McCrory and Manheimer, in synch for Moogfest 2014


Moogfest 2014, the intersection of innovation, technology, music and (hopefully) economic development can now add another happy alliance to its list: the in-synch odd couple of Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory and Moogfest started making headlines last week, when Moogfest publicity folks said a scheduling conflict would keep McCrory from attending an opening panel discussion of the festival. McCrory’s administration issued a follow-up statement saying that Moogfest officials had asked the governor not to come, perhaps in part due to a local protest of McCrory. Moogfest’s people responded, citing a “miscommunication” and wishing all well.

Then Wednesday, McCrory appeared at the Moogfest opening VIP party. Sporting Matrix-like dark sunglasses, the governor schmoozed with the Moogfesters sipping Wicked Weed beer and bobbing their heads to the mixes of DJs Thundercat and Flying Lotus.

McCrory’s appearance had a similar affect as a sonic boom. You could hear people saying: what exactly just happened? Did I really just see that?

Yes, they did. After the flap over the invitation, people picked up the phone. I’ve heard conflicting reports of exactly who called whom, but McCrory, Manheimer and Moog Music CEO were all talking. The result: McCrory’s crashing of the poolside party, and an underlining message that there are no hard feelings here, that we can all work together.

That’s a perfect note to strike, especially for a revamped Moogfest that is emphasizing the economic development potential of its event as much as the musical performance side, which has been the historic focus. If economic development is part of the mission, then McCrory needs to be invited to the table, and should welcomed to attend. Because at the end of the day, it will likely be McCrory, or one of his proxies, in a conference room  or on a call with the CEOs that are thinking of bringing jobs to North Carolina.

And it’s well past time for Asheville and Raleigh to start figuring out how to work together. The divisiveness is getting old, and it’s literally getting Asheville nowhere.There’s an election coming up, but right now, the Republicans hold all the cards in Raleigh, and they’ve shown their hand. Asheville, especially, must figure out how to get in the game and start playing. Like it or not, Moogfest 2014 is a two-sided event now. Economic development is much a goal as electronic discography.

I don’t want to lend too much importance to a governor’s party appearance, but I do think it’s worth noting. And however it went down, having Gov. McCrory and Mayor Manheimer being friendly over Moogfest is at least a start.

Party on.


Roger Hartley April 27, 2014 - 10:35 am

Is the divisiveness getting old or are the policies getting old? 10000 people showed up to protest the Gov in Pack Square just say year. He has an approval rating of 40%. I could list the policies for hours.

It appears that attacking the Gov, organizers, the mayor and our firm is only THIS TIME divisive because it was this time a group of people in our city that a lot of people like and because the city, chamber, county, and Downtown folks hitched its wagon to this festival

It was a silly idea to invite the Gov and it was a silly idea to kick this off as an economic development event. Especially when it didn’t really sync with the music/art/hip of the festival.

Don’t get me wrong …econ development can and should come but let that be a result of rather than the kickoff/focus of this festival.

theOtherBarry April 27, 2014 - 3:35 pm

It was a silly idea to invite the Gov and it was a silly idea to kick this off as an economic development event.

Especially if inviting him resulted in them taking “Western North Carolina” out of the focus of the econ development panel, as is what happened.

If Moog can leverage some decent high-tech companies to come here, great. But the lion’s share of tech investment will be going to The Research Triangle regardless, because of the existing educational programs concentrating on emerging technology. Witness the NSA spending $60 million on their new Big Data/Big Brother facility at NCSU, outside Raleigh (personally, I’m not disappointed that they aren’t coming here, but hey that’s just me).

Is UNC-Asheville prepared to fund a massive initiative in this direction? I think not. Bringing McCrory here was an incredibly misguided political act that blew up in their face, and I have little sympathy.

Roger Hartley April 27, 2014 - 10:33 pm

Did you see this review by Billboard of Moogfest…also notes the awkward kick off

theOtherBarry April 28, 2014 - 1:49 pm

From a previous Billboard article:

“This years festival also received 90,000 in sponsorship from Bunombe Country and 40,000 from the city of Asheville in addition to 40,000 in in-kind services like police barricades, security and clean up. “The Commerce Secretary and the Governor have told me that its not just the Asheville area that needs this, it’s the whole state, says Adams. “They feel a need to rebrand the state.

Thanks for keeping the focus on the local taxpayers who helped foot the bill.

(Ashevegas has decided that all links have to be moderated, apparently. Drag this into your browser: )

doghaus28815 April 26, 2014 - 7:46 pm

with all respect, may i ask who of you live in the city limits of asheville.. i think i would be sure that one, if honestly answered, would have to answer, “not me”.you know who you are.

theOtherBarry April 26, 2014 - 10:05 pm

I, for one, do not live within the City limits of Asheville. But that’s just because I was involuntarily, accidentally annexed by Woodfin in a bill co-sponsored by… GOP Representative Tim Moffitt!!!!

…and OK, Dem. Reps. Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever.

But obviously I blame Rep. Moffitt.

AVL LVR April 27, 2014 - 4:45 pm

I live in the city limits of Asheville. I would like Asheville to annex more land instead of places like Woodfin doing it. I am disappointed in Moffitt who has restricted Asheville’s annexation ability. Asheville has only an area of 45 square miles. If it had an area of Charleston, SC at 156.6 sq. miles (which has pop 125,000), Asheville’s population would be larger which could be more attractive to companies looking to relocate which Moogfest is looking to do.

theOtherBarry April 27, 2014 - 6:22 pm

OK now you’re just being silly, whoever you are.

indy April 26, 2014 - 1:05 pm

So, the city subsidizes an organization that runs a for profit event, the organization pisses on the governor (in a state where all the power lies with the state, not the municipalities)and most folks here apparently think that is ok, if not smart?

AVL LVR April 25, 2014 - 9:47 pm

While I believe Moffitt is doing everything he can to destroy Asheville, Gov. Pat McCrory is doing a good job for Asheville and the whole state. Unemployment has gone down. Companies are moving in. State income taxes have decreased. Some questions his connections with Duke Energy, but Duke Energy is helping small businesses paying up to 80% the cost for energy efficient upgrades on lighting and refrigeration improvements and up to 10 percent on HVAC upgrades . Maybe you’ve seen their discounts on compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in the stores. I don’t work for them and I would like to see their power plant go, but they are trying. Eventually, the power plant will go once technology improves. Give it time.

theOtherBarry April 25, 2014 - 11:22 pm

You’re right. We’re wrong. He’s a swell guy. Never mind those in his own party who are freaked that he pulled the rug out from under them in order to go easy on Duke on the coal ash. Never mind that he looked the other way on the theft of Asheville’s water system or airport. Never mind Medicaid, cuts to education, tax cuts for the rich, privatizing our highways, breaking his promise & going after women’s clinics, putting Booz Allen Hamilton execs in charge of his drone program, restricting voting rights, etc. etc. etc.

Other than all that, I’m sure he’s a great guy.

AVL LVR April 25, 2014 - 11:54 pm

We cannot mistreat the Governor and expect him to sympathetic to Asheville on the airport and water. The best thing we can do is give him our support and he will give us his.

He IS a swell guy. I have personally met him and his staff. He did what he had to do and a lot of people support him for it. We cannot allow multiple votes or noncitizen votes. I have a right to have my vote counted fairly and not be diluted by someone (usually a Democrat) without an ID voting several times. That restricts my voting rights.

theOtherBarry April 26, 2014 - 1:48 am

Your voting talking points are fantasy. Produce specific examples of “someone without an ID voting several times” or stop spreading that lie. You’re deliberately undermining democracy for partisan gain, and you should be ashamed.

I’ve personally met Gov. McCrory too, when he came to Asheville immediately after being inaugurated. He shook my hand with a grin while I tried to talk to him about the water issue, and he never met my gaze. When I tried to walk away, he wouldn’t let go of my hand. I looked around & realized he was mugging for the cameras: “Look! I’m meeting with the water protesters!” Then he went back to Raleigh & went along with Reps. Moffitt, McGrady, and Ramsey as they tried to strip a municipality of its water system and airport. Nobody “mistreated” him into screwing Asheville, and being nice to him was wasted breath.

Stop acting like this is Asheville’s fault, or that “giving him our support” will yield anything but another boot in the groin. We’re way past that.

ronfwnc April 25, 2014 - 3:23 pm

I’m all for a positive exchange of ideas and a constructive political environment between ideological opponents. But McCrory and his enablers have practiced a scorched earth policy of governance that has adversely affected all North Carolingians, not just the people of Asheville. Forgive me, but I’m not ready to forgive and forget, not while they continue to wield the hammer.

Murphy April 25, 2014 - 6:01 pm


padre35 April 25, 2014 - 11:03 am

I’m glad Gov McCrory showed up at MoogFest despite the flap over invited/disinvited etc.

Asheville is a great town with lots of fun events.

That said, the flap pretty much means not much as politicians deal in power, not right or wrong.

Sean April 25, 2014 - 10:54 am

“And it’s well past time for Asheville and Raleigh to start figuring out how to work together. The divisiveness is getting old, and it’s literally getting Asheville nowhere.”

Disappointing to see you making the same mistake as The Moffitteers on this one.

*Moogfest* dis-invited McCrory. Not the City of Asheville. Representatives of the City, including the mayor, mended fences.

It wasn’t McCrory being brave like the local right-wingers wants to frame it, it was the mayor & city council stepping up and making things right.

Whoever at Camp Moog made that silly decision should be fired. Unfortunately it was probably the boss, Mike Adams.

By trying to frame this as something the city did wrong does a huge disservice to the actual, ongoing problems that we are dealing with from the NCGA.

theOtherBarry April 25, 2014 - 1:08 pm


The City of Asheville has been under assault from Rep. Moffitt, the NCGA and this Governor, and nobody should kid themselves that simply being nicer to them will make them stop shiving us. The handful of Asheville-haters (paid and unpaid(?)) on this thread, demonstrate every day the vitriol and vindictiveness that underlies the current relationship with Raleigh.

I have been, and will continue to be, a critic of the City government when they deserve it. But the organizers at Moog thanked them for the thousands of dollars of public support we coughed up for this festival, by screwing us politically. They owe the residents, taxpayers, and leadership of Asheville a huge apology, if not the return of our money.

Sean April 25, 2014 - 6:16 am

I’m not at all disappointed in the mayor. She chose to rise above the childishness that has pervaded this back-and-forth partisan game that has been going on here for years now. Is the City right on some things? Yes. Is the State right on some other things? Yes. Will the political parties ever get along? No. That’s why there are more than one of them.

Thank you for saying what need to be said, Jason. It’s too bad that the Asheville online Illuminati will trash you for it.

D.Dial April 25, 2014 - 9:05 am

Yes indeed Sean…and thank you Jason for bringing in some reminders of civility. The ongoing divisiveness only hurts Asheville.

theOtherBarry April 24, 2014 - 11:44 pm

Asheville haters will keep beating those drums, no matter what. “McCrory/Moffitt/Asheville-bashing GOOD, Asheville BAD.”

Rinse, repeat.

Moog made a horrible mistake inviting McCrory to come here, the end.

weavervilleman April 26, 2014 - 6:24 pm

I for one am glad. Not everyone is as liberal as you

theOtherBarry April 26, 2014 - 7:40 pm

I for one am glad. Period. Not everyone is as liberal as you.

You’re glad not everyone is as liberal as I am, you’re glad that Asheville-haters are beating those drums, or you acknowledge that it was a mistake to invite McCrory, but you’re glad they did it anyway?

D.Dial April 24, 2014 - 8:56 pm

“The divisiveness is getting old, and it’s literally getting Asheville nowhere.”~~Ash

The demonizing began soon after the NCLEG turnover back in 2011. Never was an opportunity missed to demonize the Republicans by local “leaders.”

So now they’ve reaped what they’ve sown, and there’s no way out. Leaders should be aware of the danger of painting the town into a corner.

D.Dial April 25, 2014 - 11:50 am

I neglected to add…”local leaders” and their “designated mouthpieces” should be aware of painting the town into a corner.

Tim Peck April 24, 2014 - 6:45 pm

Thanks for the level-headedness.

It’s too bad that there are some perennially bitter people who are willing, at the drop of a hat, to sacrifice progress, quality jobs and economic development to spill their vitriolic piss and vinegar.

Frankly, it’s tiresome.

Matt Cooper April 24, 2014 - 7:48 pm

Pot. Kettle. Arsenio.

chris April 25, 2014 - 8:12 am

“…who are willing, at the drop of a hat, to sacrifice progress, quality jobs and economic development”

What an idiotic statement. No wonder people don’t take you or the Gov seriously.

Murphy April 25, 2014 - 10:04 am

This from the same “level-head” that refers to folks with differing opinions as “Lib-tards”… tiresome indeed.

theOtherBarry April 25, 2014 - 1:22 pm

“Honey, Daddy only beats you because you cry.”

roo April 25, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Mr Peck owes Mr Summers fitty bucks for some expert analysis.

theOtherBarry April 25, 2014 - 7:20 pm

I will not accept money that comes from Rep. Moffitt.

Debora Ramirez April 24, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Mccroy is an asshole. Disappointed in Esther. You learned nothing from Obama’s efforts to reach out to these people?

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