Last year the "Night Of The Prog" festival, idyllically situated in the middle of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated its tenth anniversary. But after the festival is before the festival, and so the organizer had his hands full during the last months to present another impressive line-up. After all, there should be something for every friend of progressive music.
Legends like Hawkwind, Focus or Lucifer's Friend are among the highlights, as is the exclusive live reunion of Spock's Beard with their ex-members Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio. Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy will also be coming to the Loreley open-air stage: the drummer will present a special program for his recently deceased buddy Keith Emerson. The famous Genesis interpreters The Musical Box join the band with a "Foxtrot" show deluxe.
Among the younger acts are the great Neoprogger Magic Pie, the German rising stars Seven Steps To The Green Door and the NOTP discovery of 2014, Anima Mundi. "Somehow a round thing," says festival organizer Winfried Völklein. "But it was anything but easy to get this going."
eclipsed: What is special about this year's "Night Of The Prog"?
Winfried Völklein: I must say in advance that after last year's anniversary event it was generally difficult to top the line-up. And when Steven Wilson's cancellation came in February, I was without a really lucrative headliner. I understand Steven, because he justified his refusal with the fact that he no longer wants to be reduced to prog, but sees himself as a classic rock act. That's why he doesn't see a real home at our festival. Nevertheless this was bitter for me as organizer. I ran out of time on the programming.
eclipsed: How did the search continue?
Völklein: I am in regular contact with The Musical Box through many hall tours that I have conducted together, and I adore them beyond measure. They will play an exclusive show, not only the album "Foxtrot" complete, but also some of them never played pearls from the early days of Genesis. By the way, it's a strange coincidence that The Musical Box will play on the Loreley almost exactly forty years after their great heroes Genesis. At that time Genesis made open airs in Germany for the first time ever. Now we only hope that this time not the same will happen what Collins, Hackett & Co. had to experience back then - that a fire will break out. Please keep your fingers crossed for us to be spared!
eclipsed: How did the live reunion of Spock's Beard with Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio come about?
Völklein: A friendly concert promoter from Nuremberg contributed to me that the "Bärte" will perform this summer overseas for the first time after more than 15 years in the original line-up, i.e. with the great Neal Morse, and will perform their legendary concept album "Snow" live. I went right into it, fortunately with success. This special show has never existed in Europe before, and it will remain unique in this form.