Electric progression

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Blackpool’s first Electric Garden Progressive Rock Festival is now a three-day celebration of progressive rock music in the resort.

Originally a two-day May festival, the organisers have now added an extra day, making this inaugural festival a substantial event in the progressive rock calendar. With affordable tickets and incentives such as a free DVD of the event and prog goody bags, tickets are showing healthy sales in spite of the global recession.

The extra day features well known prog artists Credo Also Eden and Matt Stevens.

They join the existing bands on the line-up: The Tangent, The Watch (Italy), Nerve Toy Trio, Dropshard (Italy), Abel Ganz, Godsticks, IT, Earthling Society (Fleetwood) and Yes tribute SeYes.

The Watch, who are a fine progressive band in their own right, will, on this occasion, be playing the complete Selling England By The Pound, the classic album originally released by Genesis in 1974.

Credo are veterans of Rosfest, Summers End and their roots date back to the 70s. With a new album Against Reason due out in April, their appearance at the festival is hotly anticipated by their legion of fans in the north.

Matt Stevens adds some prog/post rock experimentation to the proceedings following his acclaimed 2010 album Ghost, which appeared in the top 50 prog albums of 2010, as voted for by the listeners of The European Perspective progressive rock radio show.

Matt uses an acoustic guitar and a sampler to create multi-layered tracks live. This is often called Live Looping and his music is compared with artists as diverse as Radiohead and Robert Fripp.

He has released two albums – Echo in 2008 and Ghost in 2010. Echo was a “word of mouth” success thanks to the support of hundreds of bloggers and podcasters, and Ghost has brought him firmly into the focus of the progressive rock community.

Also, Eden are another highly respected neo-prog outfit with an impressive pedigree. They are back on the live circuit, now that lead singer Rich has recovered from a serious accident and lined up for various major festival appearances.

Run by Ken Foster, a music professional who helped promote the Genesis, Blackpool ABC show in 1980, the festival has been something of a labour of love.

“Bringing top flight progressive rock acts such as The Tangent and The Watch to the town is no easy matter and financially a big risk,” said Foster. “In 1980 we sold out the ABC for the Genesis gig, and I’m sure there are plenty of latent progressive rock fans in the area who would love to experience that special kind of magic again.

“I’m delighted to say we’ve already had ticket sales from as far away as Hungary, Sweden, Italy and France.”

There are a limited number of one-day Thursday tickets available. Three-day festival passes and Friday/Saturday tickets are also available. All festival 2/3 day pass holders receive free entry to the extra day.

The festival is indoors at Beat on Corporation Street, and runs from May 19 to 21. Advance ticket purchase is recommended from the festival website: www.electricgardenfestival.com.

For more information visit http://www.electricgardenfestival.com.