I haven’t seen the full results of the Prog Magazine readers’ poll, but the scan on HeKz’ Facebook page (in which they made the top ten tips for 2014), also includes the Best and Worst Prog Events of 2013
The Worst list make very interesting reading.
I can’t disagree with #1. High Voltage 2011 and 2012 were great festivals which put the best the scene has to offer with a great mix of old and new in front of big audiences. So the cancellation of HV2013 as a consequence of sponsor HMV going into administration was a great disappointment. No word yet on whether or not there will be a High Voltage in 2014, though if there was going to be one I would have expected some sort of announcement by now.
As for #2, HRH Prog being both 2nd Worst Event and 7th Best Event does imply that it has divided people’s opinions. I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the venue from friends who were, both fans and artists, citing the fact that it was absolutely bloody freezing. HRH Prog 2 this March moves to an altogether different venue in a completely different part of the country. I’m looking forward to this one a lot, even though it’s going to take a very long train journey and a rail replacement bus to get there.
The Cambridge Rock Festival at #3 does come as a surprise. I know I wasn’t the only person who thought the bill was very disappointing from a prog perspective, with no more than a token presence on the main stage compared with previous years. But though I didn’t go myself, everyone I’ve spoken to who was there told me they had an enjoyable time. So voting it worst even of the year does seem a little harsh. My guess is most of those negative votes came from people who didn’t actually attend. But I do think the organisers need to recognise they didn’t get the balance quite right last year. They have yet to announce the 2014 bill, and I for one am waiting for that announcement with great interest.