Elected officials reflect on Moogfest impact

Here’s the press release from Moogfest organizers:

Kicking off on Wednesday, April 23rd with a panel discussion on the role of innovation and technology in economic development and closing on Sunday, April 27th with a celebration party in the Moog Factory, the re-tooled Moogfest 2014 featured more than 100 musical performances, 105 speakers, panels, multimedia installations and public art exhibits, expos featuring innovative electronic musical instrument manufacturers and cutting-edge creative technology companies from throughout North Carolina. 7,000 badge holders and over 25,000 people filled the streets of downtown Asheville over the course of the five-day festival, travelling to Western North Carolina from locations as diverse as Tokyo and Guatemala.

Beyond a traditional music festival, Moogfest aims to be an engine for driving economic development in Western North Carolina. While it was undoubtedly a short-term, shot-in-the-arm for downtown retailers, restaurants and hotels, the long-term goal say Moogfest organizers, “is to inspire big thinking start-ups, entrepreneurs, and innovators to consider Asheville as a community to relocate their forward thinking businesses, just as Bob Moog did in 1978.”

“Moogfest is destined to become one of the nation’s premier gatherings for innovative thinkers and game changing technology,” said Governor Pat McCrory.  “Beyond the beauty of western North Carolina, Moogfest will grow and prosper because it’s located in a region with a long history of nurturing new ideas and enthusiastically implementing inventive technologies into our state’s economy.”

The reaction from Asheville area residents and elected officials has been both enthusiastic about the results from year one and optimistic about possibilities moving forward.

According to Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, “Over the last 36 years Moog has invested in our community in traditional ways, and now through Moogfest they’ve introduced an innovative economic development tool that fuses art and invention to encourage a brighter future for our city, our economy, and the next generation. We clearly recognize the relationship between engineering, technology and creativity to future jobs and are lucky to have an event and a company that highlights these important catalysts.”

David Gantt, Chairman of Buncombe County commissioners, also sees the potential greater impact of the event saying,  “Moogfest has helped introduce our area as a place that encourages entrepreneurs and creativity,” Gantt said. “The festival brought together technology, innovation and entertainment – all areas with enormous potential for future job creation. Moving forward we’d like to see some of those businesses that attended call Asheville home.”

Moog Music President Mike Adams took the risk on financing this speculative venture because of the potential payoff for the community’s future – helping to attract new businesses and create jobs in Western North Carolina.

Said Adams, “For me personally, Moogfest was a rewarding experience in so many ways. From the 300 students and teachers who were able to attend the daytime conference programming, to spending time with start-ups and businesses from across the state, I feel the groundwork has been laid for Moogfest and Asheville to be beacons for creativity and technology.”

About Moogfest:

Since 2004, Moogfest has been a gathering for the musicians that worked closely with Bob and his instruments. In 2014, Moogfest amplified its vision by becoming a 5-Day event dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art and music. Moogfest honors the inventiveness of Bob Moog and the legacy of the analog synth with an experimental line up of daytime conference programming and landmark nightly performances. Moogfest took place April 23-27th, 2014 in downtown Asheville, NC.

About Moog Music:

Moog Music is the leading producer of analog synthesizers in the world. The company and its customers carry on the legacy of its founder, electronic musical instrument pioneer, Dr. Bob Moog. The company hosts Moogfest, a five-day festival celebrating the intersection of music and technology in honor of Moog’s innovative spirit. All of Moog’s instruments are hand built in its factory on the edge of downtown Asheville, NC.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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