I got a pleasant surprise this morning when I first checked my mobile phone for emails.

A notification from Facebook came through to inform me that one of my closet friends had tagged me on the social media site and his excellent website.

My friend Kenny MacLaren had written an article for his website called;

The article; Prog in the Park for 2021 (PITP)is about me being in the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh (RIE) for eight weeks earlier this year fighting for my life after being diagnosed with sepsis.

It is also about my determination to salvage PITP after it was postponed in March 20, due to the Covid 19 lockdown.

I am really honoured that Kenny has written this excellent take on my health scare earlier this year and also about PITP moving on in 2021. You will be able to find the link here:

Myself and Kenny have been close friends since I met him in December 2003 when I first started working for the public service trade union – UNISON.


When I first read the article in Kenny’s web site I felt really humbled. Then even more so when I finally read another email that he sent me.

The email was a copy of the one that he had sent to Prog Magazine. Some of you may recall that I wrote about being nominated in the category Unsung Heroes and how I was  number 10 in the magazines Poll Awards for 2019.

Well Kenny has written to the magazine and he has nominated me for this category. I really am so lucky to have Kenny as a really good friend even though he stays in Renfrewshire and we live in the Kingdom of Fife 🙂 

With Kenny’s permission, here is a copy of the email that he had sent to Prog Magazine.

Dear Prog Magazine,

I would like to nominate Kevin O’Neil for the Unsung Hero award.  Kevin organised the 12hour prog rock festival Prog in the Park in 2019 and was planning on pushing ahead with Prog in the Park 2.0 for this year. Although, like many events, this had to be postponed until 2021 – Kevin was struck down with Sepsis and had to remain in hospital for 8 weeks.  However, he still worked hard to ensure Prog in the Park would go ahead in March 2021, booking bands, organising the venue and even sorting out tickets and all the cancellation issues surrounding the impact Covid had on this year’s event.  

He has shown some amount of determination to push ahead with all this while seriously ill.  His commitment not just to Prog Rock is immense but so to is his commitment to supporting MacMillan Cancer Support Scotland – who will be the main beneficiaries of this event – to thank them for helping him and his family when he suffered from a rare form of cancer. Typically Kevin just ploughed ahead with everything, not asking for help and the information about his stay in hospital only came to light when his wife replied on his behalf while he was in hospital.  It’s guys like Kevin that keeps Prog Rock alive.