The Rites of Spring Festival says “Goodbye, for now”.
RoSfest has been a treasure in the progressive rock world for the last 17 years and it has been my privilege to produce and host one of the best progressive rock music festivals in the world, but RoSfest will officially end its 16-year run in 2020. Dedicated to delivering the highest level of talent, production, and timing is central to what RoSfest represented; an outlet for a niche genre called Progressive Rock that provided a venue for new up and coming artists from around the globe.
Running a music festival can be breathtakingly rewarding, but also quite expensive due to production, insurance, venue rental, hotel rental, staff accommodations, band expenses, vehicle rentals, etc. Additionally, the US government has made it harder and harder to acquire permits for working artists from around the world to perform in the US. Increasing artist permit requirements and fees makes it almost impossible for young bands to travel abroad. RoSfest has been a labor of love but has been struggling financially for years and can’t survive another “Covid” crisis. Unfortunately, we are not able to keep operating the festival at a loss.
On a personal note, I feel so lucky to have been part of this organization. To work with such an incredible staff and dedicated volunteers and to interact with the best Progressive audiophiles in the world. RoSfest has been magical and could not have existed without YOU…. the best and most supportive audience anyone could hope for. Without such an incredible community, RoSfest would not have been possible. I am so thankful for all of your support and dedication throughout our festival years.
RoSfest will continue its core mission to support the art of Progressive Rock and may surprise you (at some point) with a special concert in the future. But for now, with tearful heartfelt thanks from all of us at RoSfest, it’s been an honor to interact with such accomplished and inspiring musicians and music lovers in the progressive rock community.
In the words of RoSfest’s production manager, Kevin Madrishin, “We did it right!”
Unfortunately, the show will not go on…
As we navigate the best course of action for the safety and well-being of our patrons, associates, and artists, regarding the current Coronavirus situation, sadly, RoSfest will not go on this year as planned due to a Force Majeure. This devastating and difficult decision is based on the guidelines of the CDC and following the guidance of the City of Sarasota and state health officials as the recommendation that for the next 8 weeks organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the US.
All tickets purchased (minus processing fees) will be refunded, but allow us time to do so as a percentage of the funds have been used to cover pre-production costs, deposits, and advertising. Kindly consider donating part or all of your ticket expense as a tax-deductible contribution to help RoSfest recoup from this tragedy as we are now a not-for-profit (501)c3 corporation. While we don’t know exactly what the future may hold, we feel confident that RoSfest will emerge next year in the Spring. Please keep an eye on our Facebook RoSfest group page for any new updates.
In addition, please call and cancel your hotel reservations at the Aloft, Embassy & Indigo Hotels as soon as possible. The hotels are not responsible to do this for you. On behalf of everyone at RoSfest, our hearts go out to all those impacted by Covid-19 and hope that all of our RoSfest family stays healthy and safe.
Thank you for your continued support!
Big Big Train booked for RoSfest 2020
As announced at the 2019 edition of RoSfest, Big Big Train is the first band that has been booked for the 2020 edition of the festival. To state that this is an exciting signing for us is probably the understatement of the decade.
Big Big Train has been on our wish-list ever since the festival started way back in 2004, the same year that Big Big Train released the album “Gathering Speed”. The wish for them to come and play at RoSfest has most certainly gathered speed ever since, especially following 2009’s “The Underfall Yard”, which may be described as something of a breakthrough album for the band. Their brand of melodic and distinctly English progressive rock has made the band a must buy for an ever-increasing audience since then, and that Big Big Train released one fantastic album after the other to this day is, of course, a part of why that is the case.
For the last decade, our audience has made it an annual tradition to request Big Big Train and 2020 is the year when we will make it happen. A long desired wish, finally fulfilled. Big Big Train will arrive on schedule on May 9th, for a 2 hour performance beginning at 8:00 pm! (Pending permit approval.
Thank You Scientist set to return to RoSfest as headliners
It is a sheer pleasure to announce that Thank You Scientist will return to RoSfest on Sunday, May 10th, 2020 as our third headliner since we feel they easily merit this position. The band had a killer performance when they played for us back in 2014 and we know their performance will be even better when they return in 2020.
Following years of delivering one vital album after the other, they are now headlining most of their tours and recently concluding a summer tour with Bent Knee who was opening for them. They are also touring internationally as they recently headlined a mini-tour in England, as well as opening for Coheed & Cambria while playing in the United Kingdom. In short, Thank You Scientist’s brand of eclectic, challenging and dynamic progressive rock is catching on towards an ever-increasing audience. Their most recent album, “Terraformer” (2019), hit the top 10 sales on iTunes earlier this year and they sold more copies of their special advance pre-order version of that album than most progressive rock bands have as total sales of their releases. Thank You Scientist is going places and doing so very quickly which is why they deserved a headlining spot at RoSfest. A festival should always conclude on a high note and with Thank You Scientist, we know that this will indeed be the case for the 2020 edition of RoSfest.
Thank You Scientist Terraformer official music
Thank You Scientist “FXMLDR” Sunlab
TYS – “Swarm” Lyric Video
TYS “Mr. Invisible” Sunlab
Cast set to headline at RoSfest 2020
Mexican progressive rock band, Cast is a well-known entity to many in the progressive rock community. With a history going back to 1978 and more than two dozen releases to their name. Cast is a true veteran progressive rock band and their specialty is symphonic progressive rock. They have developed their craft in a meticulous manner and are among a select few bands where their later releases by and large are also their most revered. Cast is a band where fans are more likely to call out for current material than for songs written and released decades ago. There aren’t too many other veteran progressive rock bands who can state that on their resume.
Cast has been selected in a well-deserved headliner slot and they will perform on Friday, May 8th, 2020. Everyone will be in for a treat with this excellent live band from Mexico. More than 40 years as an active band and one of the rare cases of a seasoned veteran band getting increasingly better and steadily improving with age and experience.
“Power and Outcome”, Cast Sinfónico
“Silent War” Live
“CAST SINFONICO”, Teaser Trailer
UNITED PROGRESSIVE FRATERNITY SET FOR ROSFEST 2020
We are really happy to announce that United Progressive Fraternity have been signed for RoSfest 2020. Originally, revolving around the talents and vision of former Unitopia member Mark Trueack, United Progressive Fraternity has explored their visions about the human condition and the state of the environment on two albums to date; with a third in production. US multi-instrumentalist, Steve Unruh has joined the cause on a permanent basis and with him onboard, the musical nature of the band has developed as well. While initially more of a heavy progressive rock band, UPF is rather more expansive in terms of style as of 2019.
While not clearly defined as a band as such, the word, “fraternity” reveals a lot about how the band’s albums have been crafted. There are two musical sides to UPF: version 1 is a variation made up of musicians from around the globe. Version 2 UPF: Acoustic has been formed in Adelaide. UPF Acoustic will launch in 2021 and will perform new arrangements from both Planetary Overload Loss and the upcoming double package, HOPE.
Those who like high quality, accessible progressive rock that covers multiple bases will have a lot to look forward to when United Progressive Fraternity hits the stage as the third band out on Sunday, May 10th. Those who are concerned about the environment and the current and future state of Mother Earth, can look forward to hearing kindred spirits sharing their concern using music and lyrics as the main tools to spread the word and their thoughts on these and related subject matters.
Travelling Man (The Story pf ESHU) – the Movie (United Progressive Fraternity)
United Progressive Fraternity – Intersection (Lyric Video)
United Progressive Fraternity – The Water – BlueMountain Remix with Steve Layton – Video
US band, THE TEA CLUB, signed for RoSfest 2020
We are pleased to announce that US progressive rock band, The Tea Club, will perform at RoSfest 2020. For more than 15 years, this fine New Jersey band has built a strong reputation among progressive rock fans and they are among a select few bands that are appreciated by fans from all across the progressive rock spectrum.
The Tea Club are renowned for being adventurous with vocal harmonies as a key specialty alongside using elements from many different types of progressive rock in their compositions. In addition, they have steadily perfected and improved their ability to create material that is easy to listen to and enjoy as well as being both sophisticated and fairly challenging; a balancing act in which they are among the very best bands out there to explore.
With their 5th and latest album, “If / When”, which was released earlier this year, The Tea Club can proudly and honestly boast about releasing their best album ever to date and we knew we had to book them for 2020 once we experienced it. We look forward to enjoying their performance live as we know that you will too in the second band out on Sunday, May 10th.
The Tea Club “Sinking Ship: (Official
If I Mean When
The Tea Club – The Magnet (Live in Studio)
US band ARC IRIS set to open RoSfest 2020
Providence, RI, US band, Arc Iris has been chosen to open RoSfest 2020. While not a well-known band in progressive rock circles, this is a band with a strong and consistent progressive spirit that has been ongoing in their music since the band was formed in 2012 as shown in their creative exploration on four full length albums to date so far.
Arc Iris has experienced the ups and downs of the music business and following some tumultuous initial years, the band is now a fan-supported trio experiencing a fair degree of success; the most recent of which was opening for St. Vincent on their recent tour. Musically, Arc Iris has been described as art pop and their compositions tend to feature details from multiple genres spanning from chamber music-oriented creations and jazz-tinged escapades to more expressive material not too far removed from artists such as Kate Bush and Björk. Vocalist, Jocie Adams is a singer that in tone and style is of a similar nature to Bent Knee’s, Courtney Swain, but that’s where all the similarities end.
Arc Iris has developed quite a bit since their self-titled debut album appeared back in 2014, and in our opinion the band has moved steadily closer to a style and expression that many progressive rock fans will find both familiar and enjoyable. A slight departure in style in terms of RoSfest history, but also an expansion to our repertoire we know many will appreciate. We have been utterly charmed by the music of this creative US threesome and are looking forward to seeing many others discovering the qualities of this fine band at RoSfest 2020.
ARC IRIS Videos:
ARC IRIS – If You Can See (Official
ARC IRIS $GNMS (Official Video)
ARC IRIS – Fiona Apple “Every Single Night”
ARC IRIS on Audiotree Live (Full Session)
ARC IRIS – “Might I Deserve to Have a Dream”
Lobate Scarp signed for RoSfest 2020
US band, Lobate Scarp, have been around for more than a decade and caused a bit of a buzz when they released their debut album, “Time and Space” back in 2012. The album garnered great reviews and was well-received. Production is now currently in the pipeline and set to restore the buzz around this fine US band. The band is set to release a new album in 2020.
Lobate Scarp is a fairly eclectic progressive rock band well aware of the old and new varieties of symphonic progressive rock, but equally aware that there are such things as heavy prog and fusion that can be played with too. Which the band does and performs very well at and they aren’t afraid to venture into hard rock or metal for inspiration or to add in pop music tropes when needed either. Audience and listener friendly progressive rock, with a strong focus on melody and energy, spiced with more advanced features when appropriate. But also, music that is powerful, heavy and more challenging when required. That the band has an affection for the rock opera is probably not all that unexpected.
Lobate Scarp will be the first band out on Saturday, May 9th. We are eagerly looking forward to the buzz around this band to become lively again and are proud that we will be a part of this process.
Lobate Scarp Video – Lobate Scarp-
Beautiful Light (Lyric Video)
Lobate Scarp Video – Nothing Wrong
Dilemma signed for RoSfest 2020
Dutch/UK modern prog band, Dilemma, are confirmed for RoSfest 2020. Dilemma has a history that goes back to the early 1990’s and released their debut album “Imbroccata” on legendary cult prog label SI Music/RoadRunner back in 1995. After a few years of extensive touring, the band took a hiatus until a one-off reunion concert back in 2012. This reunion created a spark that was kept alive for the next few years. The line-up solidified a few years back with the addition of front man Dec Burke (Frost*, Darwin’s Radio) as the final piece of the puzzle.
Late 2018 Dilemma released their comeback album “Random Acts of Liberation”, a production described as being very much in the vein of artists such as Neal Morse, Frost* and Flying Colors. The album was mixed by sound engineer, Rich Mouser (Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Neal Morse). Random Acts of Liberation was received with high praise from the media, the audience and colleague artists.
Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors/Sons Of Apollo/ex-Dream Theater) named Random Acts Of Liberation ‘one of the best albums of 2018’: “Damn!! Yet another great new prog release. The new album by Dilemma is some very tasty ‘modern Prog’ ala new Spock’s Beard, Frost*, Flying Colors, Steven Wilson & Haken. Awesome drumming by Collin Leijenaar and loving the melodic edge Dec Burke brings to the band! And as always an immaculate mix by Rich Mouser. One of the top-10 music albums of 2018!”
RoSfest is extremely happy to introduce our audience to one of the bands that was a part of the second wave of neo-progressive rock bands from the 1990’s. And with their latest release Dilemma transformed their music to an eclectic, modern prog sound with strong hooks and riffs, melodies and a powerful live performance. It features seasoned musicians with a high-quality front man in the shape of Dec Burke. This is the icing on the cake. Dilemma will be the second band to play on Saturday, May 9th, and a band we imagine will be a positive and unexpected surprise for many in our audience. (Pending permit approval).
Collin Leijenaar (Neal Morse, Affector, Kayak), drummer, producer and manager of the band says: “It is so awesome to finally perform at RoSfest! It will be our USA debut. We can’t wait to play the complete Random Acts Of Liberation’ album for you! Our set will be 70 minutes and with an album that clocks 72 minutes, we’ll have little time to talk from stage, so we will let the music do the talking”, he laughs. Dec Burke (ex-Frost*/Audio Plastik), who has performed at RoSfest twice already, says he is really looking forward to playing with Dilemma in the States. “It’s such a joy playing with this band, and even more joy to be able to come to Sarasota, Florida with this amazing band to perform our latest album and meet all you lovely RoSfest goers. We are very excited to play at your festival”.
Link to latest album: https://dilemma.lnk.to/LiberationWE
The Inner Darkness:
The Space Between The Waves: