Moogfest won’t happen in 2015, plans to return in 2016

Nile Rodgers and his band, CHIC, were among headlining acts at the 2014 Moogfest. Photo by David J. Simchock.

Moogfest announced July 23 that the event will take a year off in 2015, with plans to return to Asheville in 2016.

A few days earlier, Moog Music CEO Mike Adams told Xpress the future of the festival was in question. The five-day April event, held at different venues across downtown Asheville, cost about $2.74 million to produce and lost roughly $1.5 million.

The ultimate goal of the festival, which featured a wide range of performances, talks and demonstrations by musical and technological innovators, “was all about attracting entrepreneurs to Asheville to see what a great place we live in,” Adams said.

The Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County is finishing up an economic assessment that could be used to make the case for increased public funding in the years ahead. Asheville and Buncombe County chipped in $180,000 in cash and in-kind services for this year’s event.

Moogfest was previously produced in Asheville by Knoxville-based company AC Entertainment from 2010-2012.

Here’s the press release from Moogfest announcing it will now be a biennial event:

Today, Moog Music announces that Moogfest will be biennial, with the next event scheduled for 2016.

Moogfest 2014 was a reboot of the festival, with much of the planning and execution taking place inside the Moog headquarters, just upstairs from where the synthesizers are designed and built by hand. Engineering a production of this scale is a process that can’t be mass– produced, much like Moog synthesizers themselves.

The decision to produce Moogfest biennially is in an effort to maintain the authenticity of the event, as well as the financial and spiritual health of Moog Music and its employees, whose primary focus will always be designing and building synthesizers.

“Moogfest 2014 was a proof of concept so we could experiment with a new business, a unique format, and a new creative direction,” says Mike Adams, Moog Music Inc. President & CEO. “Producing Moogfest every other year allows us to retain the high level of innovative programming as well as the originality and independence we established in 2014.”

This new iteration of Moogfest, with Moog Music Inc. at the helm, brought thousands of musicians, inventors, engineers, futurists, ethicists, visual artists and their fans together to discuss the future of technology and creativity. It established a space for conversation and collaboration while bringing visibility to North Carolina as an international hub of new ideas. Musical performers included legends like Kraftwerk, Keith Emerson, Nile Rogers and Giorgio Moroder alongside future and current stars like M.I.A., Flying Lotus, Dan Deacon, and Factory Floor.

“This future-forward version of Moogfest is in its infancy,” says Emmy Parker, Brand Director of Moogfest and Moog. “It will take some time for it to grow, but it’s clear that people want an unadulterated ideas-based festival that combines new art, music and technology. Moogfest is a personification of the Moog ethos and we’re honored to dedicate a full two years for curating each festival, with a sustainable, long-term plan for maintaining this platform for all those who share our passion.”

As a pioneer in electronic music and the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Bob Moog was an innovator who introduced the world to the sound of the future. Moogfest, a five-day synthesis of music, technology and art, held April 23-27 in Asheville, N.C., brought an equal ferocity of spirit to the festival that bears his name.

Media Accolades

“Moogfest, in its mom-and-pop technosophy and its insistence on immersive experiences in small, comfortable spaces, might have gotten something exactly right.” – New York Times

“One of the Top 14 Festivals of 2014” -Time Magazine

“Moogfest was once a more traditional festival, but it metamorphosed this year into a celebration of art, science, music and technology — TED filtered through a distortion pedal.” – Huffington Post

“Like Austin, Asheville is becoming famous for its cultural event Moogfest.” – The Guardian “It’s a tiny operation, but they’ve produced kind of an amazing festival…” – NY Times Popcast “The city felt abuzz with a geeky curiosity and excitement.” – Billboard

“Anyone expecting the fest lineup to consist of a bunch of Emerson, Lake & Palmer knockoffs sorely underestimates what Moogfest has become….The range of performers—Dan Deacon, ADULT., El-P, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and many moreshows you just how far the Moog brand has come in its 50-year history.” -Time Out NY

“This annual festival–which is dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art, and music and honors the legacy of music visionary Dr. Robert Moogis in a league of its own and girded by a lofty mission: “[to chart] the course for a future of unknown sight and sound.” – National Geographic

“And make no mistake, this is not one big gear advertisement—the artists who play Moogfest are selected for their forward-thinking creativity, reflecting Bob Moog’s innovative spirit back in the day. Moogfest’s cherries on top are their label showcases and expanded art and music technology installations. – Complex

“Moogfest has added some eclectic firepower to its already impressive lineup.” -Rolling Stone

“Moogfest organizers echo the extra-education sentiment, as they’ve strived to build a lineup of sessions, workshops and film screenings that will thrill just as much as the musicians.” – Mashable

“Named after the famous synth pioneer, technology and creation is very much a focus at Moogfest, with a daytime program of workshops and other activities that make it worth the trip for any gear nerd. “ – Resident Advisor

“It’s an electronic wet dream… The lineup for Moog is so unique that it has no true competition.” – Consequence of Sound

“At Moogfest’s Modular Marketplace, attendees at the electronic music festival in Asheville got to browse some of the best indie and homebrew analog and digital synthesizers.” Vice/ Motherboard

“Although Moogfest has been around for a few years in various incarnations, it found its niche this April in a lineup that included headliners the Pet Shop Boys, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, M.I.A. and Nile Rodgers (with CHIC).” Huffington Post

“Geekiness reigned, proudly and openly, at Moogfest 2014, the largest iteration yet of a festival created by Moog Music, which makes all of its synthesizers and other equipment by hand at a small factory here in downtown Asheville.” -New York Times

“With 25,000 people attending the event’s free programming, ranging from durational performances by the likes of Dan Deacon and Bradford Cox to an outdoor stage graced by Giorgio Moroder and Zeds Dead, the company may have already achieved its goals. Over the five-day festival, the city felt abuzz with a geeky curiosity and excitement.” -Billboard

“Moogfest takes place in Asheville, North Carolina and celebrates the legacy of the man who turned electricity into music, starting with theremins to voltage-controlled analog synthesizers that have been used by everyone from The Beatles to prog rock bands and experimental artists.” – Cool Hunting


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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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One thought on “Moogfest won’t happen in 2015, plans to return in 2016

  1. John Tripp

    Asheville is not your kinda town MoogFest. You can skip a year but nothing’s gonna change. Asheville is about as electronic as NYC is country. Nice try but this town is very very s m a l l.

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