VERY PROG FESTIVAL
Romain Castel and Pauline Candelot launch a new
event in historic Toulouse with a metallic twist.
Frustrated that his own favourite genre appeared to be flagging behind the French renaissance in music festivals, prog metal drummer Romain Castel decided to take action and start building the Very Prog Festival, which takes place for the first time on October 12-13 in Toulouse.
“France is home to metal events like Hellfest, prog events like Crescendo and extreme metal fests,” Castel says. “Somehow prog metal was missing, and I thought it was time to change things.” With assistance from a wide range of supporters, he’s secured supergroup Sons Of Apollo and Caligula’s Horse for the debut event, with closer-tohome acts Persefone (Andorra), Spheric Universe Experience, DGM (both Italy) and others also on the bill.
Castel, who plays with local band Inepsys, admits it was a challenge to secure the line-up because no one had heard of his fledgling event. The solution was to spread the word, with help from press officer Pauline Candelot. “Romain has been a drummer in a band for 10 years and knows what bands expect,” she notes. “We both attend prog festivals around Europe to meet people from the community and create links. We want to tailor make an event with its own expectations.”
Castel adds: “We believe festivals should support each other – and so far that support has been great.”
Along with a partnership deal with a microbrewery near the two-stage Le Metronum venue, the organisers are keen to encourage visitors to enjoy the beauty of historic Toulouse. Castel argues that prog fans are happy to travel to enjoy both new music and culture, and believes the southern French city has much to offer them.
Candelot believes the festival’s future depends on establishing itself within the prog community. “We targeted French prog lovers at first, but now we have people coming from Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK,” she reports. “We want to have other events,” she continues, “and eventually make Very Prog one of the major prog festivals in Europe, alongside Be Prog! My Friend or ProgPower Europe.
Having two major acts for our first event is a statement: it means we are here to stay.” MK
“Prog metal was missing… it was time to change things.”
DYNAMIC DUO: CANDELOT AND CASTEL.