PROG IN THE PARK
Brian Neeson and Kevin O’Neil are hoping to put a historical Scottish town on the prog map.
Dunfermline is just a half an hour train ride north of Edinburgh. The town is Ian Anderson’s birthplace and was once Scotland’s royal burgh, but its proximity to the more famous capital means it’s often ignored by touring bands. Two local prog fans want to change that with a charity all-dayer at Pittencrieff Park’s Glen Pavilion on April 6.
“We both love prog and there are other people in this area that love the genre as well,” says Prog In The Park’s co-promoter Kevin O’Neil, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer several years ago. “There are some really good venues for gigs, however, bands who could get maybe 500-1000 people bypass them. We just wanted to get out there and say, ‘This can be done and we can attract bands to the area.’”
Helping O’Neil in this mammoth task is fellow progger Brian Neeson, who runs Chris Squire’s Scottish Yes Network and was heavily involved in the 2018 Yes fan conventions in London and Philadelphia.
“Kevin and I have been friends on Facebook and Twitter for quite a while and the idea [for the event] came from both of us,” says Neeson. “We wanted to book tribute bands [for the first one] to raise interest. I knew the people from [Marillion tribute band] StillMarillion, Kevin knew the guys from [Genesis tribute acts] Afterglow, and then he suggested that we introduce a charity element given his medical history.”
The inaugural Prog In The Park will feature both tribute bands alongside local instrumental act Altres, The Alan Reed Band and Twelfth Night frontman Mark Spencer. Proceeds will be split between Maggie’s Centre and Sarcoma UK, two charities that directly supported O’Neil during his cancer diagnosis and treatment.
There will also be an exhibition of Charlie Roy’s prog portraits, and a charity auction – prizes include some treats from Marillion and artist Mark Wilkinson. Tickets are selling well and the pair hope Prog In The Park will become an annual event. Says Neeson, “If it’s successful, we’ll open it up to a wider range of original music.”
Maybe Dunfermline will end up on the prog map sooner than expected. NRS
Tickets are available from http://bit.ly/ProginthePark.
“We just wanted to get out there and say, ‘This can
THE CHANGE MAKERS. L-R: KEVIN O’NEIL, DOUGLAS CHAPMAN MP, BRIAN NEESON.