, a special thanks to Mike Potter and Chris “Orion Studios”, for always doing an incredible job at recording the bands. It should be mentioned that this year, seven out of the ten bands opted to do live DVD and audios at RoSfest. Everytime, you buy a DVD or CD from one of our bands, a small portion goes back to RoSfest. In essence, you’re helping out both the bands and RoSfest.
Special thanks go out to the Majestic theater. We appreciate all your help for making sure the bands don’t have to haul their own gear into the theater. Thank you SO much for making sure that our show runs without hassle. A special thank you must also go out to Jeffrey Gabel, the Executive Director of the Majestic Theater and for welcoming us back year after year. We are incredibly proud and honored to call The Majestic Theater our home since 2010. Immense and huge thanks to all of you.
Huge thanks go out to all the bands that performed at RoSfest. Every band performed to their potential and everyone gave a superb performance. A few stand outs went above and beyond what I expected and blew the roof off at RoSfest. Brand X, Barock Project, Flor De Loto and the phenomenal PFM. Thanks for giving us the most memorable weekend ever at RoSfest!
To all the Platinum, Gold, and regular seat ticket holders, thank you so much for your continued support. Without you, RoSfest would not be possible. I am truly blessed to have met all of you and feel honored and truly blessed to see your happy smiles. We are all part of a community that enjoys this music to come together once a year like a family reunion. We at RoSfest look forward to serving you again and are thrilled to be looking forward to 2019! Listen to the music and all of your pain goes away!
Next year’s dates, May 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2019 will be our 16th Anniversary and we plan to make it a great event starting off with our first headliner, “Riverside”. If you’re not familiar with this group, I would suggest taking a look at their website https://riversideband.pl/en/ and
watch the video – https://youtu.be/poAk9XgK7Cs
Moving forward, we plan to sell Platinum Seat Tickets in October followed by Gold seat tickets. Dates to be determined. The sale of these advance tickets ensures the ability to book great bands at RoSfest. We have a wish list that we would like to get at RoSfest 2019 and if any of you have any additional suggestions, please let us know. It’s always good to be connected to the pulse of RoSFest. Special Thanks to Rick Dashiell for his Flor De Loto suggestion. They were f’ing great!
We are pleased to announce that Valdez and Lines in the Sky will perform at the 2018 edition of the Rites of Spring festival. And in the spirit of being progressive, we have booked both bands to perform at the opening slot on Sunday. In 2018, our faithful can look forward to two “sermons” on Sunday morning.
Valdez is a quartet based out of Philadelphia in the US, featuring the talents of singer and guitarist Simon Godfrey (Tinyfish, Shineback), bassist Tom Hyatt (Echolyn), keyboardist Joe Cardillo (Cold Blue Electric) and drummer Scott Miller (Stone Jack Baller). They released their debut album “This” just after ROSfest 2017, and have a new album in the pipeline.
Lines in the Sky are based out of Nashville, and was formed back in 2011, and consists of Jesse Brock (vocals, guitars), Bowman Brock (drums, percussion) and Ben McAnelly (bass). They have two albums to their name so far, “Hilasterion” (2014) and “Parallel Travel” (2016), and their third album “Beacon” is just about ready to be launched.
Both bands will have a 45 minutes long set, with a 10 minute long break in between bands so that the crew can prepare the stage and equipment for the second band. And as we are talking about Sunday morning, we rather suspect that a slight break in between bands might be a welcome feature for those in the crowd that have been a bit too festive the night before.
This is the first time we have given the “Church of Prog” slot to two bands to share. Both of them are stellar up-and-coming bands, hence this novel solution for booking both of them.We look forward to enjoying both of their performances. Of course, both bands will appear at the signing table after the concert.
We are happy to announce that UK band Threshold have signed for ROSfest 2018 as the Saturday night headliners.
Formed by Karl Groom 29 years ago, Threshold have been an active live and studio band ever since and has been one of the key bands that have explored progressive metal in such a manner that it has also appealed to those whose taste in music have been more geared towards progressive rock. They have explored their particular take on progressive metal on 11 studio albums so far, the most recent of which is the double album, “Legends of the Shires”, that was released through German label, Nuclear Blast, in 2017.
As with many other bands, Threshold has had their fair share of line-up alterations over the years. Founder, Karl Groom (guitars), and Richard West (keyboards) are the constant elements. And as of 2017, they are joined by Glynn Morgan (vocals), Johanne James (drums) and Steve Anderson (bass). Morgan, who was the band’s vocalist in the mid 90’s, recently returned to the band following Damian Wilson’s departure. James and Anderson have been mainstays since 1999 and 2003 respectively.
Threshold has built themselves a reputation as a hard working band that deliver quality performances as well as quality albums. They are a high status band, perhaps even more renowned in metal circuits than in the progressive rock universe, but they have three decades worth of experience and a solid reputation as a band that will always deliver. Threshold is a natural headliner for a festival such as ROSfest and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing them hit the stage as the Saturday night headliners on May 5th 2018.