Indy Week: Moogfest looking to move from Asheville to Durham in 2016

Share reports that Moogfest may move to Durham in 2016. From the report:

The Triangle might need to make room for another music festival in 2016: On Wednesday afternoon, several independent sources confirmed that Moogfest, “a five-day festival dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art and music,” is looking to relocate to downtown Durham in April 2016.

Representatives with Moog Music, the music manufacturer responsible for the Asheville-based event, would not comment on the news. They did, however, confirm that representatives from Imprint Projects, a bicoastal company that worked extensively with Moog to produce Moogfest 2014, were in Durham this week to secure necessary partnerships for such an event. Representatives of Capitol Broadcasting Company and American Tobacco Campus are said to be supporting the festival’s move to Durham. They would not comment after repeated requests by the INDY. …

Reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer said that potential plans to move the event were a surprise to her and that she needed to get more information.

“They reinvented it completely,” Manheimer said. “It was a collision of arts and technology that was very different.”

Moogfest arrived in Asheville in 2010 when Asheville-based Moog Music Inc. teamed up with promoter AC Entertainment to produce a big electronic dance music event at music venues across town. (The event was a small, New York-based tribute to electronic music pioneer Bob Moog, who lived and worked in Asheville, prior to 2010.)

In 2012, the Moog Music/AC Entertainment partnership ended, with AC Entertainment announcing it would produce its own EDM festival called Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in 2013. Moog Music found a new promotion partner and produced a new Moogfest in April 2014. The event was a five-day festival touted as one that combined music, technology and art. It included day-time speakers and installations, as well as night-side concerts.

There are no plans for another Mountain Oasis. And following the 2014 edition of Moogfest, Moog Music officials announced the festival had lost more than $1 million and that the event would return in 2016.



Timothy Burgin January 18, 2015 - 9:27 am

It seems like an odd move, but it most likely due to them loosing $1M on the last Moogfest. I don’t see why y’all are hating on them for wanting to find a location where they can be successful with their vision.

What I don’t understand is how nobody can figure out how to run a big music festival in AVL that is sustainable.

Former Reporter at WYPN January 17, 2015 - 10:36 am

Sad if true, but also not surprising. The one thing the city and county should have done before handing any money (to a private, for-profit company) is secured their commitment to keeping the event in Asheville for a number of years.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if this is a play to get incentives to keep Moog in Asheville. While I’m sure it’s easier to find the tech talent they need in a place like Durham, this is also a game being played by numerous companies.

I guess Moog doesn’t owe anything to this community–they’re free to take their operations elsewhere–but it sure would be nice to not feel taken advantage of.

Tim Peck January 16, 2015 - 11:54 am

LOL. Take the money and run.

What a bunch of gullible progressives.

Harry January 16, 2015 - 3:07 am

Cia biotches!

Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 1:56 pm

Headline: Moog tells the world: “Y’know what? Don’t bring your tech jobs to Asheville after all.”

If they do move their festival to Durham, at the very least I think we should ask for our $200,000 back.

cwaster January 15, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Yes indeed.

Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 2:52 pm

One of the comments on the IndyWeek article:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a bluff to get Asheville to pony up more sponsorship next time. (Or at least keep subsidizing it as they did in 2014.)”

Murphy January 15, 2015 - 7:56 pm

My thought, exactly… let’em go… they’ll be back.

Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 8:59 pm

Or not. They had one foot out the door after last years festival, at least in the national press. From a July 2014 Billboard article:

“We’ve received a lot of support from the Durham and Raleigh area” at this year’s festival, says Parker. “It went from being an Asheville event to a North Carolina event.” (drag & drop)

Yeah, we noticed. After the City of Asheville & Buncombe County agreed to chip in around $200,000 to put it on, the words “Western North Carolina” disappeared from the title of the economic development forum, and half the panelists turned out to be from… well heck, they’re from Raleigh/Durham.

And now Moog is planning to take the festival, and all that alleged hi-tech investment/job energy to Durham.

Seriously, can we have that $200,000 back? And in the immortal words of Sam Kinison,

I want my records back! I want my f***ing records back!!!

hmmm January 16, 2015 - 4:36 pm

Maybe this story is burying the lede, and the reason Moog is sniffing round Durham for festival locations and partners is that it’ll be based there by April 2016.

Call it business development by hissy-fit.

ashevillain January 16, 2015 - 9:00 am

Since you’re such a stickler for transparency, perhaps you should stop inflating that number you keep typing.

Barry Summers January 16, 2015 - 10:01 am

OK, I rounded it up or “inflated” it once, from $180,000, to $200,000. Happy?

ashevillain January 16, 2015 - 11:17 am

No, not really. It doesn’t actually make me happy (or sad) one way or the other.

I just think it’s silly how you exaggerate so much.

Orbit DVD January 15, 2015 - 11:10 am


Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 11:18 am

“Aaahhh… it’s not for you, Asheville. It’s more of a Shelbyville idea.”

Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 11:01 am

GAAUUUGH!! Let’s give him the million dollars, people! It’s only money!! Without Moogfest, we’ll all die shivering in the dark!!

No More Eyeball January 15, 2015 - 11:19 am

Barry, Can you PLEASE lose the eyeball icon? It’s really gross and not as avant-garde as you probably think it is. It makes my stomach turn every time I scroll through the comments section.

Barry Summers January 15, 2015 - 3:48 pm

I know, right? It’s hideous. But think of me – I have to see two of them every time I look in the mirror.

Oops. Sorry. >>There’s another one.>>>>

cwaster January 15, 2015 - 10:52 am

Wow. This sucks. Thanks Moog for stabbing the town you work in right in the back.

ashevillain January 15, 2015 - 9:39 am

As a music lover this would be very disappointing to lose another major festival. I wasn’t happy about losing Bele Chere (although I’m probably in the minority there) and Mountain Oasis and now even less happy if we lose Moogfest.

It would be awesome if someone could bring a new major festival to Asheville this year.

I have to say that I’m really pulling for Salvage Station and New Mountain’s outdoor venue. I hope they can pull in some big artists…and for Pisgah Brewing Co. to continue to do so. I do like RiverMusic, All Go West, LEAF, LAAFF, etc. but those fests don’t pull the talent that the big ones do.

karen cragnolin January 17, 2015 - 12:33 pm

So glad you like River music we do too

Barry Summers January 17, 2015 - 3:10 pm

So glad you like River music we do too

Yeah, thank goodness for New Belgium.

Sorry, just kidding. Couldn’t help myself.

Mister Modest January 15, 2015 - 7:22 am

These guys are going to have a reputation of being the biggest scumbags in the Southeast if they shit on Asheville like this.

Sammy Nine January 15, 2015 - 6:26 am

I got to agree with haunted head here, we are hating cannibals here in Asheville. All the useless naysayers that have never been innovators. Oh wait, Popular Mechanics says we are #2 in startup environment, that should fix everything. This is a huge loss for Asheville…period. I hate to see you go Moogfest; it was finally the start of something new

hauntedheadnc January 14, 2015 - 9:02 pm

Meh. We’d have hated it out of town sooner or later anyway, because that’s just how we roll here in the ‘Ville.

Music Scene January 14, 2015 - 8:31 pm

Is this Moog’s response to not getting the funding they wanted from local government?

Whaaaa? January 14, 2015 - 7:38 pm

If this pans out to be true Moog better uproot that factory and move it to Durham too. I got no love if they pull a BS move like that. Bob would be shaking his head to hear of such lack of respect for his adopted hometown. Sorry you booked a bunch of has been acts to headline…I’m not a fan of AC, but at least they brought quality talent to town. #FU-Moog

Rebecca in Asheville January 14, 2015 - 7:23 pm

Oh no! Moogfest is a lot of fun and I would hate to see it leave Asheville. Asheville is the perfect spot for a hip event like this…but I am also saddened that there won’t be a Mioogfest this year either!

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