Rare cancer survivor launches Fife Prog Rock festival

A Fife man who survived one of the world’s rarest forms of cancer has launched Scotland’s first prog rock indoor festival.
The Prog in the Park event, which takes place at the Glen Pavilion in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline on Saturday, April 6, will raise funds for Maggie’s Fife and Sarcoma UK.
Kevin O’Neil (49) from Inverkeithing underwent life-saving surgery in 2015 when surgeons removed a massive ‘bowling ball-sized’ tumour from his chest.
The dad-of-one is one of just 15 people worldwide diagnosed with malignant myopericytoma and continues to suffer ongoing pain.
This prog rock event, which Kevin is co-promoting with his friend Brian Neeson, will feature headliners StillMarillion and a line-up which includes Genesis tribute band AfterGlow.
Kevin said: “I’m well known for being the man who beat a massive tumour, but those who know me well also know I’m a massive Marillion fan.
“I’ve wanted to launch a prog rock gig in Fife for some time but ill-health prevented me – until now.
“I wanted to raise funds for Maggie’s, who gave fantastic support and friendship to me and my family, and also Sarcoma UK, which my condition falls under, to raise awareness of this condition.”
Kevin’s operation at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh took 12 hours and required the removal of his ribs on the right side and part of his shoulder.
It also required him to be put into an induced coma for two-and-a-half days.
He said: “When I had the surgery at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh (RIE), the oncologists said they had never seen a tumour this size before – it was the weight of a newborn baby – and didn’t have a clue what it was.
“It was sent to The Beatson Cancer Centre Glasgow and the Royal Marsden Hospital London before being sent on to specialists in the USA.
“The next month I received a phone call giving me news that I had malignant myopericytoma. I found out it was so rare only 15 people in the world had been diagnosed with it. I was so shocked I had to hand over the phone to my wife Kirsty.”
Co-promoter Brian Neeson said: “Having been a co-producer of two Charity Music Events in 2018 including the award — nominated ‘Yes Fan Convention’ at London Palladium in March, I’m delighted to be working with Kevin on Prog in the Park.
“It feels so rewarding to promote the music you love, while at the same time providing funds and awareness for two deserving causes.”
The event has attracted the support of Lesley Laird MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, who donated a signed bottle of whisky for the event’s raffle. She said: “Kevin’s journey is marked by phenomenal bravery.
“He survived years of grueling treatment for cancer and yet today, despite enduring constant pain which would stop most people in their tracks, he’s absolutely determined to live a life which makes a difference.
“It’s phenomenal that he’s now launching a prog rock festival and I hope Fife communities will lend him support, rally around this event and raise money for very worthwhile causes.”
Prog in the Park takes place on Saturday April 6, 2019 at The Glen Pavilion Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline. This starts at 11:00 and will finish by 23:00.
A Facebook group has been set up at: https://m.facebook.com/groups/212460709393100