Ohio’s premiere progressive rock festival, OhioProg, announces its inaugural year. OhioProg is set to take place over three days, September 7, 8 & 9 of 2012 at the Canton Palace Theatre located at 605 Market Avenue North in Downtown Canton, Ohio. This 1509 seat theatre originally opened in 1926 and each seat provides a glorious view of the stage and scenery. An exceptional line-up has been assembled which includes a Friday pre-show, “A Tribute to the Classics,” and a Saturday & Sunday full-day main event featuring eleven bands spanning five countries.
Headlining day one of OhioProg 2012 is the return of FM. Cameron Hawkins' Canadian progressive rock act reforms with two brand new members to perform for the first time in nearly six years. 2011 marks the 35th anniversary of the band’s inception. Headlining day two, Dan Swanö and brother Dag Swanö return from Sweden to bring their progressive rock act, Nightingale, back to the US for only their second appearance here in the States; the first since 2001. Mick Pointer, Clive Nolan, John Jowitt, John Mitchell and Paul Manzi round out the all-star cast of the veteran UK progressive rock band Arena. Jowitt returns to Arena on bass and the band will have a new album under their belt before the festival. RC2 from Barcelona will be making their first US appearance at OhioProg 2012. After nearly 20 years together, Persephone’s Dream comes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and despite living minutes away from the Ohio border they have not once performed in Ohio. Orphan Project is from Maryland. Connecticut based band, After the Fall, have regrouped for an OhioProg 2012 appearance. After the Fall’s last release, “kNOwleDGE,” came out in 2005. Additionally, hailing from Florida, progressive rock festival veterans, Cryptic Vision, return to the festival circuit with a new album forthcoming, the third album in a trilogy started in 2003 with “Moments of Clarity”.
Headlining the “A Tribute to the Classics” pre-show is Script for a Jester’s Tour, a Marillion tribute act featuring original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer and Nick Barrett of Pendragon. They will perform alongside Going for the One, a Yes tribute group based here in the US. Gende's Giant round out the pre-show line-up. The Illinois group, led by Mike Gende, come together to perform the complex, intricate and classic music of Gentle Giant.
OhioProg 2012 has turned to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to help ensure its success by rolling out a “Pledge Your Ticket” program. By pledging at various tiers you can secure a ticket of your choice to either the Pre-Show or Main Event, or both. A number of rewards will be given for specialized pledges, and patron tickets are available for those who wish to have first choice of seats. Pledging begins November 4, 2011 and is a great way to show your support to the progressive rock festival community even if you are unable to attend the festival. Pledges start as low as $1, and even non-attendees can walk away with an OhioProg 2012 program, poster, t-shirt or limited edition compilation by pledging at the appropriate tier. Pledges will fund all aspects of the festival including all operational, marketing, and transportation costs. “Pledge Your Ticket” funding goals must be reached by the end of the day on January 2, 2012. Pledges will only be processed on January 3, 2012 if the festival reaches its funding goals. The festival has adopted Kickstarter’s project criteria so that if funding goals are not met, the festival will be cancelled and pledge funds will not be processed. This is a great opportunity to help put together a festival for the fans, funded by the fans, and enjoyed by the fans of progressive rock.
OhioProg is proud to begin its history in Canton, and feels it will be right at home in the heart of the Downtown Canton Arts District. There are many great amenities in the area for visitors. Over 30 restaurants, bars and coffee shops within walking distance of the venue. Attendees will find 100 shopping destinations including the Westfield Belden-Village Shopping Mall and many one-of-a-kind shops unique to Canton. There are plenty of attractions, parks and recreational choices, including the McKinley National Monument and The Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dedicated sections can be found on the OhioProg website highlighting each of these amenities Canton is also conveniently located within an hour of the major cities of Cleveland, Akron and Columbus, Ohio.
Fans traveling from abroad will be happy to see several host hotels to choose from, including the McKinley Grand Hotel, OhioProg 2012’s main host hotel. The hotel is located just 4 blocks from the venue and is within walking distance to the OhioProg festivities. A generous group rate is being offered by the McKinley Grand Hotel, including garage parking and free shuttle service from the Akron-Canton airport. Thorpe’s Market Avenue Grill and Thorpe’s Pub are among the 30 dining options downtown and both are located inside the hotel for guests’ convenience. Rooms are expected to fill up fast, and guest are encouraged to make reservations early by calling and asking for the OhioProg 2012 group rate, or by booking online using the group reservation code: PROG. A list of additional area hotels, including additional host hotels with group rates, can be found on the OhioProg website.
More information on the festival and the “Pledge Your Ticket”program can be found on the OhioProg website, www.ohioprog.com. The latest updates on can also be found on our Facebook page, or by following us on Twitter @OhioProg.
There is plenty more in the works for the festival and we will make those announcements as they come along. We hope to add everything to the plate in time for the start of the "Pledge Your Ticket" program on November 4, 2011.