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Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Harvester, Apr 7, 2009.
I just think you are stressing from the economy and surprising fact a great bill like PPX hasn't sold faster. This reminds me of a comment I made in the early 90s when I told a friend I was concerned where/when the next great bands would come from. I had seen Pearl Jam, Chilli Peppers, and Smashing Pumpkins at a small venue at my college around then, and, while I was impressed and I still like 2 of those bands, they weren't the style of the Rush, Maiden, and Queensryche that I loved.
Then like a prayer answered from above bands like Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Pantera, Iced Earth turned up and then more great bands soon followed all the way through today.
Moral of the story and to loosely quote Field of Dreams:
Bands you may not consider a headliner now, will become one in people's eyes. Headliners will come Glenn. The one constant through all the years, Glenn, has been headliners. Headliners will most definitely come!
I may be missing some of your point Glenn. Is there really a problem with return headliners? If they were big then, and they're still big now, then they should still have similar drawing power. I can see why you'd think, "oh, Nightwish keeps touring, I don't want them", but if they've been touring they likely have even more fans now, right? I mean, can you really say that Blind Guardian wouldn't still fill up the venue, despite having already played (just an example).
Headliners are by definition the most popular bands... that kind of status doesn't change rapidly. So, you can't have something exclusive and unique every year, and I don't think anyone ever expected that. Last year, you expanded the expand the genre requirements just a tad and the fest still went just fine. This year, you're selling decently with people still waiting on their tax returns. To my (ignorant) eyes, it doesn't look like you're in trouble.
I am in the same boat as Diamond on this one - I found out about the PPUSA VII festival because it was the only place Evergrey was going to play that year in the states. So, yes, headliners definitely mattered for me in that one instance, but at the same time it also lends credence to the fact that it was also an exclusive show Glenn set up re-creating the DVD that was unique to ProgPower. Evergrey toured the U.S. later that year/early the next and it was as a support act where they played 40-45 minutes maximum. The closest it came to Dallas was Tulsa, OK and for me, that made the decision to head to Atlanta a very smart one and I was glad I took the chance instead of waiting... 4.5 hours in a car to see 45 minutes, or 2.5 hours on a plane to see 2.5 hours of Evergrey.
That said, since VII I have known/cared less about the headliners and attended the festival more because I knew that I would be around some good friends made that first year (and each subsequent year) and exposed to some great music over the long weekend. I knew nothing about Sonata Arctica/After Forever at VIII or Amorphis/Iced Earth at IX before they were announced, but explored their catalogs just like I have most all of the other bands announced each year. Thanks to this forum, I have found out about 90-95% of new bands/music since joining. I know not all attendees outside of this forum do this and so again we are a very vocal, yet loyal, minority.
I still think people will travel to Atlanta for a chance to see bands in supporting slots that they would otherwise have to travel overseas to see, but you also can't discount the fact that Glenn can draw more locally with big name headliners who might use his festival as the only Atlanta stop on perhaps a larger U.S. tour. I speak specifically to the Hellish Rock addition last year - seemed to me that the place was packed Thursday night and not just with PPUSA attendees. We spoke to some people on the floor who were only there for the Hellish Rock tour and they didn't know about the following two days of PPUSA goodness until we told them! Look at the venue when the opening act takes the stage vs. when the headliner starts... there will always be more people packing the floor of the venue for the latter (unless obviously you are Rage and there is an Evergrey signing session going on based on what I've read on this very forum.) Even though we as the forum may not place as high of a value on headliners to get us to show up, having a good headliner is still important to get the rest of the tickets sold, IMHO.
Wow, I didn't think my $0.02 would/could go that far in this economy...
You say 1 band for 45 minutes, but a strong undercard means more than 1 band at PP, it's more like 6 to 8 bands, and if you don't worry about a "headliner", it's upwards of 10 bands, I'm glad to pay a few hundred for the trip to see that. And remember, alot of the "undercard" bands don't have the ability to tour here in the states, so it makes their appearance that much more valuable.
I think what I'm trying to say is that I need at least a couple hours of bands I want to see. If I just like a couple of undercard bands(which was the case at PPVII), then that doesn't really cut it. But if I like both headliners and none of the undercard, then I'm getting three+ hours of music I like. That's worth it.
Here's my thoughts from someone who's been coming since PP III.
I heard about Prog Power when 2.0 happened cos of Ark, Steel Prophet, Kamelot, and Angel Dust. I later got into Nightingale big time. But bam, two BIG headliners for me and three MONSTER undercards. Steel fucking Prophet and Angel bitchingly bad ass Dust. Would I have come just for those two middle bands? In fantasy land where the money flows free, yes. (I didn't go cos I was sixteen at the time boo hoo) Similar situation with PP III, Gamma Ray, Angra, Blind Guardian headlining? Soggy dream come true and Edguy being there turned the thing into a religious experience. I also enjoyed the hell out of Silent Force and especially Threshold. Both those two bands were newbies for me. I was definitely there for the headliners (and Edguy)
Prog Power IV... Nightwish and that was it. I was a fan of Symphony X but not "Wow cross country trip". Through the fest I got into Pagan's Mind a good bit and rowdy hard into Secret Sphere. I had tons o fun though but headliner, one, was what made it. I guess you gotta factor in the prior experience alot too so make that one headliner, and the memories.
PP V I was there for Edguy and Kamelot, Wuthering Heights and the good times.
Missed PP VI cos I was doing roadie duties on my first tour. I missed Pink Cream 69 and I think of myself as less of a man now. That was it right there until the tour happened, Pink Cream 69, a MELODIC ROCK undercard. Seriously, if it wasn't for that tour I would have done the whole trip for one one hour set.
PPVII there primarily for Pyramaze, Evergrey (but I missed them) and the fun of seeing Mercenary again and seeing friends. Again, an undercard band.
PP VIII missed cos of funds shortages. I cried when Virgin Steele went onstage and I wasn't there. I mean I've been vocal about them playing Prog Power forever and now they are and I have no cash flow wow, way to fumble the ball there. I didnt feel too horrible cos later on I caught Sonata and After Forever together so hey, I saw the headliners a week later. I still regret missing it.
PP XI Iced Earth and the pre party with Helloween and Gamma Ray
I'll be honest, I didnt think I would have money for PP but I knew I would be going to the Hellish Rock tour. So hell, if I have to fly for a show why not make it Prog Power? I later got sweet discounts on shit that helped my financial situation so I would have ended up making the trip anyway. But what got me there was in all actuality, Helloween and Gamma Ray. If I had missed it I would have seen Iced Earth in Dallas.
This year I am there for Andre Matos, Circus Maximus, Fates Warning, Power Quest, Brainstorm, and looking forward to Royal Hunt Pagan's Mind and checking out the rest.
This year it looks like its back to how it was back in the day with III. A little bit of both, the bad ass headliners of MATOS and the sweet undercard of Circus Maximus, Power Quest, Brainstorm and stuff.
I guess I'm an asshole and need a little bit of both, unless you pick that one magical band like Pretty Maids. I'll fly anywhere in the US for them.
Heh. After meeting at PPV, I've missed 7 and 9, you've missed 6 and 8.
I'll be at this one though, for Matos, Fates Warning, all the returning bands, and Power Quest. Oh, and I dig Sabaton and Royal Hunt too.
Here's a perspective from a newbie.
I'm a PP newbie as this will be my first PP. I'm also somewhat of a metal newbie. By that I mean I've been listening to metal for the last 15 years but hadn't really started broadening my horizons until the last five or so, actively seeking out bands I hadn't heard of, through Pandora, Myspace, and forums like these.
With that background, here's my take. I think a festival should be all about a strong undercard. If it isn't, then is it really a festival or just two or three concerts in a row where all the opening acts get boo'd off the stage and we get only about 70-90 minutes of good music per night.
And for the record I had heard of a few of the bands on this year's lineup, but hadn't actually heard them before except maybe in passing. After checking them out I think the band I'm least looking forward to is Fates Warning and that's not to say I won't enjoy them. I wouldn't see them headline on a standalone tour, but I'm happy to see them headline on a festival with a very strong undercard.
All that said, a big headliner is a big headliner. Plenty of people would travel far and wide to see a big headliner if they wouldn't have a lot of other chances to see them. But if all the money went into that headliner and the undercard is really poor, would the PP newbies like myself come back the following year if the headliner isn't our favorite band in the world making a rare US stop? Perhaps not. But perhaps that doesn't matter either if newbies are a small subset of the typical PP audience. I'll be the first to admit I don't have any business acumen.
Just a humble opinion from a relative newbie.
Of course, it really works out very well for all us locals, too! I couldn't be any happier with the location of the festival!
Hi there, last year was my first PP and for me it was an amazing experience, I attended PPIX not for the headliners, even when I like Amorphis (saw this band here in Mexico twice) and Iced Earth a lot, but to finally had the chance to see bands like Iron Savior, Elvenking, Rob Rock and the master John Oliva, but for me the main reason to enjoy this fest is all things arround PP USA, a lot of friendly people, bands signing all you want, great venue and sound, etc, so this year I ll be back to Atlanta mainly to have a great weekend again and enjoy the bands that I like most (Brainstorm, Sabaton, Primal Fear and Orphan Land are at the top of my list this year), and of course to get my 2009 Atlanta Trashers T-shirt and my Braves Jacket too.
So Enjoy the fest for what it is, a great HEAVY METAL weekend, I really envy all of you that had had the chance to attend past editions, and I must thank people like GLEN that put money and effort on it in order to bring bands that we will not be able to see in AMERICA (I am talking not only in USA but in South America or Mexico), so for me is a lot cheaper to travel to USA that getting EUROPE to see Brainstorm or Sabaton.
THANX GLEN and all his CREW.
Francisco Carrasco ( A mexican metal fan), see ya at PPX
Bienvenidos, amigo! I appreciate your kind words regarding our festival, hermano! You are welcome to visit Atlanta anytime! See you in September, amigo!
Thanks man, my view is that many bands are out there ready and that PPUSA can take advantage of it.
And not necessarily as headliners as the Zod test prove it:
So it seems that the headliner wouldn't had been much of a factor for me if I had attended them all.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing your view from the opposite end of the spectrum.
Thanks to you for a nice discussion. And damn my luck, I should have attended 2002 (and the worst part is that I was living in USA at the time, but I didn't know about the festival then )
For me it really needs to be a good overall mix, decent headliners and at least some others that I know and look forward to seeing. Of course I am not going to know all the bands and I look forward to getting to know new bands, but for the amount of money I'm dropping on the weekend I wouldn't do it for all unknowns, no matter how much fun I know I'll have regardless. One issue for me (and several others that I travel with) is that the fest is shifting towards the heavy bands and we are really into the power/melodic metal side of things. PC69, Nightwish, Edguy, Kamelot, Primal Fear, Jorn, Angra and Stratovarius have all been huge draws for us in years past. We would've walked out on Nevermore. Iced Earth made us decide not to go last year. Had we known about Helloween and Gamma Ray before giving up our gold badges we would've attended last year, but they weren't announced until after we relenquished them. Same for this year. Had we known about Primal Fear and Vanden Plas before giving up our gold badges (since we made it back to the top of the list that quickly) we would probably be attending this year. The fest has really shifted away from the bands that drew us there in the first place. We used to say that we would attend every year no matter what, but those days are past (for a million reasons, the band roster being only one of them. We all have wives and kids now that we didn't have when we started attending to name one major contributing factor).
Of course, there ARE those magical bands that would get me to the show even if all the rest of the slots were filled by the various line-ups of Menudo, Pretty Maids and Within Temptation being the highest on the wish-list.
Yeah, I just can't get into those dark, morose, slow bands with the tortured vocals either.
Hope to see you at PPUSA this year, amigo! I'd like to visit CR sometime. Rock on!
I'll be honest, Fates Warning IS the main attraction for me this year (it's not like I attend every PP event anyhow, for various financial/logistical reasons) and to miss seeing FW headlining the pre-imminent prog/power metal event in the US would be tentamount to running in the opposite direction from the free Dr. Pepper dispenser at your local eating establishment during a NY pizza party. All I can say is really... "finally" and "now I know what took so long."