Today’s the Day – ProgStock Tickets on Sale!

Today’s the Day – ProgStock Tickets on Sale!

ProgStock 2021 Ticket Options & On Sale Dates

ProgStock 5-Year Patron Pass 

Available NOW and anytime prior to the start of ProgStock 2021 

Hint: Act now to lock in the best seat this year and for future years at ProgStock…plus many other incredibly awesome perks! 

Starting Saturday, June 12, 2021 @ 12:00pm Eastern Daylight Time

ProgStock 2021 Prog-Ducer 3-Day Pass: $325 USD (plus taxes & fees)

Hint: There are only about 200 seats in our theater this year…so, once these go on sale, don’t wait…act fast! No seats are being saved for Regular passes!

Early access to the lobby each day (30 minutes before regular attendees)
Priority access to all artist meet-and-greets each day (after 5-Year Patrons)
Priority access to all late-night events each day (if capacity is limited)
A special merchandise package (festival t-shirt plus other cool freebies from us)
An exclusive ProgStock 2021 Prog-Ducer wristband

NOTE: If you have any difficulty purchasing tickets, please contact us at (252) 402-5395 or attendees@progstock.com.
Starting Saturday, July 10, 2021 @ 12:00pm Eastern Daylight Time 
ProgStock 2021 Regular 3-Day Pass: $225 USD (plus taxes & fees)

Access to all artist meet-and-greets each day
Access to all late-night events each day (as capacity allows)

NOTE: If you have any difficulty purchasing tickets, please contact us at (252) 402-5395 or attendees@progstock.com. 

Streaming Options (details to be determined):

Information about live-streaming ProgStock 2021 will be available in September.
Information about on-demand viewing of ProgStock 2021 performances after the festival ends will be provided later this fall.

Current Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, October 1, 2021 At The Hamilton Stage (doors @ 5:00pm)

6:00pm – McNally Waters

8:00pm – Echoes, the American Pink Floyd

Friday Late Night

11:30pm – Total Mass Retain YES Tribute Band

Saturday, October 2, 2021At The Hamilton Stage (doors @ 12:00pm)

12:30pm – The Tea Club
4:00pm – Brand X
8:00pm – McStine & Minnemann & D’Virgilio

Saturday Late Night 11:30pm – Progressive Coffeehouse, featuring:

BeledoRachel FlowersMelanie Mau & Martin Schnella

Sunday, October 3, 2021 At The Hamilton Stage (doors @ 12:00pm)

12:30pm – Steve Unruh & Phideaux Xavier with Valerie Gracious
4:00pm – Jane Getter Premonition
8:00pm – Alan Hewitt & One Nation

Sunday Late Night

11:30pm – Dark Beauty and Potter’s Daughter

ProgStock Ready to Rock the Hamilton Stage, Union County Performing Arts Center, October 1-3, 2021

May 16, 2021 

ProgStock Festival, the American Northeast’s Only International Progressive Rock Festival, will triumphantly return to the stage for its fifth year in 2021. As the world is still emerging from the pandemic, ProgStock 2021 has been designed as a hybrid event, allowing fans to experience the festival in a manner that suits their personal choice. In-person attendance passes include a seat in the theater, access to artist meet-and-greets, and participation in after-parties. For those who wish to (or must) participate virtually from afar, we will offer live streaming and the ability to view performances for a limited time after the festival concludes.

The festival will take place on the weekend of October 1-3, 2021, in the Hamilton Stage building of the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), located at 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway, New Jersey 07065 (a short walk away from the Main Stage theater on Irving Street). The Hamilton Stage theater is of much smaller capacity than the Main Stage theater, so please act quickly once passes are placed on sale! 

Details of the festival lineup, event timeline, ticket pricing, and partner hotels will be announced over the next few weeks. Passes for 3-day in-person attendance will go on sale in June. Details of how to participate in other viewing options will also be provided this summer.

ProgStock Festival was founded to give artists and fans in the genre of progressive rock a place to play and experience their favorite music in a great environment. ProgStock’s main stage will feature music that most radio hosts would find to be too long and too complex to play on the air. Dancing in 7/8, indeed, is left to fans who are accustomed to calculating high math in their heads. However, the festival presents a variety of rock that can be enjoyed by any music lover.

ProgStock Festival provides the artists, attendees, and their families with a great place to share their talents and love for music in a family-friendly environment. Artists mingle with the fans and share experiences as well as music and art. The venue provides everyone with a comfortable place to listen to music with phenomenal sound. The City of Rahway provides everyone with a hub where they can enjoy the festival, enjoy great food and beverages, shop, relax and recover in a beautiful hotel room, and easily hop on a train from and to Newark International Airport or New York City.

Follow ProgStock
Worldwide web: http://www.progstock.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProgStock/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProgStock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/progstock/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ProgStockFestival

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius to Debut New Video “Storm Surge” During this weekends ProgStock Presents Virtual Concert Series

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius will be live-streaming their first full band performance since March 2020 from a friend’s (Matt Vanacoro) studio! The performance will culminate with the WORLD PREMIERE of a new Song & Video STORM SURGE!

STORM SURGE will NOT be available to the public until late September early October. The band are making this early access to the song an EXCLUSIVE for Virtual Progstock attendees.

You can purchase tickets for the event HERE:
https://www.stageit.com/progstock_presents/joe_deninzon_and_stratospheerius/87299

And HERE is the Facebook event for ALL the performances in this series. We encourage you to support all of these renowned artists!
https://www.facebook.com/events/308632280343795/

The Story of “Storm Surge”

A little over a year ago, my son Max was playing a short piano piece by 19th-century composer Friedrich Burgmüller, called “The Storm.” The piece was stuck in my head because I would hear him practicing it every day. I started to imagine it as a rock power ballad and began to sketch out a slowed-down version with the basic chord changes and structure.

I was imagining a cello replacing the ostinato part played by the left hand on the piano, so I asked my friend Ruti Celli, who I met on Cruise to the Edge last year when we played with Dave Kerzner and In Continuum, to contribute her beautiful part.

Our drummer, Jason Gianni, had a sketch he never finished that he thought would be a perfect fit in the middle of the song. I layered a huge string orchestra on top of that section and recruited the great guitarist/producer Fernando Perdomoto laid down a soaring guitar solo.

Next, I was hearing a flute during the breakdown section that followed. We have never had a flute, or any woodwinds for that matter, on one of our recordings! I asked the genius multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers to play the flute and lay down a piano track for the song. Rachel has been blind since age 3 and plays piano, flute, bass, guitar, drums, stick, sings, and records and mixes her own albums! I’ve met and worked with a lot of gifted people in my career, but don’t think I have ever met a person with this level of talent! Check out the documentary about her, Hearing is Believing, on Amazon Prime.

Finally, I’ve been into the idea of using outside singers inStratospheerius. Up until his time, I have always been the lead vocalist. The new album we are slowly putting together will feature many special guests.

We’ve been longtime fans of the 80’s Canadian band SAGA best known for hits like “Wind Him Up” and “On The Loose.” When we played the afterparty at ProgStock Festival afterparty back in 2018, Saga’s lead singer Michael Sadler caught our set after his performance at the festival, and was raving about the band! We were incredibly humbled to receive such words of encouragement from such an iconic artist.

We felt Michael’s voice would be perfect for this song! He ended up contributing a jaw-dropping vocal performance, enhancing the melody, and adding Queenesque harmonies. As a side note, he and his wife Gwen turned out to be some of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever worked with.

Storm Surge is about the anxiety we all feel in these uncertain times. With the global pandemic, the fight against racism and the continuing struggle for social justice, climate change, political upheaval, economic turmoil, and a future of uncertainty, there is a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.

Stratospheerius is:
Joe Deninzon – lead vocals/electric violin
Jason Gianni- drums
Michelangelo Quirinale – guitar
Paul Ranieri – bass

Storm Surge Video and Single
Special Guests
Michael Sadler: Vocals
Rachel Flowers: Keys and Flute
RutiCelli – Cello
Fernando Perdomo Guitar
Tracked by Rave Tesar (Renaissance)
Mixed and mastered by Rich Mouser (Spocks Beard, Dream Theater)
Label: Melodic Revolution Records

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius Online

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Patreon | Spotify | Twitter 

Melodic Revolution Records Online:
Website Facebook | Spotify | Twitter | YouTube

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Continues to Strike a Chord with the Music Industry

Recap of March 22nd, 2020 Article Coronavirus (Covid-19) Strikes a Chord with Musicians (Part 1)
We are living in unprecedented times and crossing over uncharted waters, it’s a new world; one we may have to get accustomed to for the foreseeable future.

(Covid-19) is attacking the social and economic fabric globally and does not discriminate against race, creed, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or anything else for that matter. It has ravaged and even closed down most trades and no industry has been spared, from restaurants to schools, airlines, supply chains, and the entertainment industry.

Read the full story here

According to Worldometer as of today June 8th, 2020
215 Countries and Territories around the world have reported a total of over eleven million (11,425,240) people confirmed Infected, 534,491 Deaths with 6,473,428 that have recovered.

According to the World Health Organization
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

The Coronavirus epidemic has devastated almost every industry in the world, and one of the hardest hit is the entertainment industry including performers, producers, stagehands promoters, musicians and the list goes on, some of these people do not have a second job, they rely solely on recording, tours, music and merch sales to pay the bills.

Millions of people in the entertainment industry have/had multiple jobs just to make a living. A number of these folks got hit with job displacement twice as hard since many worked in the food industry for the flexible hours. Just trying to make ends meet. As we all know most restaurants have closed, reopened, and have closed their doors again with the 2nd wave, a small percentage remain open with a skeleton crew offering curbside service or delivery service.

It is bad enough so many need more than one job to live. For musicians, it is almost a guarantee that a second job will be needed outside of music to sustain a living. Due to layoffs and closers of businesses these musicians are dealing with the same issues as the few full-time musicians, loss of most if not all income. Most musicians lack one of the most basic and fundamental needs: insurance! Many musicians have turned to online gigs and teaching to make a few dollars. Here’s what a few industry professionals and a few more musicians have to say in part two of our interview Coronavirus (COVID-19) Continues to Strike a Chord.

Rick Herbert ( Ace High Printing, Musician ) USA

Interview conducted July 2020

Q) Hello Rick, how are you doing?
A) Hey Nick! Hanging in there, these last few months have been a wild ride.

Q) You own and operate Ace High Printing one of the best Florida based printing companies, how long has the company been around, and what kind of printing do you specialize in?
A) Yeah man, I’ve been printing a long time for a lot of incredible people. I first opened the doors to Ace High in July of 2004, so this marks our 16th year in business. We specialize in Wide Format Printing (Vinyl Stickers, Banners, Amp Scrims, Custom Kick Drum Covers, Signs, Vehicle Wraps, and Buttons), Digital Printing (Business Cards, Flyers, Brochures, Posters, Artist Prints) and Screen Printing (T-Shirts and Apparel).

Q) Has your company always focused on the entertainment industry
A) From day one, Ace High has always been a part of the music industry. As a matter of fact, I only started this company because I couldn’t find a good local merch company for the band I was in at the time. I had been working at a local sign shop and started making my own merch. I decided if I was having such a hard time finding a reliable company, other musicians and artists must be as well. That’s when Ace High was born. Over the last 16 years, we’ve worked with tons of venues, bands just getting their start, huge musicians/labels, and everything in between. We’ve sponsored showcases and events, and we’ve even shipped merch to over 20 different countries.

Q) What are some of the most popular products that you make for the musicians and the industry?
A) It’s a total toss-up between Stickers and the Custom Kick Drum Covers for sure. Everyone loves stickers – and are full color, glossy and weatherproof, but I’d have to say we have almost as many kick cover orders coming in these days.

Q) Over the years you have also offered services for commercial business, how is that different if at all to the products that you manufacture for the entertainment industry?
A) The commercial side isn’t much different. I’ve found that just like musicians, businesses also need stickers, labels, banners, things like that. The biggest difference would be the Signage and Vehicle Wraps. We do a ton of sign work for local and sometimes not so local companies for their storefronts. We’ve been known to wrap all kinds of vehicles as well. One of my favorite “corporate” projects was for the MLB Network. Anytime you catch a baseball game on TV and see the huge MLB Network logos on the walls in the outfield, you’re looking at something we printed. They contracted us to do all the MLB Logos years ago, it was a blast.

Q) How has the COVID-19 Epidemic affected your business?
A) COVID-19 has been a real pain in the ass. haha, I think everyone is feeling that these days. Luckily, print shops were deemed “essential” and I was allowed to keep the doors open through all of this, but getting material in has been tough – a lot of the manufacturing plants had to close. Shipping times have slowed a bit as well – just because the carriers are taking more care with sanitizing. I’ve taken a pretty big hit business-wise for sure… Without the musicians able to work and venues unable to open, no one is really buying merch at the moment, which is completely understandable.

Q) The COVID-19 Epidemics seems to have been very tough on everyone including the music industry, what type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
A) It has been tough – we ended up switching gears a bit in the business plan. We’ve been working with a lot more restaurants and things like that. You know, they all need those “We’re Open for Takeout” banners, they need stickers/labels for the to-go containers, all the businesses needed the “Wear a Mask” signs… so we’ve been printing a lot that type of stuff. We’ve also just been giving out all kinds of discounts and package deals to anyone that needs them. Times are tough for everyone, and I’m just here to help as much as possible.

Q) You, yourself are a musician has this epidemic given you a moment of pause and encouraged you to write and record some new music?
A) Actually yeah. I hate to say that I’ve had a little extra time on my hands, but it’s true. And since the whole social distancing and closing of bars/venues, I’ve been able to spend a little more time just sitting down playing and writing. That’s been an upside to this whole situation – I feel like I’m finally laying down those songs I’ve had in my head for so long.

Q) How has this affected you on a personal level?
A) Personally, it hasn’t been bad at all. Over the last few years, as the business has grown, I’ve pretty much been working non-stop. Haven’t had a ton of time to go out, play shows, or do much of anything. And since I was fortunate enough to be able to remain open through this, I’ve just kept on working like usual. If anything it’s given me a chance to use my companies abilities to help people in a rough time – that really makes me feel good.

Q) Do you see us getting back to normal anytime soon?
A) I think the bigger question is, what is “normal” going to look like when this is all over? I’m not sure if we’ll ever get back to exactly the way things were, and that might be ok. But I have a feeling all this will settle down a bit in the next few months. Or directly after the election. But that’s for a whole different discussion about conspiracy theories. haha.

Q) What can people do to help support local businesses like yours?
A) Honestly, right now keeping money local is key. I’d say try to shop as locally as possible instead of heading to the big box/chain stores. There are going to be a number of businesses that don’t make it through this, and that really sucks. The more you can utilize the services you have in your own city, the better chance we all have of making it.

Q) Please give us a WORD that you rely on and gives you hope?
A) Perseverance. I think we all personally, and as a country, have always done a decent job of adapting and overcoming trying times. This is just one more fight, one more hurdle, one more historical obstacle that we WILL get through and persevere.

Ace High Printing Online
Website: https://acehighprint.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AceHighPrinting
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/acehighprinting/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/acehighprinting

Ace Acker ( SST Studios, Producer, Musician ) USA

Interview conducted July 2020

Q: Hello, Ace how are you doing?
A: Feeling grateful and blessed, Nick, but a bit confused, too.  

You work for a company called SST Studios and Rentals. Can you tell us how long you have been with SST and what do you do?
A: SST is a music industry complex in Weehawken, NJ, right across the river from Midtown Manhattan. We are one of the leading backline companies in the U.S. and our rehearsal soundstage is one the best in the city. We also have a state-of-the-art 48-channel recording studio with a rare analog Focusrite console.

The owner, John Hanti, grew up near my hometown, Warren, Ohio. We played in different teen bands in the 60s on the same circuit. He tells me we once met at a teen club when we shared the bill, but I don’t remember it. I had been out of the business for 26 years when he heard some of my new songs on a Yahoo discussion group. He looked me up and called me on August 30, 2007 to offer me a long-term production/writing development deal. I took the deal.

In late September 2012, Hanti was critically injured in an auto accident. A month later, Superstorm Sandy destroyed the studio, along with the successful production company we had built together. I lost everything I owned to that storm. We both endured five challenging years of recovery, but recover we did. By March this year, SST had become the hottest studio and rehearsal spot in the New York area 

I had worked in advertising as a creative director during those long years away from the music business, so I am today SST’s Marketing Director. 

How long has the company been around and what’s special about it?
A: Hanti founded SST (which stands for “studios, systems, and transport”) in 1982 in response to the Second British Invasion. He had established a formidable reputation in Manhattan and built a substantial inventory of stage gear and vans. British bands like the Smiths, Police, and Motorhead needed both to tour the States, and Hanti provided them. That’s how it started.

Q: Who are some of SST clients?
A: Beyonce’ and Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, J-Lo, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabelo, Blue Oyster Cult, and the Rolling Stones to name just a few. For Backline, our clients include LiveNation and iHeart. Multiple Grammy winner, H.E.R., was in the studio in March when we were forced to shut down. 

Q: What are some of the services that you offer to your clients?
A: The backline is our bread and butter, but the artists come for our soundstage and our studio, IIWII Recording. We also have a storage building where many stars store their own gear when they are not on the road and the adjoining Willow Building houses project studios for several top Hip Hop artists and producers.

How has the COVID-19 Epidemic affected SST?
A: Drastically. Our entire business is based on tour support services. There are no tours right now and there will be no tours at all in 2020. Hanti had the foresight to have a Cyclorama constructed on one wall of the soundstage, so we were able to open again in mid-June for music video shoots and live-streaming, in-studio concerts. We are re-purposing the studio now as a live streaming/video concert venue.

Q: The COVID-19 Epidemics seems to have been very tough on everyone including the music industry, what type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you? 
A: The biggest challenge for John Hanti has been to keep his people employed. We’re down to three right now. If another shutdown doesn’t stop our progress, I believe we can attract enough in-house business to bring everyone back on board and survive 2020. That is a big IF, though, the way things are going.

Q: You, yourself are a musician has this epidemic given you a moment of pause and encouraged you to write and record some new music
A: This is why I feel so blessed and grateful. The shutdown forced Hanti to lay everybody off for a while. Thankfully, In January, a recording artist named John Blangero, aka, Sun King Rising, with whom I had become friends, asked me to produce his album for PeacockSunrise Records. He had the budget to do it right and the project has sustained me. Now that the album is in the can (that’s an old school term if you don’t know), I have been additionally blessed to work on the cover design and promotion. Also, Hanti and I had been writing a book together about the business. The album project has injected new energy into my spirit and renewed momentum to finish the book proposal and shop for an agent.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level? 
A: I think I am a bit shell-shocked, as most of us are. I have chosen to focus on the positives and ignore the negatives, only because I was already in such a good space when this came down. Had I not had the album and the continuing faith of both John Blangero and John Hanti, I may not have felt quite so optimistic. Looking to the future…well…I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Q: Do you see us getting back to normal anytime soon?
A: Our industry? No, I do not. I’m afraid we won’t be back to anything close to normal until next summer.

Q: What can people do to help support local businesses like SST?
A: SST doesn’t do business with the public, so that is not really an appliable question. As an artist myself, though, I can only hope that fans will channel their dollars from the concerts they would have spent them on to supporting artists like Sun King Rising, who are still making records. The stars will survive this crisis. The independent bands and performers for whom live music and indie records are a livelihood may not…not without fan support.

Q: Please give us a WORD that you rely on and gives you hope?
A: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “Jeremiah 29:11 ‘Nuff said,

Ace Acker and SST Online
Website: www.sstrentals.com
Website: www.ackercreative.com
Website: https://www.sstrentals.com/modernbackline

Tom Palmieri ( ProgStock/Music Promoter ) USA

Interview conducted June 2020 

Q: Hello Tom, how are you doing?
A: Thanks for asking…it’s certainly a question we are all asking our friends and loved ones much more often these days. I’m doing well, all things considered, and I hope you and everyone reading this are also doing well!

Q: You are the founder and music director of ProgStock Music Festival one of the best new music festivals on the east coast of the US, When and where did you launch the first one?
A: I’m deeply grateful for that very favorable description…I hope we can continue to live up to it! We launched ProgStock in October 2017 at the beautiful and historic Union County Performing Arts Center’s Mainstage Theater in the very arts-friendly city of Rahway, New Jersey. As you know, we are an annual volunteer-run event whose mission is to shine light on one of the most exciting and creative genres of rock music, Progressive Rock. To date, we’ve produced three editions of ProgStock, in October of 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Ann Rinaldi ProgStock ACR Management

Q: How has the COVID-19 Epidemic affected ProgStock and other live performances around the world?
A: That’s a really tough question to ponder, emotionally…because the impact has been nothing short of devastating. Live music performances heavily depend upon the “in-person experience” for both musicians and fans, and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made that nearly impossible for the time being. Performances of all kinds have understandably been indefinitely postponed or canceled, for everyone’s safety.

Q: This has been very tough on everyone including the music industry, what type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
A: So many challenges…it’s hard to describe all of them. The main one is that we are “frozen” and unable to predict when conditions will allow for a safe and secure environment to have a festival or any kind of live performance. The musicians and others involved with musical performance production have seen their entire lives ripped apart by this pandemic…the damage is deep and pervasive. In spite of all this upheaval, we at ProgStock, along with many others in the music industry, are doing our part to support musicians and fans by organizing live performances over streaming services. As we learn more about what can be done safely (especially for the musicians involved), we will try our best to help keep Progressive Rock alive during this incredibly difficult time. Stay tuned as we will be announcing some exciting things very soon!

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level?
A: Frankly, I’m depressed…but I remain hopeful. I also know that I have been very fortunate, in many ways, and that many others have been overwhelmed by the pandemic and its effects on themselves, their loved ones, and society in general. There have been some hardships for me, and some friends and family members have run into health problems, sure. But, putting that aside, I’ve come to realize how important it is to remember that we are a society, a collection of people who all want to experience our lives as safely, securely, and happily as we can. And that means giving a bit more consideration to others when making my own choices…within reason, of course, but always with good and proper intentions, and without judging others for having real concerns about their own safety and security. If that leads to minor inconveniences for me at times, so be it. I’d certainly want the same in return if I needed it!

Q: Do you see us getting back to normal anytime soon?
A: Not soon enough, certainly. Living with this pandemic has been hard for everyone, and nearly impossible for many. Everyone has had to “hit pause” on their lives, and for some folks, that’s been catastrophic. Returning to “normal” might not be possible at all, because we’ll need to adjust what we think “normal” is. However, I am hopeful that we will be able to return to a more “familiar” way of life sometime within the next 9-12 months. At first, we’ll need some medical breakthroughs to give us the edge we need to stay ahead of the virus (both it’s spread and its disease process). Then it will require some very necessary “healing time” so that our psyches can recover from the damage they’ve taken…as we’ve experienced (to varying degrees) after previous tragedies that we’ve endured. Getting back to enjoying a musical event with friends old and new, feeling that incredible exhilaration and excitement without fear…we will absolutely achieve that again, I have no doubt. Eventually.

Q: Please give us a word that you rely on and gives you hope.
A: Science. Plain, and simple. We are an extraordinarily intelligent species, and I’m convinced that we will innovate our way out of this worldwide crisis and be better prepared for future situations like this.

Q: What can people do to help support music festivals for future events?
A: Here are my “top 5” things that people can do to support music festivals in the future: 1) embrace their efforts to present streaming options when you cannot attend in-person, and buy their tickets and merchandise as soon as you can when they are made available; 2) donate your time and effort in order to help them cut costs if you are willing and able to do so; 3) spread the word about them to other potential fans to help increase their audiences; 4) if you are fortunate enough to be able, please consider making financial donations to the ones that need them; and 5) try to keep the safety, security, and dignity of your fellow festival attendees in mind by treating everyone kindly, respectfully, and tolerantly. Above all else, please try to be as patient as you can with musicians, event organizers, and fellow fans as all of us try to navigate the new “landscape” of the music industry…because there’s never been a better reason to remember that we are all in this together!

ProgStock Online
Website: https://www.progstock.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProgStock/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProgStock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/progstock/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ProgStockFestival

Chris Topham ( Plane Groovy Records ) United Kingdom

Q: Hello Chris, how are you doing?
Very well thanks; we live fairly remotely so no huge change here apart from not seeing our pals.

Q: How long have you been in the music business?
A: Since November 2011

Q: What exactly do you do?
A: I run Plane Groovy Records, a vinyl-only record label.

Q: Who are some of your clients?
A: Mainly current Prog bands such as Big Big Train, I am the Manic Whale, Unitopia, A Formal Horse, Thieves’ Kitchen, This Winter Machine, Peter Jones, Francis Dunnery, and many more.

Q: How has the Coronavirus affected you and your artists?
A: The artists have been hugely hampered by the lockdown; no touring, no rehearsals, and in many cases no day job to fall back on either because of furlough.

Q: This has been very tough on everyone including the music industry, what are you doing to overcome these challenging times?
A: I’m just drifting on through, to be honest; we’re still putting albums out.

Q: What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
A: One thing which we’ve put on hold is the Plane Groovy Investors project, which among other benefits offers colored vinyl versions of some releases to those who have signed up. I thought it unfair to put any kind of pressure onto our Investors, not wanting them to feel that they had to put money into this when times could be quite tough. We’ll be restarting that again very soon though, with an album from Comedy of Errors, “Disobey”.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level?
Honestly, it hasn’t been too bad – apart from not seeing my Mum and my son as much as I’d like to.

Q: Do you see us getting back to normal anytime soon?
A: Normal? No. Workable yes, but I think life is going to be very strange for a good while yet.

Please give us a word that you rely on and gives you hope?
Positivity.

Website: http://www.planegroovy.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Plane-Groovy-317446981663663
Twitter: https://twitter.com/planegroovy

Anne Leighton ( Leighton Media * Music Services * Motivation ) USA

Q: Hello Anne, how long have you been in the music business?
A: Around 40-45 years.

Q: What exactly do you do?
A: I write and do music services. My core work is publicity, social media, organization, management, project development, goal setting, copywriting, rapping, songwriting, poetry. I am available to tutor English (writing), Civics, and History on Skype. I’m, also, a crackerjack proofreader and editor.

Q: Who are some of your clients?
A: Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, Phoebe Legere, Sharon Katz & the Peace Train, John Hall & Jonell Mosser, Ian Anderson, Leslie Mandoki, Katy Moffatt, the Yardbirds, and me.

Q: How has the Coronavirus affected you and your artists?
A: Most of what I do is tour press, and nobody is touring. We all need to reinvent how we earn money, plus keep working on our art, and love the people and animals we live with. We’re doing more Internet work together with people, and seeing what else businesses need when it comes to music services.

Q: This has been very tough on everyone including the music industry, what are you doing to overcome these challenging times?
A: 1) I’m paying attention to what is included in the reopening phases for the next few years. It’s important to analyze that progress to see if the loosening of restrictions is healthy. That is important so I know who to reach out to for work for my artists and me!

2) Pitching my artists, and their songs for music services, concerts, workshops in non-music venues. I have rich connections in North America, South Africa, and the UK that are responsible and available for work. They also have great songs. Also, looking for funding for songs on relevant topics.

3) Accepting the fact that we might not have big live concerts for a few years, so I’m letting the world know I’m available to publicize empowerment people, social media influences, as well as releases of music in prog rock, Americana, jazz, folk, singer-songwriter, classic rock, diehard musician, blues, fusion, jam bands.

4) I’m giving myself a schedule where I have to be ready by 11 am, and in bed by 2:30 AM. Sleep is essential. I take naps. Writing my gratitude’s, creating peace. Speaking up to people that could learn to be less disrespectful. Learning more diplomacy! Meditation a few times a day, exercising, eating healthy, making phone calls, going out to the park, wearing protective gear—you know the mask and the gloves!

Q: What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
The worst is finding out friends died. Three of them were magical spirits that understood me and vice versa. All were in the music world.

I miss hanging out with people and physical touch. In the past, I hugged people every day!

Finances are the least of my concerns because all of us are capable of living on less money than we do. Budgeting through rough times is something every college kid learns. I did it once, I can do it again.

Q: We are seeing a second wave of people getting ill and dying, do you think it’s because we reopened too soon or that there are a fraction of people that don’t care or may even believe COVID-19 is not real?
A: Combination. I think some people either have no concept of self-discipline or just don’t want to live.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level? 
A: I’m working on my serenity. Loving myself, and focusing on my writing aspirations. I’m writing a spoken word album about evolving through rough times. Looking for funding for the project and aiming to produce a rap song this summer. Then another song in the fall. If I get more funding, I’ll produce the whole thing by the end of the year. I’d love to place two-column ideas in paying outlets—one on bullying, and the other would be poetry and prose of some of the more obscure classic rock and contemporary acts that have that sound.

Q: Do you see us getting back to normal anytime soon?
A: New normal. You’re normal.

Q: Please give us a word that you rely on and gives you hope
A: The word? I’m gonna give you a phrase: Honor yourself with kindness.

Anne Leighton Online
Website: http://anneleighton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeightonMediaMusicServicesMotivation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/leightonmedia

Aaron English ( Solo Artist ) USA

Interview conducted April 6th, 2020

Q: Hello Aaron, how are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
A: I arrived in Europe to play a two-month solo tour on the same day that the U.S. government restricted flights & entry from Europe & asked Americans to come home. I hung around there for two weeks, hoping that I might still end up playing some of my gigs once the virus situation cleared. In the meantime, as I waited, I started playing online live-streaming gigs. Eventually the timelines for life to “return to normal” kept being extended. So I headed back to the States, lest I be locked out indefinitely.

Q: What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
A: It was a forced opportunity to re-assess my career, start playing online gigs and look for new chances to get the music heard – and to make money with the music. That’s scary, and in “normal” circumstances, we tend to avoid scary. The silver lining here is that I had to take a fresh look at my music career, see what was and wasn’t working, and make educated guesses on what would work in a post-COVID-19 world.

Q: Are you working on a new release?
A: I am! I’m working on a long-distance collaborative song with artist friends in three other countries, all recording separately in our various quarantine situations.>Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?I started playing 3x a week live stream concerts as soon as my European tour gigs were put on hold. That will continue indefinitely – I’m guessing I’ll have to suspend them once my touring resumes. Touring’s too much work to be doing much else.

Q: Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music?
A: I’ve had a Patreon account for five years now, the incentives are in there: I release exclusive songs & remixes, I write custom songs for people, etc. It’s so much more helpful to have support via a patronage model than it is to get a one-time tip in the PayPal “hat” during a live-streaming gig. In the patronage model, it’s ongoing: a commitment to supporting your songs for the long-haul.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level?
A: The uncertainty has created a slow creeping anxiety for me I suspect that most everyone on the planet is feeling that right now. I’ve been combating the anxiety with exercise, meditation, yoga, tai chi.

Q: Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
A: I will! What will that look like? Well, what will the world look like? Nobody knows. But I’m a musician, that’s what I do all day, that’s where I receive my income. So I’ll adjust accordingly to whatever new reality we are handed…or that we create!

Aaron English Online
Facebook: www.facebook.com/aaronenglishmusic
Bandcamp: https://aaronenglish.bandcamp.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/aaronenglish/
YouTube www.youtube.com/channel/UCzcnkd7QazQerLgZX47JMuw

Michael Sadler ( SAGA ) CANADA

Interview conducted March 21st 2020

Q: How are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
A: Actually in my/our family’s case, because of our son’s health issues, there isn’t much of a change in terms of our daily attention to hygiene. The only thing that’s perhaps different is the fact that we have ramped up our attention to detail in light of the current situation.

Q: What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you?
A: As I mentioned, there really are no new challenges per se. But it has given me the opportunity to focus on time with the family, which comes at a premium when you’re “work” keeps you away from home for long periods of time.

Q: Are you working on a new release? Personally?
A: All the time. But yes, there is a new release from the band being worked on as we speak.

Q: Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform?
A: I’m considering putting a little something together with Seren, but I’ll make sure I give everyone a fair warning.

Q: Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music?
A: I don’t think we, as artists, need any more support that we’re already getting. Plus, the idea that we’re being hit harder at a time like this isn’t necessarily true, especially recording artists who have the luxury of receiving compensation in the form of residuals and royalties. As big or small as some of those payments may be, it’s 100% more than a large portion of the workforce is getting.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level?
A: I find that the present situation merely serves to underline my concern for humanity. It’s times like these that always tend to bring out the best as well as, unfortunately, the worst in people. But ultimately I have faith that we will collectively do the right thing.

Q: Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles?
A: Dust or no dust, I personally will never stop creating and performing. Besides, there’s a wealth of content out there right now for someone like myself who draws on human behavior as a source of inspiration.

Michael Sadler Online
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSADLERMEDIA
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Michael_Sadler

Tori Sparks ( Solo Artist ) SPAIN

Photo by Begonya Pe

Interview conducted March 22nd, 2020

Q:: Hello Tori how are you adapting to the Covid-19 Pandemic? 
A: Here in Barcelona, we’ve been under quarantine for a bit over a week already. It’s been pretty non-stop, canceling, and reorganizing literally everything. I got back from several shows in Madrid just before we all were placed on lockdown, so I had time to go to the store and prepare. Since then, I’ve been working from home — which isn’t unusual, I always do — but the kind of work is different. Instead of booking live concerts, the focus has been on other ways of reaching our community of fans. On a personal level, I’ve also been checking in with friends and family a lot, I want to make sure everyone is ok mentally as well as physically, as this is a scary time for everyone. The virus is bad enough, but the chaos that’s been a  result of the general panic seems like it will have heavy economic repercussions, especially for people who freelance or who own small businesses.

Q: Are you planning on performing via a live streaming platform? 
A: I’ve done two concerts from my balcony here in Barcelona, to try to uplift my neighbors. Last weekend was impromptu and very last minute, as it was the day after the quarantine was announced and we’d had a show canceled for that very night. I just plugged in my amp and mic and started playing, and people starting poking their heads out of their windows and applauding. Both times the reaction was really heartwarming, it was so beautiful to see people out on their balconies or in their windows or on their rooftops, enjoying life for a moment in the midst of all this madness. The original idea was just to give something back to my community, so I honestly didn’t think of doing a live stream. But thanks to my mom’s suggestion I decided to also stream the performance on Instagram and Facebook, which turned out to be a great thing, as people all over the world tuned in and I think the gesture made people happy. So I’ll keep playing every Saturday until the quarantine is lifted. It’s important that people have a little hope in times of darkness, and music brings a community together in a way that is special.

Q: What type of challenges or opportunities has this presented to you? 
A: There are a number of challenges, of course. I make my living playing shows, so with 99% of all concerts canceled through June — possibly beyond — I am extremely concerned in terms of my financial future. I’ve had concerts canceled in multiple countries, and two major projects put on hold. This doesn’t just affect me, there’s my band, my sound tech, my publicist — none of these people will be working during this time, and I care about all of them personally, not just professionally. Most of them have little kids and they don’t know how they’ll pay their bills. However, there’s nothing I or anyone can do except to keep moving forward day by day, and hope that things will get better and that our community will continue to support music and culture as much as they can. There are also opportunities, in that the balcony concert I mentioned has received a lot of unexpected attention in the national press here in Spain as well as online, and it’s connected me to many new people. 

I am the secretary of the Musicians Union of Catalunya (Sindicat de Musics Activists de Catalunya), we working to raise awareness of how this situation is affecting working artists via social media campaigns and by proposing meetings with government officials as well as other unions (our sister union in Madrid and the soundtechs union, for example). One huge problem facing musicians where I live is that there are a number of politically influential organizations, associations, and unions that have a vertical structure, not a horizontal one. What that means is that the persons or entities responsible for hiring and firing employees and/or freelance workers are a part of the same union or organization that is meant to defend everyone’s interest. (It’s like being in a workers’ union with your boss — there’s no way to defend your interests.) So our union runs into conflicts with groups like this all the time, which claim to represent the “music industry.” This is not the same thing as representing musicians’ professional interests. Musicians are already in a bad spot in Spain because of of spotty enforcement of labor laws, blatantly illegal and abusive contracts, pay-to-play situations, problems being paid performance royalties…. the list goes on and on. The current situation has made it much worse,

Q: Are you working on a new release? 
A: We released our last album not quite a year ago, the double live album Wait No More, so we’re still in the promotion phase for that record. But I’m always working on ideas in my head for the future, I have scraps of new songs here and there that will definitely turn into something!

Q: Are you offering your fans any incentives to help support your music? 
A: Speaking of new albums, I’m putting together a compilation album called Amor en Tiempos de Cuarentena (Love in a Time of Quarantine), featuring various artists from my community that has been affected by the pandemic. The album will be paid for by crowdfunding and will support not only me but also 9 other artists. The crowdfunding link will go live this coming week. I hope that my audience and theirs will respond, and we will all get through this together. The streaming concerts are given as a gift to our communities, but we also have to remember that artists make their living from their music. I’m trying to remind people of this in a positive, proactive way, so they’ll be excited to support the music they love — hence the compilation album. I am also encouraging my people to buy albums in general (mine, sure, but if not mine, someone’s  — specifically independent artists) instead of just listening to Spotify. We really need the support of our communities now more than ever. I believe that my fans will be there, during and after this crazy time. 

And if you missed the final #BalconyConcert, a playlist of videos from all 9 concerts — all 10, if you count the bonus second set from the final show this past weekend — are on YouTube, with more videos to come. Huge thanks to Las Telenotícias de TV3, Radio4, El Periódico, Radio Primavera Sound, El Punt Avui, ScannerFm, Ruta66, Radio Gràcia, Rock On Magazine, and the other members of the press as well as friends and fans who all helped to spread the word about both the compilation album and the balcony concerts.

The balcony concerts may have ended when the quarantine was lifted, but that doesn’t mean the concerts are over! On Saturday, May 30th Tori will present a very special online concert the trio, accompanied by El Rubio on guitar and Javi García on cajón. More information is here.

Q: How has this affected you on a personal level? 
A: My work and my personal life are pretty much intertwined, as it is for many musicians out there I’m sure. It’s a stressful moment. But one positive thing that always comes out of a crisis is that we end up appreciating the people who love even more, and discovering that yes, we can face down a situation like this one and carry on. I feel both of those things, in spite of the challenges in my day to day and my concerns about the future.

Q: Will you continue creating and performing now and after the dust settles? 
A: During and after the storm — of course! If musicians didn’t make music just because they weren’t making any money I think new music would have stopped happening long ago, working in this industry has always been a tough gig. The only issue is that I’m actually so busy with canceling, rescheduling, the compilation disc, and so on, that I’ve been working more this past week than I have since the album release — I haven’t had time to stop and write a song yet! But as they’ve just extended the quarantine here for 15 more days, I have a feeling I’ll find the time. I hope so. At the end of the day, all this — the production of the albums, the promotion, the social media, the interviews — all started because I used to feel happiest sitting at home and writing songs in my bedroom. It’s important not to forget why I (or anyone) got into this crazy biz in the first place. 

Since this interview was conducted in March Tori has finished “Love in a Time of Quarantine” On 21 May 2020.
A: The crowdfunding campaign for Love in a Time of Quarantine has ended at 146% of its initial goal. Thank you from the bottom of our quarantined hearts to everyone who supported the project. This album will not be available in stores, or online. It won’t be available on Spotify, YouTube, or other streaming platforms. Its truly limited edition. The digital download version was sent out last night, and the physical albums will be shipped by the end of the month. The show must go on — and with your help, it did! Click here to learn more about the compilation album and check out the incredible artists who are a part of it.

Tori Spark Online
Website: www.torisparks.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/torisparksmusic
Instagram: www.instagram.com/torisparksmusic/
Twitter https://twitter.com/torisparks784294

This Pandemic is far from over, the numbers of cases keep rising. The only thing for certain is that we need to continue to be vigilant, wear a mask in public, stay out of cramped spaces with lots of people, and bad ventaliation, don’t gather in large groups. These are the things we know that we can do, what we don’t know is how long this will last and when and if there will be a vaccine or a cure.

On a final note, please support your musicians by purchasing music directly or Bandcamp if possible and please support your community by shopping local.

Stay safe, stay strong.

UCPAC Stage for UnCancelled Music Festival Update

Fans need a StageIt account to watch the show.

Streaming Live: https://stageit.com/UMF-UCPAC
We hope you will join us at the UCPAC Virtual Stage for the UnCancelled Music Festival!

The UnCancelled Music Festival brings together musicians, fans and venues from around the globe affected by the COVID-19 crisis for a virtual concert experience to help sustain the music industry during this trying and unprecedented time.

To participate, fans need to create an account on StageIt and then purchase (using PayPal as a member or guest) $5 worth of StageIt Notes. 10 notes = $1. You can then buy a ticket to any of our shows for 1 note, which is 10 cents. Yes, just 10 cents. Although you can choose to pay more and tip during the show, the pay what you want concept is designed to maximize access to the shows in these difficult times.

Once you have your notes, click on over to StageIt.com/UMF-UCPAC to see showtimes and buy tickets. I have been told that it works better if you copy and paste this link into your browser. Apparently, the StageIt website doesn’t like all that click-tracking info that gets tacked on when you click through from Facebook.

During the show, you can chat with the other fans and with the artists, when they aren’t actively playing. Shows are 30-45 minutes long, and all start on the hour. This week’s shows all start at 5, 6, 7 and 8PM US Eastern time. Some days in the upcoming weeks will also have a 9PM show, and maybe even one or two at 10PM.

Join us and I promise you will get to see some of your favorites and discover some new artists you will want to follow! That is the goal of any music festival! Come for one and stay for, and enjoy, all!

For those with the means, this festival is also designed to raise money for the musicians and venues who are participating and for the greater music community. A portion of the proceeds from each show goes to MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s Foundation, which provides financial support and addiction help for struggling musicians all the time, but has a special relief program going on right now during this unprecedented pandemic to help all of the music professionals who have lost work.

Join us for this great adventure in “live” music! We all look forward to getting back to gathering with friends and staging live shows and events, but for now…

Share! Tell your friends! Make this HUGE! #livemusicisbetter

Please note: the StageIt credit card processor has gone tilt! When purchasing Notes, use the PayPal option. You do not have to have a PayPal account. You can use a credit or debit card as a guest.

Line-ups for Future DatesPlease note that line-ups may occasionally change, so keep checking the Facebook events for updates.

Friday, April 10 (times are US Eastern) 5:00 PM – Julie Slick 6:00 PM – Between Dreams 7:00 PM – Cristina Vane 8:00 PM – Mile Marker Zero

Saturday, April 11 (times are US Eastern) 5:00 PM – Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella 6:00 PM – Jason Damico 7:00 PM – Gary Stockdale 8:00 PM – Bob Malone

Tuesday, April 14( times are US Eastern )5:00 PM – Annie Stoic of Jackknife Stiletto 6:00 PM – Evan Walton 7:00 PM – Bob Richardson of Cell15 8:00 PM – Dauzat St. Marie

Wednesday, April 15 (times are US Eastern) 5:00 PM – Jean Pageau of Mystery 6:00 PM – Ian Cattell of Brit Floyd 7:00 PM – Walter Ino 8:00 PM – Charles Denle

Sunday April 19th (times are US Eastern) at 5pm Dyanne Potter Voegtlin of Pottes Daughter

A message from Tom Palmieri…
Hey ProgStockers! As you know, attending a live music event is…well, not possible now (nor recommended, even if possible somewhere), and for how much longer, we don’t really know for sure. Everyone, everywhere on Earth has been and will be greatly affected in many ways, of course, by this pandemic, and I sincerely wish the very best for you and your families and friends, wherever you may be. During this unprecedented upheaval in our society, each of us will do what we can to help people in some way…if we have the wherewithal to do so. Every little bit helps…and no amount of help is too little.

Some of those who are suffering right now are the independent musicians many of us know and love, and the independent music promoters and venue owners (and their workers) who rely upon our attendance at live music events to make a living. There are quite a few good ideas out there for how to help such folks, and I’d like to draw your attention to one of those here.

Our very own Ann Rinaldi has worked quite hard this week to connect musicians (including some ProgStock Festival alums) and our favorite venue, The Union County Performing Arts Center, with this very cool “virtual festival”, and I hope you can find the time to attend these performances and provide as much financial support as you can. Again, every little bit helps…and no amount is too small. These events will happen every week for as long as possible (and as long as needed). Details about the UnCancelled Music Festival and how it benefits musicians and venues can be found on their website and their FB page.

As music lovers and supporters “locked down” in our home, Ann and I both know that these performances might be just what many of you need at this time. Please, have a look…and join us if you can!