Successfully reunited after a hiatus of more than a decade, the British band Porcupine Tree will perform for the first time in Romania at ARTmania Festival 2023, which will take place from 28 to 30 July.
The supergroup, led by renowned English musician Steven Wilson, will perform in Sibiu on the main stage of the festival.
Steven Wilson started Porcupine Tree in 1987. He is currently joined by keyboardist Richard Barbieri, who was part of the new wave group Japan, and drummer Gavin Harrison, who also collaborates with King Crimson and The Pinneaple Thief.
Both Steven Wilson, as a solo artist, and Gavin Harrison, with The Pineapple Thief, were part of the ARTmania Festival line-up in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
In the early years, it was Steven Wilson who composed all the music for the project. From 1993, he began co-opting various musicians, including Richard Barbieri on keyboards, Colin Edwin on bass and Chris Maitland on drums. The first line-up lasted until 2002, when Gavin Harrison replaced Chris Maitland.
Over the years, the group has also made musical changes. It went from psychedelic rock, space rock and experimental rock to progressive rock, alternative rock and progressive metal.
From 2010, the band has been largely inactive on the music scene, with Steven Wilson involved in various solo projects, as have other members. Steven Wilson, Richard Barbieri and Gavin Harrison continued, intermittently, to work in secret, and a decade later “Closure / Continuation” was released.
The album, the result of a 12-year creative process, was released in June 2022. Its release was followed this autumn by a series of sold-out concerts in Europe, for which they were joined by Randy McStine (guitar) and Nate Navarro (bass). Among the successful shows was the one at Wembley Arena, where the band played in front of 12,000 people.
”We feel it probably is in the top three best records that we’ve ever made, alongside In Absentia and Fear of a Blank Planet. It’s pure Porcupine Tree but at the same time it sounds fresh, there’s a lot of space there”, the band members said about “Closure / Continuation”.
Each new release saw Porcupine Tree exploring new musical ideas, their expansive music shifting from pastoral psychedelic rock and ambient electronic soundscapes to experimental pop and propulsive metal. Later releases like 2007’s GRAMMY® Award – nominated ”Fear of a Blank Planet” and 2009’s ”The Incident” saw Porcupine Tree effortlessly melding distinctive genres to create a groundbreaking musical universe all their own.
From “On the Sunday of Life…”, released in 1992, to “Closure / Continuation” (2022), Porcupine Tree has released “Up the Downstairs” (1993), “The Sky Moves Sideways” (1995), “Signify” (1996), “Stupid Dream” (1999), “Lightbulb Sun” (2000), “In Absentia” (2002), “Deadwing” (2005), “Fear of a Blank Planet” (2007) and “The Incident” (2009). They are joined by ten live albums and five compilations.
For the 16th ARTmania Festival, part of the project “Musical Bridges Through Cultural Entrepreneurship”, run by ARTmania Events with Inferno Metal Festival & Music Conference and Midgardsblot Festival, two of Norway’s most important rock events, the bands Emperor (Norway), SAMAEL (Switzerland), Pain of Salvation (Sweden) have been confirmed and more names will be announced in the coming weeks.
Passes for ARTmania Festival 2023 can be purchased on the official website (www.artmaniafestival.ro) and on iabilet.ro for 400 lei/piece + taxes (80€ + taxes).
„Musical Bridges Through Cultural Entrepreneurship” is financed with the support of EEA Grants within the RO-CULTURE Programme. The project has a non-reimbursable value of 980.230,30 lei (198.102,36 euro) and is carried out over a period of 12 months.
The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €1.55 billion.
RO-CULTURE Programme is implemented in Romania by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit. The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The total budget amounts to almost 34 million EUR.
ARTmania Festival, the first Romanian festival that developed the idea of combining art and entertainment in Romania, is a platform dedicated to promoting all forms of artistic expression inspired by rock culture.
Since 2006, ARTmania has established itself as the main regional promoter of contemporary music projects. Music is the core component, but it is only a part of the experience that ARTmania Festival wanted to offer to art lovers from Romania and abroad. From the very beginning, ARTmania was conceived as a cultural platform to offer the public various events and ways to experience different forms of artistic expression, such as concerts, exhibitions, book launches and film screenings.
As the longest-running rock festival in Romania and one of the brands with the longest tradition on the regional cultural scene, ARTmania has shaped its own identity through a bold concept and a special environment: the Great Square of one of the most beautiful medieval fortresses in Eastern Europe.
ARTmania is constantly exploring new directions, building on the experience of previous editions where many important artists have performed. Among them are Steven Wilson, Peter Hammill, Serj Tankian, Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Opeth, Die Toten Hosen, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Apocalyptica, HIM, The Gathering, The Sisters of Mercy, Anathema, Apocalyptica, Lacuna Coil, Helloween, Lacrimosa, Poets of the Fall and Deine Lakaien.