Change We Must, to Live Again!
In the words of Jon Anderson, “Change we must, to live again”, we find hope, resolution, and a renewed sense of excitement. With these lyrics in mind, it is my great pleasure to announce that with the change, RoSfest will continue to produce one of the best progressive rock festivals in the world located in tropical Sarasota, Florida, but under new leadership and board of directors to further support and grow this endeavor.
The Rites of Spring Festival has been a treasure in the progressive rock world for the last 17 years and it has been my pride and privilege to create, produce, host, and share the experience with you, our RoSfest audience!
New to producing RoSfest, but not to the world of progressive rock, our new leadership team have been supportive members of our festival’s family for years. I feel honored to be able to pass the torch to such a dedicated group of musical masters.
Please give a warm RoSfest welcome to our new leadership team and read below for more detail about their background and accomplishments; John Blangero, Nick Katona, Tony Anzalone, Rebecca Avelar, Octavia Brown, and Lisa Wetton.
The team will follow up with information regarding everything RoSfest as the information becomes available. I will continue to support the festival as a consultant and remain its biggest fan. As I’ve previously mentioned, it has been an honor to interact with such accomplished and inspiring musicians and music lovers in the progressive rock community. Long Live RoSfest!
A scientist, musician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. John is well known as one of the world’s leading biomedical researchers with a focus on complex disease genetics. As a singer/songwriter, he recently released his first solo album under the moniker of Sun King Rising on Peacock Sunrise Records and fronts the progressive rock band, Harlequin Reborn. He also is a co-founder and Board member of 4TellX, an Austin-based predictive analytics company.
Is an iconic figure in progressive rock music circles as the President of the MRR Music Group which includes record labels, Melodic Revolution Records, and PeacockSunrise Records. He has experience developing and managing small festivals as the owner and operator of an independent music store. As a music promoter, he also owns and operates Power of Prog and ReZonatZ, both internet music blog publications, and has worked as an internet DJ since 2011.
Has a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has served in a variety of administrative and management roles in private industry. He has been active in the music business since the 80’s when he managed his first band. Currently, he is the manager of rock acts, Sun King Rising and Harlequin Reborn. He is also an administrator and officer in the World Prog Project. Tony now lives in Sarasota, Florida, and will take on much of the local leg work and financial management associated with RoSfest.
Is currently the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the MRR Music Group and is Street Team Manager for House of Prog and Power of Prog. She has extensive experience in accounting and human resource management.
Better-known for her close involvement with Italy’s 2Day Prog + 1 Festival, has already been a member of the RoSfest crew making her a familiar face to many prior RoSfest attendees. Based in Italy, she works as a freelance translator (recent works include the English version of Mario Giametti’s ‘Genesis – 1967 to 1975: The Peter Gabriel Years ‘) while spending most of her free time…. Hang on, what free time?
Is a Syracuse transplant, Lisa Wetton routed herself firmly into the progressive music scene after co-founding Smokewind Music, an agency that specialized in world and progressive music bookings, and which has recently transitioned into audio and visual production. In 2015, she retired from practicing medicine and moved to the U.K. to be closer to her beloved husband, the late music icon, John Wetton. She currently spends her days drinking tea, making compost, and getting paid to hit things. Her most recent work has been with Edison’s Children, United Progressive Fraternity, and Southern Empire.
The Rites of Spring festival or RoSfest is an annual progressive rock music festival taking place at the end of April or in early May.
Established in 2004, the festival was first held at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania until 2007, and then moved to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania for 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the festival moved to the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in 2019, the festival moved to its current location at the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida.
On December 26, 2020, co-founder George Roldan announced on the official RoSfest Facebook page that RoSfest would end its 16-year run as of 2020. Increasingly expensive production and travel costs, combined with tighter visa restrictions for international artists traveling to the United States, plus financial losses resulting from the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic had made continuing the festival unsustainable.
However, on February 1, 2021, Roldan posted another announcement stating that RoSfest would continue under a new organization. New event dates have yet to be announced.
The festival is known for importing some fantastic talent from around the world including Flor de Loto (PE), Anglagård (Sweden), Spock’s Beard (US), Riverside (Poland) IQ (UK), Magic Pie (Norway), Unified Past (US), Pain of Salvation (Sweden), Lazuli (France), RPWL (Germany), Ambrosia (US), Kinetic Element (US), The Flower Kings (Sweden), Evership (US), among others.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rosfest