“British music is a very powerful thing and the Blackpool era is important in all of that,” he said. “It played host to lots of visiting musicians. I saw the Rolling Stones and The High Numbers (who became The Who) in Blackpool at the very start of their careers.
“There were a number of Blackpool bands (including Jethro Tull) who were inspired by the music of the visiting bands and went on to become successful.
“Our album Thick as a Brick was certainly a progressive rock album but it’s good to see a festival in Blackpool supporting a wide range of styles under the progressive rock banner.”
Journalist and musician John Robb (who fronted Blackpool band The Membranes before forming Gold Blade) added: “Prog rock was a massive genre when I was growing up in the 70s and it’s a really cool idea to have a festival in Blackpool which has great facilities and accommodation.”
The event – called The Electric Garden Progressive Rock Festival – sees progrock heavyweights The Tangent, The Watch and Credo perform in Blackpool to a global audience – with tickets being sold to fans as far afield as the USA, Hungary, Sweden, Italy and Germany.
The festival also has a European flavour with two of the bands The Watch and Dropshard visiting from Italy. The Watch will be performing their own material as well as the complete seminal 70s Genesis album Selling England By The Pound.
There are 12 bands in total performing throughout the three days of the festival.
The Tangent who headline on the Saturday, take influences from the legendary Canterbury scene which spawned artists such as Soft Machine, Camel and Gong.
Their album Down and Out In Paris and London won the majority of Progressive Album of The Year polls and they are among the leading exponents on the contemporary progressive scene.
Yes fans are also catered for with the appearance of the SeYes tribute band who specialise in performing classic Yes tracks including Close to the Edge and The Gates of Delirium.
The festival is taking place at Beat on Corporation Street from May 19 to 21. Discount advance tickets are available at www.electricgardenfestival.com and the HMV store in Blackpool.