VERY PROG FES­TI­VAL

Prog - - Intro - For more, visit www. veryprogfes­ti­val.com.

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.

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