RoSfest set to return with new organisation

(Image credit: RoSfest)

RoSfest, the popular US progressive rock festival (originally known as Rites Of Spring Festival), has announced it's return with a new board of organisers just over a month after it stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had increased difficulty for overseas bands to get the required permits  and increased running costs were forcing the event to call it a day.

In a post on the event's Facebook page, original organiser George Roldan announced: "In the words of Jon Anderson, “Change we must, to live again”, we find hope, resolution, and a renewed sense of excitement. With these lyrics in mind, it is my great pleasure to announce that with change, RoSfest will continue to produce one of the best progressive rock festivals in the world located in tropical Sarasota, Florida, but under new leadership and board of directors to further support and grow this endeavour. The Rites of Spring Festival has been a treasure in the progressive rock world for the last 17 years and it has been my pride and privilege to create, produce, host and share the experience with you, our RoSfest audience!

"New to producing RoSfest, but not to the world of progressive rock, our new leadership team have been supportive members of our festival’s family for years. I feel honoured to be able to pass the torch to such a dedicated group of musical masters."

The new leadership features Nick Katona of Melodic Revolution Records, Octavia Brown, who has been involved with the Italian prog festival 2Days Prog + 1 in Veruno, and musician Lisa Wetton.

"The team will follow up with information regarding everything RoSfest as the information becomes available," adds Roldan. "I will continue to support the festival as a consultant and remain its biggest fan. As I’ve previously mentioned, it has been an honour to interact with such accomplished and inspiring musicians and music lovers in the progressive rock community. Long Live RoSfest!"

RoSfest began in 2004 at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania in 2004, with the likes of Jadis, RPWL and IZZ on the bill. The festival moved to the Keswick Theatre, Glenside, Pennsylvania in 2008 and more recently to the Sarasota Opera House in Florida in 2019.

Over the years the festival played host to a wealth of progressive rock talent from around the world including ArenaMagentaThe TangentKinoPallasThe Pineapple ThiefPendragon, Starcastle, Crack The SkyNektarBJHRenaissanceThe Flower KingsRiversideNeal MorseMoon SafariCaravan and many more.

Last year's festival, which had already been cancelled due to Covid-19, was to feature Big Big TrainThank You ScientistPattern-Seeking AnimalsThe Tea Club, Cast and more.

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.