Five things we’re looking forward to at Radar Festival 2023

Radar Festival
(Image credit: Press)

Radar Festival 2023 is almost upon us - tomorrow, in fact, with headline sets from Sleep Token, Igorrr and Periphery, and a host of quality prog and post-rock on offer all weekend from the likes of Haken, Caligula's Horse, God Is An Astronaut, Exploring Birdsong, Wheel, Long Distance Calling and loads more.

This is Radar's third year. It's now an Award-winning event and growing in stature all the time. Prog Magazine is proud to sponsor the main stage at the event, and our team of reviewers are already making their way towards Manchester. Hopefully well see some of you there...


Haken's set celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Mountain

UK prog rockers Haken have recently been touring their mighty fine new album Fauna. But for this year's Radar Festival the band will celebrate the tenth anniversary of 2013's The Mountain, their first for InsideOut Music. The album proved to a a big hit with prog fans, thanks on no small part to the inclusion of their perennial fan fave The Cockroach King. Seeing the band perform the album, with a good decade of buiding on their stage craft under their belts should be something to behold.

The New Venue

This year Radar has upped sticks from Guildford to Manchester's O2 Victoria Warehouse, a large music venue that on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal in Old Trafford. Fitting really, as Radar Festival picked up the Best New Festival Award and the UK Festival Awards on December 6, 2022 in Manchester!

The Vibe

Just have a look at the video above! Given Radar Festival's positioning as champions of new prog, prog metal and noisier fare as well, the event attracts a younger crowd. On the one hand, this is great because it shows that interest in rock music that doesn't conform to orthodox songwriting is alive and well with younger people. On the other it'd be great for Prog to see some of the older readers down there too. Remember, this is the future of progressive music...

Musician Masterclasses

It's not just about the live music either. Radar, like many modern festivals, is an all-encompassing event and this year there will be a full programme of music masterclasses from the likes of Periphery, who will be presenting a full-band display, John Browne and Mike Malyan of UK prog metallers Monuments, Unprocessed's Manuel Gardner Fernandes and Olly Steel. All masterclasses will be hosted by Kaan Tasan of Heart Of A Coward. Radar has also teamed up with the Musicians' Union to offer a free masterclass with a focus on helping artists (3pm, July 30).

Shattered Skies Farewell Set

Obviously we're not glad that Anglo-Irish prog metallers Shattered Skies are saying goodbye with a farewell set at this year's festival, but it promises to be quite the occasion. Prog Magazine has long been fans of the London-based prog metallers from Wicklow/Dublin, ever since we hear their debut EP Reanimation back in 2012 to be honest, so while we're incredibly sad to see them go, we'll be right down the front for this one!

Tickets are still available here.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.