I have been aware of ProgPower USA since 2005, during my first Hammerfall concert at the Marquee Theater in Tempe,AZ when a guy commented on my Therion T-shirt, and mentioned me the ProgPower USA line up of that year that included Therion and Stratovarius. Since then I wanted to go to and see what was all the buzz about it, mainly because at that time I didn’t believe that it was a festival in the US that could put together on a single stage well-known European bands.
But it was until 2010, five years after I discovered the festival that I had the chance to see it with my own eyes, so there I was in a plane heading to Atlanta, GA an unknown city for me, but a big festival to look forward that year. I got to see an exclusive line up including, Delain, Seventh Wonder & Tarot (their only show until now in American soil) Leaves Eyes, Tyr, Blackguard, Nocturnal Rites, DMG, Stormwarrior, Ocean Of Sadness, and Illusion Suite. Not counting the very special shows by the headliners Hammerfall and Kamelot that for that show used the voice of Michael Eriksen from Circus Maximus (That was around the time Roy Khan quitted Kamelot)
It was an incredible experience not only for the line up, the autograph sessions, the professional production and logistics, and the blowing mind half bar half merchandise room where you could find pretty much any metal CD/DVD, T-shirt, etc. But one of the best things about ProgPower USA is all the awesome people who you would meet during the festival. People that as today I am proud to call friends.
Last year for the 12th edition of the festival I was not able to go, but I followed the festival step by step on Twitter and Facebook thanks to the updates of Glenn and Jennifer Harverston (the promoter of the festival and his wife) and my friends posts and tweets about the bands that were performing and the cool things that only can happen at Center Stage during ProgPower USA. This year I already have my tickets, and I will be there seeing bands like Nightwish that is coming back to the USA after 4 years of absence, Kamelot that would present their new singer, Epica, Symphony X, Primordial, and Redemption. And for the first time and only time during this year. Serenity, Pretty Maids, MaYan, Amaranthe, Mystic Prophesy, Solution 45, Kingcrow, Sinbreed, Lanfear, and Beyond The Bridge.
The festival has been for years the launching platform for bands to get into the US market, we can see examples like Evergrey, Sabaton, Edguy, Therion, and many more that ended up touring supporting another acts and then headlining their own tours after their first time at ProgPower USA.
In this moment the festival is struggling to survive as tickets sales have not been great, and with less than 300 tickets left from sold out We don’t know if it would be a festival next year as it was address by Glenn Harveston promoter of the festival in a recent video update
We invite you to spread the word about these important festival in the national metal scene, I know many of you listen to different bands and genres. However, this festival keeps part of the balance in the metal scene, We bet you and us would do the same call if it was the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, the Summer Slaughter Festival or the Maryland DeathFest the ones facing a struggle like the one ProgPower USA is going through at the moment.