Hi, I’m Dave Thomas. I’m not the guy that makes burgers or the actor, just Brian’s long-time assistant and troublemaker that’s likely more known as Meteornotes. If you follow me on Twitter or elsewhere on the internet, you’re used to seeing me rant about shark movies, the glory of Ice Bat, quality food, and why I should be legally allowed to taser pretty much everyone on Earth. But I am not here today to talk about any of those things. I’m actually going to talk about something that’s very important to me, something that I’d like to make more of you aware of…
We need to sell out ProgPower USA this year.
For those that have zero idea of what I’m talking about, ProgPower USA is a music festival that features power and progressive metal bands. The first one was held in a small club outside of Chicago in early 2001, then the second was held later that year in Atlanta, where the show has remained. Cutting back to a once a year schedule, ProgPower USA has brought an incredible number of bands to the US, with eighty-two of them making their US debuts at the festival. We’re talking about bands like Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Edguy, Gamma Ray, Sabaton, Pain Of Salvation, Vanden Plas and Stratovarius, among others. ProgPower USA has also debuted up and coming bands like Voyager, Seventh Wonder, Freak Kitchen, Diablo Swing Orchestra and Riverside. If you go back over the rosters of the shows of the last twelve years, it’s an amazing list of quality power and progressive metal bands from the last decade. No other festival in the US has come close to bringing the variety and quality of bands to their stage.
In addition to all the amazing bands, the festival is held in a great venue (Center Stage) that has seats and a standing area, has air conditioning (you’d be surprised how many places to see shows don’t have this feature), and allows in-and-out privileges (again, this is VERY unusual for venues in the US). There’s a room set aside for a dealer’s area, where you can buy CDs, DVDs, and band merchandise that you’ll likely never see at any retailer in your neighborhood. Most of the bands do autograph sessions, and it’s not unusual for many bands to just hang out in the lobby area and/or at one of the hotels after the show. It’s really more of a convention/party than just a show. And for a lot of us who have been going from the very beginning, it’s also like a family reunion. The audience that comes to this show is genuinely one of the most fun of any festival I’ve been to. Pretty much everyone that goes to the show loves to talk about music and it’s so easy to meet all sorts of cool people between bands. In short, this festival is very special, both in the way it’s operated and in the loyalty it generates. My ex-wife and I have sponsored a band together at every show since 2004. This is the one event every year that I will not skip, the one thing I block out on my schedule the second I know the dates for the following year. I love music, and ProgPower USA is my favorite and pretty much only way to experience the music I enjoy live.
Sadly, as we all know, the economy in this country has sucked the last couple of years. And unlike our wages, everything else is more and more expensive. Earlier this summer, the promoter of the show announced that unless they get a sell out this year, there will be no further ProgPower USA festivals. I (and a whole lot of other people) would love to see this festival continue, so I’m asking you to help. How? Well, if any of this sounds even remotely interesting to you, buy a ticket. You like metal? Buy a ticket. Want to see a bunch of bands that you won’t see anywhere else in the US (ten of the fourteen bands playing this year are US exclusives)? Buy a ticket. Want to spend two days around people that are among the most passionate music fans on Earth? Buy a ticket.
Seriously, ticket sales are the only way to ensure this festival continues. I’m guessing that a lot of you that are reading this have never heard of ProgPower USA. And I’m guessing a decent number of you are at least intrigued by this idea. I really encourage you to get a ticket and make the trip to Atlanta and enjoy two days of music that you’re not going to experience anywhere else. Yes, I know, it’s not cheap to travel and stuff, but there are ways to save money (in fact, the festival’s Facebook has many posts on ways to do the festival on a low budget). Maybe you’re like “eh, I’ll go next year”. But don’t think that. Without tickets sales, there will not be a next year. Don’t let one of the most unique and special music festivals in the US go away. A bunch of quality festivals have already ended in the last few years (NEARFest just did their last ever festival this summer). Don’t let ProgPower USA join that list. Buy a ticket. Thanks for reading. And special thanks to Brian for posting this. You should all totally also buy a bunch of his books.