Prog act CAST a mainstay at Baja Prog, which returns this year!
  • Prog act CAST a mainstay at Baja Prog, which returns this year!

Mexicali progressive music event Baja Prog is returning to Baja California’s capital this spring, following a four-year hiatus.

Festival director Alfonso Vidales pulled the plug on Prog in 2008 after some of the event’s major sponsors backed out.

The 12-year-strong showcase averaged 1500 attendees daily (over 1000 of whom were traveling from outside Mexicali) to see acts from Japan, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, South America, and Vidales’s own group, CAST.

“There is a strong prog scene in Mexicali,” says Vidales, who has been making music with CAST for 34 years and is part of a Genesis tribute band.

The prog scene has grown since the festival debuted in 1997 with a lineup of just three bands: Lands End from Los Angeles, Ekus from Argentina, and CAST (not to be confused with the Britpop band of the same name).

“Ekus came to Mexicali to do a recording at my studio, and when they were here we said, ‘What are we going to do with our friends for two weeks?’ And then a brilliant idea came in and that’s how the story began,” Vidales tells the Reader.

“We had a sold-out audience, and that’s why we decided to launch a bigger edition the next year.”

Since then, the festival has seen eight marriages and has hosted over a hundred international prog-rock acts with the support of local government, private donors, and volunteers.

Baja Prog 2013 will take place from April 3 through 6 at two locations: outdoor concerts will be held at noon daily at Hotel Colonial and evening concerts will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Teatro del Estado.

The festival will feature music clinics and performances from the Crimson ProjeKt (King Crimson virtuosos Adrian Bellew, Tony Levin, and Pat Mastelotto), Steve Hackett, Eddie Jobson, and many more.

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