Are there just too many Prog festivals now? The collapse of the Y-Prog Festival that was supposed to have taken place of the weekend just gone, and August’s Cambridge Rock Festival reducing prog on the main stage to a mere token presence this year are bad news for prog fans. It may be a case of extrapolating too much from limited data points, but I wonder if there are now more specialist prog festivals than the market can realistically support.
If the prog scene is to continue to grow and prosper, what part should festivals play in this? Are festivals aimed squarely at hardcore prog fandom counterproductive? Do they promote a ghetto mentality when it’s better to get the music out there in front of a wider audience? Should we instead be encouraging more prog bands with crossover appeal to play more “mainstream” rock, indie or folk festivals, and also encourage some of those festivals to add a critical mass of progressively-inclined bands to their lineup?
Ironically that’s precisely what the Cambridge Rock Festival had been doing over the past few years.