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Paperlate: Could an event like Be Prog! My Friend happen in the UK?

Jerry Ewing asks whether a festival like Barcelona's Be Prog! My Friend could ever be successful in the UK

It didn’t take long after Prog had made our first visit to Barcelona’s prog fest Be Prog! My Friend for us to wonder whether or not we could ever have such an event in the UK.
I mean, what’s not to like? An outdoor festival, bathed in sun, well attended and with a wide-ranging bill attracting an all-ages and enthusiastic crowd. That spells winner to me…

Of course, when Prog magazine launched back in 2009, the universally adored Summer’s End was the kingpin of the live UK progressive scene, and remains, for me, the finest weekend of progressive music you’ll find in the UK. We can now add to that the prog stage at Ramblin’ Man, HRH Prog, charity event Trinity, Eppyfest and Danfest, all of varying sizes, and sometimes it seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry is ready to chance their arm with another prog event. Reading that list makes it look like the UK is awash with prog-style festivals, so do we need anything else? Possibly not, although it should perhaps be noted that half of these are relatively small in scale, and aside from perhaps Eppyfest, attract similar bands and a similar crowd.

The weather in this country is clearly something that you can’t count on, which is one factor to consider. One only has to look at the washouts that have plagued Download in recent years! But
if a 2-5,000 capacity outdoor prog-based event was a consideration in the UK, would it work?


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