Five Bands: ‘Five rock groups the record companies don’t want you to hear’. This was the tag in the poster of the first RIO festival in 1978, symbolizing the anti-commercial stance of these bands and the ‘uncompromising’ character of their music. RIO bands embrace musical styles such as progressive rock, Zeuhl, improvisation, noise, avant rock, jazz, classical, folk and often extreme experimentation.
One Movement: United in their opposition to the music industry and the pressures of compromise over art, this collective of progressive bands started a movement that remains one of the reference points that many listeners, musicians, and distributors use to describe a cooperative approach of making and distributing non-mainstream music.
A Legacy: Even when RIO as a movement was short lived at the time, it spearheaded the creation of its own progressive music subgenre, a category called RIO/Avant Progressive that is being used to label contemporary bands from across the world.