10/6/2011 - MoogFest 2011: Musical innovation, creation and creativity in Carolina
COMING LATER THIS MONTH! Got your tickets yet??
Since moving to Asheville, N.C., a place where Robert Moog (pronounced mowg) called home for over 30 years, last year Moogfest has blossomed into one of the country's can't-miss music festivals. This year the festival will be held on Halloween weekend (Oct. 28 - 30) and promises to be bigger than ever.
This year, under the guidance of AC Entertainment (which also produce Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the Big Ears Festival) Moogfest is shaping up to be an undeniable mix of some of electronic music's best with scheduled performances by notable artist such as M83, the Flaming Lips, SBTRKT, St. Vincent, Amon Tobin, STS9, Flying Lotus, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow, Chromeo, TV on the Radio, Moby, Crystal Castles, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), Tangerine Dream, Neon Indian, Battles and Ghostland Observatory.
That's only about a quarter of the list, which should tell you a little something about how big this event will be.
But rather than bringing only the biggest names in electronic music, there was an initiative to include the underground scene following the Moog spirit of innovation and creativity, says Jeff Cuellar, AC Entertainment director of connectivity.
"Even though the lineup is primarily electronic, it's not about limiting the festival to a particular genre, but rather to cherish the daring vision of an artist pushing the boundaries of music," Cuellar said.
Moogfest got it start in New York City, but last year made the transition to North Carolina. With the move, the festival has been allowed to spread throughout downtown, where it will be held in some of the city's best clubs, surrounded by the beauty and history of Asheville.
Aside from celebrating Bob Moog's legacy as a musician and musical engineer - Moog created synthesizers including the Minimoog Voyager, the Little Phatty, the Etherwave Theremin, Moogerfoogers, and the Moog Guitar - the festival will also offer artist panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops.
In addition the festival also offers visual art exhibitions, installations, and film screenings throughout the weekend. Some highlights include "SYNTH: A Group Art Show Inspired by Bob Moog," which is a showcase of handmade limited-edition screen prints by some of the top concert poster artists and graphic designers working today and 77 Million Paintings, an art exhibit and talk by electronic music pioneer Brian Eno.
Speaking with GateHouse Media, Cuellar said that in the second year of Moogfest under AC Entertainment, guests and artists should expect great things.
"Last year we had a great time," he said. "This year, we're looking to top it and we've got a lot planned for those three days."
Cuellar said that the core of Moogfest has been the community of artists combined with the location of Asheville.
"The downtown is gorgeous, and I think it's perfect to have the event right there so people can just walk around and see the city while enjoying some of the best music out there now," he said.
Cuellar said that Moogfest provides an opportunity for artists and fans alike to gather together for a weekend full of collaborations.
"Usually artists just come in for the day they're playing at a festival, they play and then they leave," he said. "But here the musicians are excited to perform as well as hang out with other artists, which sometimes leads to some amazing collaborations on stage."
In addition, Cuellar said, the fact that Moogfest falls on Halloween this year should knock the festival excitement up a few notches.
"We'll be dishing out treats for the fans and you'll find more about that as we get closer, but we're very excited about the atmosphere, the mind bending music and all of the side events we have planned for that weekend," Cuellar said.