This Year's BAY AREA ROCK FEST Cancelled

The organizer of the Bay Area Rock Fest (a.k.a. BARfest), the progressive rock and metal festival that was held for the first time on May 4-5, 2007 at The Independent in San Francisco, California, has decided against staging a 2009 installment of what was supposed to be an annual event. David Hatchell of Bay Area Rock Promotions said in a statement, "This has been a difficult decision to make, and one that has taken a lot of time on my end."

He continued, "As many of you know, this started out a few years ago with Eric Boles and myself coming up with this idea, and bringing Bear on shortly after as a substantial part of this festival. During this time, I have not been working as much at my day job, and have been laid off twice during this time. This has given me the time to grow this festival into something that was beyond my wildest dreams from a musical standpoint. However, from a financial viewpoint, it has not been a success. I did not care about this the first year, because I was living my dream. However, with my continued unemployment, and the economic uncertainty surrounding this year, it does not make sense to have a premium-priced festival in the most expensive area in the U.S. to stage shows. Another factor that was crucial in my decision was the desire to create something unique. I have always believed that the only reason to do a festival is to do something that is artistically significant. I feel I achieved this in the previous years. The lineup options that were available to me at the time were too similar to other festivals or not of significant drawing power in the Bay Area to make this worthwhile.

"I don't want to make this entirely about money, and give the same old excuse that you hear from everybody in the U.S. about the economy, and from everybody in the music business about the difficulties of the music industry. I have overcome many obstacles in my life, and I always believe that willpower and desire can overcome any roadblocks. Over the past few years, I have had the energy and desire to put this at the top of my list. However, this year, I need to put my energy into re-establishing my career and more importantly welcoming a new addition to my family — my wife and I are expecting our first child this summer. After consulting with the rest of my team, and the similar challenges we are going through this year, we have decided to collectively put this to rest for this spring.

"I, hopefully, will still be involved in promoting some shows this year under the Bay Area Rock Promotions this year.

"I want to thank all of the fans and bands for all their support in the past and interest for this year. We will return bigger and better in the future!!"

Last year's edition of the Bay Area Rock Fest was headlined by LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy (drums), John Petrucci (guitar) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards) alongside progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame.

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