Moogfest is an annual, multi-day music, art and technology festival. The event was previously held in Asheville, North Carolina, where the late Robert Arthur "Bob" Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and founding father of electronic music, spent the last 30 years of his life. Moog spoke at the 2004 event; past performers who have played at the festival include Kraftwerk, Devo and Brian Eno. It is held in May, on the closest weekend to Moog’s birthday (with the exceptions of Moogfest 2006 to 2014).
On July 14, 2015, it was announced that Moogfest 2016 would be held in Durham, North Carolina on May 19–22, taking place in downtown Durham and spread out across multiple venues. During the final day of Moogfest 2016, it was announced that the festival's 2017 iteration would also take place in Durham, from May 18 to May 21.
Moogfest is the annual event that honors the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing musical inventions that changed the course of music, and celebrates Bob Moog's legacy as a sonic pioneer. Today, Moogfest is a multi-day, multi-venue event held in Durham, North Carolina. Moogfest hosts artists and audiences from throughout the world in different venues across Durham's downtown. The performing artists are not only those who use Moog instruments for their own works, but also those who create musical experiences that embody the essence of Bob Moog’s visionary and creative spirit. The festival also offers interactive experiences, visual art exhibitions, installations, film screenings, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops.
His invention is ubiquitous and has had as much if not more impact than the invention of the piano. He's probably one of the most important musical instrument makers in history.
With the Minimoog, he took the synthesizer out of the studio and put it into the concert hall.
For the first time you could go on [stage] and give the guitarist a run for his money ... a guitarist would say, 'Oh shoot, he's got a Minimoog', so they're looking for eleven on their volume control — it's the only way they can compete.
[It] absolutely changed the face of music.
They wanted to do it in New York, where Bob had grown up, around the time of his birthday. They had heard about work I had done with Les Paul. I put together a list of artists who were well known Moog users and was excited to get Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, who had never performed on the same stage before.
When we first proposed to move Moogfest, we did so because Asheville has a great history for us of supporting live music events. Plus, it was Bob Moog's adopted hometown and continues to be the headquarters of Moog Music, so it seemed like the perfect location.
In 2010, Moog Music partnered with AC Entertainment, a music promotion company that co-produces the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, moved Moogfest from New York City to Asheville in North Carolina, and expanded it from a one evening event to a three-day, multi-venue festival during the last weekend of October. The sixth Moogfest, but first in Asheville, took place in five stages at places in downtown Asheville that ranged from clubs to arenas, and drew 7,000 to 7,500 people a day. The festival, from Friday 29 October through to Sunday 31 October 2010, featured more than 60 acts that ranged from rock to hip-hop to electronica, including Massive Attack, Sleigh Bells, Caribou, MGMT, Thievery Corporation, Hot Chip, Disco Biscuits, Big Boi, El-P, Four Tet, Pretty Lights, Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, and Dan Deacon.Devo were the recipient of the Moog Innovator Award, but the band could not perform, because its guitarist, Bob Mothersbaugh, injured his hand. Though Moog instruments, such as the Voyager, Moogerfooger, Etherwave Theremin, and Little Phatty were highly used by the performers participating in the event, the bands requested to play were not chosen by their involvement with Moog, but rather by their overall creativity and likeliness to Bob Moog's creative entity.
Brian Eno at MoogFest 2011
The seventh edition, second for both Asheville and AC Entertainment, of the Moogfest was held on 28–30 October 2011, on Halloween weekend with a line-up of popular artists from varied genres, including The Flaming Lips, Terry and Gyan Riley, Moby, Passion Pit, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Tangerine Dream, and TV on the Radio. The 2011 festival also featured "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, and moreover panel discussions, question and answer sessions, art exhibitions and installations, film screenings, and workshops. Minimalist composer, Terry Riley, performed a set lasting for almost two straight hours. In 2011, Moogfest updated its festival technologies by releasing a Moogfest iPhone app. The app contained a festival map and schedule, and also sent users real-time updates about festival news and unannounced secret shows.
After the festival weekend, Asheville's local newspaper released that over 30 arrests were made during Moogfest 2011. Most of these were drug- or alcohol-related charges.
After the 2012 Moogfest it was announced that AC Entertainment was not renewed and for 2013 the corresponding event was called the "Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit". There was no "Moogfest" in 2013. In 2013 it was announced that there would be a Moogfest in 2014.
There was no Moogfest in 2015, as the organizers considered it a biennial event. For 2016, the festival was moved from Asheville to Durham. Festival organizers took the opportunity to publicly denounce the controversial North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly referred to as "House Bill 2". In response, the festival partnered with activist groups for a campaign called "Synthesize Love", raising funds to fight HB2 through T-shirt sales. They also held an anti-HB2 forum and "Open Mic," and provided gender-neutral bathrooms at most venues.
The Asheville Music Hall is an 18+ venue with a capacity of 400 people located at number 31 of Patton Avenue (35°35′41″N82°33′11″W / 35.59485°N 82.553041°W / 35.59485; -82.553041) and hosts live events. The Asheville Music Hall had previously been known as Stella Blue, but the name was changed just prior to the 2011 festival. In the 2010 edition of the festival, Stella Blue hosted some national and regional emerging acts. In 2011, Stella Blue was renamed as the Asheville Music Hall, though it served the same purpose as it did the year before.
The sixth edition of Moogfest was the first held in Asheville, and it was expanded to a three-day, multi-venue festival. It took place in five stages at places in downtown Asheville. The 2010 edition attracted 7,000 to 7,500 people a day. Devo were scheduled for Friday night at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, but the band could not perform because its guitarist, Bob Mothersbaugh, was injured. 2010 was the first year the festival hosted films, panels, discussions, and workshops.
Films and Workshops at Moogaplex and Fine Arts Theatre
Fine Arts Theatre
Saturday, October 30
Sunday, October 31
Saturday, October 30
Sunday, October 31
Synth History Panel: Birth of the Mini Moog
Tara Busch Performance
Tech Panel: Moog Engineers
Theremin Performance and Lesson with Kevin Kissinger
Synth History Panel: Exploration of Bob Moog Archives
Moog Guitar Workshop: Sound Sculpting with Saul Zonana
Modern Day Sound Sculpting Richard Devine: Abominatron
Synth History Panel: Examining the Legacy of Mini Synths
Theremin Performance and Lesson with Dorit Chrysler
The Power of Modular Synthesis
The seventh edition of Moogfest was held on Halloween weekend. Brian Eno played a major role at Moogfest 2011, with his 77 Million Paintings exhibit and Illustrated Talk being the two most talked about events at the festival. Those who attended Eno's talk claimed that the discussion was "unexpectedly funny". Though still listed on the lineup, neither Glasser nor Little Dragon nor Yacht were able to perform at the 2011 festival, due to traveling issues.
Handmade Synth and Pedal Salon
Control Voltage - Modular Connectivity with the Moog Engineers
Convergence: Software and Hardware Integration in the 21st Century
Richard Devine hosts Animoog iPad Giveaway
Ableton + Moog = Platinum Record
Dan Deacon & Tara Busch's Moogerfooger Mayhem
Remembering Walter Sear's Pivotal Role in Moog Legacy
Pioneering Moog in Live Performance
Journey to the center of the Theremin with Neon Indian, Dorit Chrysler, and Albert Glinsky
Sun Ra and Beyond: Exploring Rare Recordings from Bob's Archives
Pioneering Moog from the Tech Perspective
Fjellestad, Hans (Director); Robert Moog, Charlie Clouser, Herbert Deutsch, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Bernie Worrell, Woody Jackson, Edd Kalehoff, Gershon Kingsley, Pamelia Kurstin, DJ Logic, Money Mark, Mix Master Mike, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Walter E. Sear, DJ Spooky, Luke Vibert (2004). Moog (Motion picture, DVD). ZU33; Plexi Film. OCLC654748937.