When RoSfest founder George Roldan approached me to consider taking on the task of leading RoSfest into a new era, I was deeply humbled and excited. I had been both a long-time patron of the festival and a core benefactor since the reorganization as a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through access to great music and the support of musicians. As a musician, scientist, and entrepreneur, I hope to utilize my skill set to both maintain the incredible tradition and quality of RoSfest and to lead the organization to greater future glories. The Board that we have organized represents a wonderful group of highly experienced, talented, dedicated, and selfless individuals whose only desire is to see RoSfest continue and grow. We will be expanding our search for charitable contributions and will aggressively seek grant monies to provide a stable financial foundation for future performances. RoSfest is reborn and music lovers everywhere will benefit.
John Blangero (Sun King Rising, Harlequin Reborn)
I’m thrilled to say the future of RoSfest looks bright, some may call this the rebirth of one of the top music festivals in the USA if not the world. I would call this the next step in the evolution of greatness we hope to continue to build on the time-honored traditions laid out by our dear friend and founder George Roldan, as well as his wife Beth and the RoSfest staff. I am part of what I would consider an elite team of musicians and music industry professionals who are not only my colleagues but friends sharing one vision; to continue to grow a festival that is as much about the people who attend as it is the musicians who pour their heart and soul into their art. Anyone who is familiar with me knows that I am passionate about music and dedicated to the people that create and support it. It will be my privilege to respect what RoSfest is and will continue to become, and what it means to those who embrace it. We will continue to bring you the same quality festival that you’ve all come to expect, love, and enjoy over the past 17 years.
Nick Katona (Melodic Revolution Records, PeacockSunrise Records, Power of Prog, ReZonatZ)
I am so out of this world excited to be a part of this team for RoSfest. So it seems only fitting to honor the past, the present, and the future of this amazing festival, with this opening… “Prog, the final frontier. These are the voyages of team RoSfest, the Musicians, and Prog Fans everywhere. Our mission is to explore new Prog Bands, to seek out new Prog music, and to boldly go where no Prog has gone before!”
Rebecca Avelar (MRR Music Group)
So, RoSFest lives to see another day and I get to be a part of making those days happen. It’s going to be a pretty steep path and an arduous task to take over from where George left off; one need only consider the fact that it’s taking 6 of us to even attempt to do what he did almost single-handedly (not forgetting the help of his wonderful wife, Beth, and support from his Crew). But keeping the RoSFest torch burning is something we all feel ardently about and we will do our very best to keep bringing you a quality event and occasion to momentarily be part of something which goes beyond our common love of music. The RoSFest 6 are a dedicated and close-knit team that will be putting their very different and individual skills together to ensure RoSFest continues for many years to come. We look forward to seeing many old and new faces along the way! As the French might say, Le festival est mort, Vive le festival!
Octavia Brown (2Days of Prog+ 1, RoSfest)
In this post-Covid world, where the live music scene has been hit hard due to global lockdowns, very few festivals have escaped unscathed. Fortunately, with the help of a base of loyal devotees and a vision to the future by founder George Roldan, RoSfest will get a chance to rise from the ashes of the wreckage, and return to the standard of excellence people expect from one of the world’s most beloved progressive music festivals. I am honored to join such a devoted team of creative friends, each bringing a unique experience to the table in order to meet the new challenges that we face as concert events gradually reopen. It is a new era for RoSfest, and an exciting future awaits. Following George’s fearless example, let the tradition continue!
Lisa Wetton (Edison’s Children, United Progressive Fraternity)
As the new Board member on the ground in Sarasota, I will be responsible for a lot of the day-to-day local legwork that is required throughout the year to organize and run a successful festival. My background in entertainment management and business will come in handy! I have always loved attending RoSfest and helping musicians achieve their dreams. I am honored and excited to be working with the excellent people here, and I am thrilled to be part of the ROSfest future!
Tony Anzalone (Music Manager Sun King Rising, Harlequin Reborn)
RoSfest (The Rites of Spring Festival) made its debut in 2004 at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania until 2007, and then moved to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania for 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the festival moved to the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in 2019, the festival moved to its current location at the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida.
2019, the festival moved to the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida. The festival is known for importing some fantastic talent from around the world including Flor de Loto (PE), Anglagård (Sweden), Spock’s Beard (US), Riverside (Poland) IQ (UK), Magic Pie (Norway), Unified Past (US), Pain of Salvation (Sweden), Lazuli (France), RPWL (Germany), Ambrosia (US), Kinetic Element (US), The Flower Kings (Sweden), Evership (US), among others.
December 26, 2020, George Roldan announced on the official RoSfest Facebook page that; “The Rites of Spring Festival says “Goodbye, for now,” the COVID -19 pandemic had made continuing the festival unsustainable. However, on February 1, 2021, George Roldan posted another announcement stating that RoSfest would continue under new management. New event dates have yet to be announced.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rosfest
In the words of Jon Anderson, “Change we must, to live again”, we find hope, resolution, and a renewed sense of excitement. With these lyrics in mind, it is my great pleasure to announce that with change, RoSfest will continue to produce one of the best progressive rock festivals in the world located in tropical Sarasota, Florida, but under new leadership and board of directors to further support and grow this endeavor. The Rites of Spring Festival has been a treasure in the progressive rock world for the last 17 years and it has been my pride and privilege to create, produce, host and share the experience with you, our RoSfest audience!
New to producing RoSfest, but not to the world of progressive rock, our new leadership team have been supportive members of our festival’s family for years. I feel honored to be able to pass the torch to such a dedicated group of musical masters. Please give a warm RoSfest welcome to our new leadership team and read below for more detail about their background and accomplishments; John Blangero, Nick Katona, Anthony Anzalone, Rebecca Avelar, Octavia Brown, and Lisa Wetton.
The team will follow up with information regarding everything RoSfest as the information becomes available. I will continue to support the festival as a consultant and remain its biggest fan. As I’ve previously mentioned, it has been an honor to interact with such accomplished and inspiring musicians and music lovers in the progressive rock community. Long Live RoSfest!
John Charles Blangero
John Blangero is a scientist, musician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. John is well known as one of the world’s leading biomedical researchers with a focus on complex disease genetics. As a singer/songwriter, he recently released his first solo album under the moniker of Sun King Rising on Peacock Sunrise Records and fronts the progressive rock band, Harlequin Reborn. He also is a co-founder and Board member of 4TellX, an Austin-based predictive analytics company.
Nick George Katona
Nick Katona is an iconic figure in progressive rock music circles as the President of the Melodic Revolution Music Group which includes record labels, Melodic Revolution Records, and PeacockSunrise Records. He has experience developing and managing small festivals as the owner and operator of an independent music store. As a music promoter, he also owns and operates Power of Prog and ReZonatZ, both internet music blog publications, and has worked as an internet DJ since 2011.
Tony Anzalone has a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has served in a variety of administrative and management roles in private industry. He has been active in the music business since the 80’s when he managed his first band. Currently, he is the manager of rock acts, Sun King Rising and Harlequin Reborn. He is also an administrator and officer in the World Prog Project. Tony now lives in Sarasota, Florida, and will take on much of the local leg work and financial management associated with RoSfest.
Rebecca Sherene Avelar
Rebecca Avelar has extensive experience in accounting and human resource management. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the MRR Music Group and is Street Team Manager for House of Prog and Power of Prog.
Jane Margaret Octavia Brown
Octavia Brown, better-known for her close involvement with Italy’s 2Day Prog + 1 Festival, has already been a member of the RoSfest crew making her a familiar face to many prior RoSfest attendees. Based in Italy, she works as a freelance translator (recent works include the English version of Mario Giametti’s ‘Genesis – 1967 to 1975: The Peter Gabriel Years ‘) while spending most of her free time…. Hang on, what free time?
Syracuse transplant, Lisa Wetton routed herself firmly into the progressive music scene after co-founding Smokewind Music, an agency that specialized in world and progressive music bookings, and which has recently transitioned into audio and visual production. In 2015, she retired from practicing medicine and moved to the U.K. to be closer to her beloved husband, the late music icon, John Wetton. She currently spends her days drinking tea, making compost, and getting paid to hit things. Her most recent work has been with Edison’s Children, United Progressive Fraternity, and Southern Empire.
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!”
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!
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.
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 video
Thank You Scientist “FXMLDR” Sunlab
TYS – “Swarm” Lyric Video
TYS “Mr. Invisible” Sunlab
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 Live (2018)
“Silent War” Live
“CAST SINFONICO”, Teaser Trailer BR
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
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 Video)
If I Mean When
The Tea Club – The Magnet (Live in Studio)
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 Video)
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”