I was just reading the Dec. 28 "A-List” issue of Xpress and was reminded of the huge Bele Chere hip-hop controversy this summer. It brought up a few things that had apparently been swimming just below the surface of my awareness for a while.
I remember Moog's Emmy Parker making a big, big deal about the lack of hip-hop at Bele Chere. I am not a huge fan of hip-hop, but I thought it was cool that she and Moog were sticking up for it. Looking back on the second half of 2011, though, I can't really say it was all good. It's way easy to criticize Bele Chere. Everyone does it for a bunch of valid reasons, but Moog had a huge chance to show the world the right way to book a festival with Moogfest 2011 — and they blew it!
Moogfest 2011 had a slight dusting of hip-hop hidden away on smaller stages, but it was not significantly more than Bele Chere. Considering that Bele Chere is a family festival, and that Moogfest is as far from one as you can get (anyone else hear the dude from Flaming Lips say from the stage that the mayor said it was OK to smoke weed that weekend?) combined with how huge hip-hop is worldwide and how much of it is way electronic — if Moogfest wasn't 25 to 50 percent hip-hop, something is way whacked out here.
Looking back at old Mountain Xpress articles online (great resource!) to make sure I was remembering the Bele Chere tussle right, I also see the recent article mentioning that Moog's Mike Adams basically asked the APD to step up the pressure on Occupy Asheville because they were "hassling employees," etc. I hang out in that area quite a bit and I never saw anyone hassling anyone. But am I remembering correctly that "coincidentally" the Occupy folks were evicted from their spot within eyesight of the Moog factory right before Moogfest? I never met Bob Moog, but from what I've heard, he would have been out there camping with the Occupy folks and listening to more hip-hop at Moogfest!
This all makes me very sad.
— Dez Abercrombie