Home >> About NewEARS
What is NewEARS? Why are we doing this? Our history and contact information.

Our Mission Statement
The New England Art Rock Society is a not-for-profit organization of progressive music lovers.

The primary goal of NewEARS is to create a community of music enthusiasts dedicated to sharing and promoting progressive rock in the New England area.  NewEARS intends to do this through its web site and mailing list and also through sponsored events.

NewEARS additionally hopes to promote progressive rock concerts in the future, utilizing the collected clout of the membership to attract artists to the area and persuade local clubs and promoters to book progressive rock events.

Why are we doing this?
In a nutshell...

NewEARS History
NewEARS was originally formed in July of 2001.  Unfortunately, the founders could not find the time to properly promote and move the group forward, so it quickly lost momentum and stalled out.

In January of 2002, a new group formed, tentatively called ProgForLowell, with the goal of bringing progressive music to the Lowell, MA area.  The founders of the new group invited the original NewEARS founders to join their group.  It was quickly decided that an opportunity existed to create something larger by fulfilling both the original goals of NewEARS as well as those of ProgForLowell.  Thus, the two groups joined forces, adopting the already established name: NewEARS.

The rejuvenated NewEARS and it's new planning committee actively engaged itself in resurrecting and building the NewEARS community.  By bringing like-minded people together through this organization, the NewEARS planners hoped to promote progressive rock music in the New England area and eventually bring more concerts to the area by drawing on the collective clout of the NewEARS community.

On Friday, March 29, 2002, NewEARS hosted its Inaugural Listening Party with special guests the band IZZ. The party was held in the home of NewEARS co-founder and planning committee member, Paul Arsenault, in Burlington, MA, and, for this reason, attendance was limited to 25.  The capacity crowd witnessed an inspired, 30-minute, live acoustic performance by IZZ and was entertained by DJ John Collinge of Progression Magazine spinning songs that were pre-selected by attendees.  All reports were that the event was a smashing success!

From 2002 -2007, NewEARS sponsored an Art Rock Series at the Playloft in the Lowell Brewery in Lowell, MA. Many wonderful progressive bands both local and international got to play there oftentimes for their first performance in the New England area. At its peak in 2005, NewEARS sponsored 17 art rock shows in Lowell, promoting more progressive music than any other group in America. NewEARS quickly gained a reputation as being the organization progressive bands wanted to play for when considering the New England market.

Both premier acts such as The Flower Kings, Happy The Man, and Kerry Livgren’s Proto-Kaw as well as new acts to the local scene such as Echolyn, Spock’s Beard, Neal Morse, Erik Norlander, Little Atlas and many others all made stops at the Lowell Brewery. For a complete list of bands that have played for NewEARS, please select the aforementioned link.

In 2006, NewEARS sponsored its largest show ever with music legend Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. A new larger venue at The Regent Theater in Arlington was arranged to accommodate the near capacity crowd for the triumphant return of the keyboard maestro. Just as NewEARS’ reputation was taking off, in mid-2007, the Lowell Brewery was sold to new owners who no longer wanted to support original music and they eventually turned the Brewery into a Sports Bar.

NewEARS was then looking for a new home and sponsored a couple of shows at the Acton Jazz Café. A sister organization BostonProg was created in 2008 to focus on larger shows for the Boston market at The Regent Theater as well as smaller shows at a new Boston venue, The Magic Room in Brighton, MA.

With the closure of The Magic Room at the end of 2012, NewEARS is now focused on bringing shows and our NewEARS Art Rock Showcase to The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. We look forward to seeing you at one of the shows.

What is a Listening Party?
A Listening Party is an informal gathering of prog fans to listen to music, socialize, make new friends, and maybe have a beer or two.  Occasionally these parties will follow special themes to help get all attendees involved.  The parties will also often feature special guests, including publishers, CD vendors, and musicians.  Some guests will bring along rare surprises (such as not-yet-released CDs) or offer other benefits of some sort (such as reduced pricing on music).  Attendees will discover new progressive music, including rare and unreleased material on occasion, and make contacts with one another for everything from trading music to anything that people do together...

NewEARS Mailing List (at YahooGroups)