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Lurphy DePalma

Larry Halstead is a tech nerd with an affinity for arts & sports. Reppin' the hard streets of South Asheville for almost 15 years. He's made this city home and has vowed to never stop fighting to keep it as weird & unique as possible.

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Mountain Oasis mastermind Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment

Mountain Oasis mastermind Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment

Ashley Capps himself, the man who guided both Moogfest and Mountain Oasis, shares the news that the Halloween weekend electronic music festival is canceled for 2014. Word went out today on the festival’s website and social media channels.

Mountain Oasis 2014 was scheduled for October 24-26 in downtown Asheville. December presale tickets sold out.

Here’s the official announcement:

It’s true.  We’ve decided to press the “pause” button on Mountain Oasis for 2014 in Asheville.  It’s been a difficult decision. We’re very proud of what we’ve created and produced over the past four years in Asheville: Moogfest 2010 – 2012 and Mountain Oasis 2013.  The enthusiasm and response from those who attended and supported those festivals was amazing – a true inspiration for all of us here at AC.

Unfortunately, the success necessary to sustain the venture has eluded us.  And many of the challenges we have faced in producing the festival have increased.  It feels more and more like we’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  So, after four years of considerable investment and hard work, we’ve decided to put Mountain Oasis on hold, while we pursue some exciting opportunities elsewhere.

We want to thank all of the passionate, supportive fans who have attended the festivals, the wonderful artists who have played, and the many enthusiastic supporters in the community who have helped and encouraged us.

We love Asheville.  After a quarter of a century as Asheville’s major concert producer, we’ll continue booking all of the great shows at the Orange Peel and working with everyone at the US Cellular Center to bring top artists and shows to town.  And perhaps, at some point in the future, we will have an opportunity to create another festival that highlights this “mountain oasis.”

Presale refund info here from the Mountain Oasis email sent to fans today:

For those of you that purchased a presale weekend pass for 2014, you will be receiving a full refund including service fees. If you purchased through Ticketmaster, you will be receiving an email from Ticketmaster with full details. If you purchased through the USCC box office, you will need to contact or visit the box office directly to receive more details and your full refund.

Capps is still part of the local music scene, with AC Entertainment booking shows at the Orange Peel and the U.S. Cellular Center/Civic Center. But Halloween weekend will be less lively this year.

More soon as the story develops and we talk with Capps about why the festival was canceled.

Moogfest and Mountain Oasis

Moogfest started in New York City  as a gathering of the electronic music old guard around the work of Bob Moog, the visionary inventor whose synthesizers created the electronic music genre.

Under Capps’ guidance and with Moog Music Inc., Moogfest was reborn in 2010, moving to Asheville, music pioneer Bob Moog’s adopted home. The new Moogfest was a major music festival, turning Halloween weekend downtown into a wonderland of creative costumes, rock stars, glowsticks and pure fun.

Moby raved on Twitter about a delicious vegan meal at Plant, and local band Ahleuchatistas got a mention on NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Brian Eno took a morning walk downtown. Big Boi took the stage. Asheville in its autumn finery was showcased before thousands.

But in 2012 Capps and Moog Music parted ways. Capps talked with Ashvegas in depth about the split here, one that meant that Asheville would be home to two major music events.

Mountain Oasis in 2013, new Moogfest in 2014

Moog Music announced plans for a completely revamped, more SXSW-like Moogfest to debut this April, and Capps held on to an Asheville electronic music festival and to Halloween weekend, taking a new name: the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.

MtnOasis

Mountain Oasis debuted in 2013, barely missing a beat from the previous year and bringing Nine Inch Nails, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bassnectar, Purity Ring and more–along with a six-digit impact on the local economy.

It was hard not to love a festival that had Brian Eno visiting Harvest Records (he was so impressed with the selection he gave the store a shout-out from the stage), and Trent Reznor playing pinball downtown.

And now it’s gone.

Brian Eno at Harvest Records in West Asheville

Brian Eno at Harvest Records in West Asheville

 

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Lurphy DePalma

Larry Halstead is a tech nerd with an affinity for arts & sports. Reppin' the hard streets of South Asheville for almost 15 years. He's made this city home and has vowed to never stop fighting to keep it as weird & unique as possible.

  • 1

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26 Comments

  1. Brent March 13, 2014

    Lots of great memories. Went every year minus 2012. Favorite performances over the years: Massive Attack, Hot Chip, the Eno lecture, Battles, Moby, Amon Tobin, Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Big Boi and last years NIN set. That’s ALOT of great music especially considering many of these are bands that would tend to pass Asheville over in their touring schedule. Looking forward to AC’s big surprise for October

    Reply
  2. JTC March 11, 2014

    This is a bummer, I like Asheville being a music festival destination place, whatever the festival may be. I wonder what their reasoning was for pulling out, didnt mountain oasis sell out all of their tickets?

    Reply
  3. Orbit DVD March 11, 2014

    Is now the time for Orbitfest?

    Reply
  4. Roger Hartley March 11, 2014

    I don’t know. It seemed to me that only one could stand…and that’s what this is about. I’m not opposed to the subsidy but that subsidy worries me a bit about the viability of Moogfest. Did Mountain Oasis get $90k from the county and $80k in money and incentives from the city.

    The only thing I’m disappointed with about Moogfest is the lack of diversity in the line up. No bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Flaming Lips. More indie rock please.

    It appears we will be going all in on this one….and after dropping an open and free Bele Chere. I sure hope this one makes it.

    Reply
    1. JTC March 11, 2014

      amen about band diversity

      Reply
  5. hauntedheadnc March 10, 2014

    It saddens me to watch Asheville’s descent into lameness. If we’re not bitching Bele Chere out of town or trying to NIMBY every new job and building out of town, crap like this is happening. I love this city, but other places are as dynamic, creative, and capable as we can only pretend we are. We could do a lot better for ourselves… if we would only let ourselves.

    Reply
    1. ashevillain March 10, 2014

      How does your statement related to Mtn. Oasis?

      Reply
      1. hauntedheadnc March 10, 2014

        We don’t do enough to hold on to good things in this town and coast on our reputation. If we were as awesome as we like to think, we’d have more and better, bigger festivals instead of losing them one by one or actively driving them out of town.

        Reply
        1. ashevillain March 11, 2014

          AC is the one who canceled, not “us.” (Actually not sure who “we” refers to either).

          Reply
          1. hauntedheadnc March 11, 2014

            Yeah? AC complained about a lack of decent venues, and Asheville can’t get its act together to build a decent performing arts center, when both Greenville and Spartanburg have better facilities than we do — in a supposed city of the arts that ought to be humiliating. But no… we’d rather dither and fret and pay a nonprofit director an enormous salary to not build a performing arts center, while certain politicians tell us that due to peak oil, we won’t need one anyway. And rest assured, the NIMBY’s would fight one anyway, lest it gentrify The Block.

            Likewise, we can’t build a decent arena, and make do with a facility so ugly that you suspect the architect designed it out of sheer hatred for the city.

            Likewise, when something does get to be even reasonably successful, we bitch it out of town as we — Asheville (sorry if there was confusion about that) — did with Bele Chere.

            Likewise, someone could have stepped up before now to help move the festival, or could be fighting to keep and move the festival, to a time when room rates are more reasonable, like September or November. We don’t need a festival in peak leaf season, but one in cheaper, slower shoulder season would be a damn nice shot in the arm. But no… nobody’s fighting, offering anything, or coordinating. We’ll just let it go.

            Lame. I wish Asheville would get its act together on this and multiple other fronts. It’s as if people here like being a backwater.

            Reply
  6. chris March 10, 2014

    This is as disappointing as Moogfest’s lineup.

    Reply
  7. murphy March 10, 2014

    Didn’t Capps “steal” Halloween week from Moogfest when he dropped them to start Mountain Oasis…maybe karma is involved.

    Reply
    1. John March 10, 2014

      No, Capps did not steal Halloween weekend, nor did he drop Moogfest. It is my understanding that Moog Music decided not to renew its agreement with AC Entertainment to use the name “Moogfest”. Therefore, Capps changed the name of the festival and kept it on the same dates.

      Reply
      1. Murphy March 10, 2014

        I stand corrected, if wrong but…

        from the Associated Press:

        The electronic music festival that a company started in Asheville after dropping its work with Moogfest won’t be held a second year.
        The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (http://avlne.ws/1dJa74a ) that promoter A.C. Entertainment won’t hold the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit this year.

        http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NC_MUSIC_FESTIVAL_CANCELED_NCOL-?SITE=NCWIN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

        Reply
        1. Jennifer Saylor March 11, 2014

          Murphy and John, Moog Music Inc. ended Moogfest as it was when Moog Music decided to retain a new promoter and end its relationship with AC Entertainment.

          AC Entertainment had done the heavy lifting of Moogfest in Asheville from the debut in 2010. When Moog split with AC, AC changed the name of the festival to Mountain Oasis and kept the date.

          Moog Music reinvented Moogfest as a more SXSW-like event happening in April 2014.

          I don’t think it’s fair to say AC “stole” the weekend of the event it had created and promoted since Moogfest’s inception in Asheville.

          Not here to defend AC, do think this is an unfair characterization of its actions after the Moog Music decision.

          Reply
          1. Ashley Capps March 11, 2014

            Greetings from SXSW. Thanks, Jennifer, that is correct. We originally conceived of and proposed a music festival to honor the legacy of Bob Moog to his daughter Michelle back in 2007 or so. She introduced us to the folks at Moog Music, and, after some discussions, we agreed to name the festival “Moogfest” and leased the name – originally for 5 years – for $1 each year. Beyond that, we financed the event ourselves and were 100% responsible for booking, marketing, staffing, and all aspects of executing and producing the festival in 2010, 2011, and 2012. We were informed at the end of the 2012 festival that Moog Music wanted to exercise its right revoke our use of the name. That’s when we decided to move forward under the name Mountain Oasis. That’s that.

            Sad in some ways to be letting go of Mountain Oasis, but it was challenging event to produce for many reasons and it was becoming more difficult. Also, due to the limitations in size of the venues and no reasonable outdoor options, it had a limited upside even if it were to be successful. We’re fortunate to have a lot of options on our plate, and we ultimately made the decision that our time, energy, and efforts (at least for now) were best spent on some other projects that we have in the works. But we still love the very special place that is Asheville, we still book the Orange Peel, we’ll still produce shows at the USCC…in fact, I just realized we actually have something pretty special on the books for late October…which is why we had moved Mtn Oasis back to Oct 24 – 26…but that’s another story for another time. Good things will come. Cheers!

            Reply
  8. GMBH March 10, 2014

    There is just not enough money and population in Asheville to sustain the major music festivals that show up here, and we as locals have a hard time supporting more populist street festivals that bring in big musicians (most because their own success makes them uncool—OMG, you mean that the streets are filled with poor strangers?!).

    The sad thing for me is that Asheville is psyched for Moogfest, but it’s not FOR me, or most of the people I know who are excited; we’re too poor to really afford it. It is going to be fun for the types who make 100k and up, I suppose, as they recently released that over half of their patrons were.

    Reply
    1. The Blunder Years March 10, 2014

      It’s a pricey fest, sure, but I don’t think you need to be in the six figure income bracket to afford attendance.

      Reply
  9. BCW March 10, 2014

    I wonder if this is related in any way to the City’s recent push to help subsidize Moogfest? Mountain Oasis was the ‘original’ Moogfest. Perhaps there’s more to the politics of it behind the scenes than we know about on the front side of it?

    Reply
  10. Fred S March 10, 2014

    This is very sad news, further evidence of a NASCAR nation turning its back on art & music. Also an indictment of an increasingly hipster town pricing itself out of an otherwise enormous opportunity to bring outside dollars into the local economy. Asheville, in the thirty-five years I’ve lived here, has shown its propensity time and again to gouge for the short-term gain while sabotaging numerous chances for future returns.

    Reply
    1. The Blunder Years March 10, 2014

      The only entity “turning its back” here is the promoter. They sold out the pre-sale this year and have brought huge numbers to town the past three years. At the risk of stating the obvious, there is something seriously amiss in a business model that sells so many tickets yet fails to even break even. Also, why even bother with a pre-sale this year if there was any doubt? I feel like there’s some political shit going on here that has to do with Moogfest taxpayer incentives.

      I can’t begin to understand the financial logistics of planning and executing something on this scale, but damn, what a clusterfuck. Wonder if Moogfest will be one-and-done? Their ticket prices are far higher than Mountain Oasis.

      Reply
      1. ashevillain March 10, 2014

        Many festivals lose money. I’ve worked on the business end of a few of them and it seems very common.

        As a matter of fact, many businesses (not just festivals), even those that are a going concern, lose money year after year. The business owners undoubtedly have other engagements that make them money.

        Reply
    2. luther blissett March 10, 2014

      I don’t see how you can jump to those specific conclusions.

      Asheville’s venues are tricky for this kind of format, as anyone who went to Moogfest or Mountain Oasis can tell you. While it’s good to have two closely-connected spaces in the Civic Center, the Wolfe Auditorium’s seating isn’t very festival-friendly, and the arena’s terrible acoustics always required a lot of investment from AC Entertainment. And it’s a brisk walk to the Peel.

      When the booking and scheduling falls into place, it’s truly great, but it’s clearly tough to arrange, and doesn’t always work.

      Reply
      1. The Blunder Years March 10, 2014

        Hopscotch seems to work well with similar venue logistics/format, not to mention SXSW and other festivals spread across downtowns in even larger cities than Asheville.

        Reply
        1. ashevillain March 10, 2014

          Yeah, I agree. It has nothing to do with the logistics/format. Hopscotch is A+++ quality…in a bigger city and with 10+ venues. They pull bands of a wider variety of genres and a wider variety of popularity.

          I disagree with luther about the arena’s acoustics. In general it’s not the best sounding room in the city but I have heard some shows with outstanding sound quality/mix there. It’s all in the hands of the sound engineer.

          Reply
    3. DocJ March 10, 2014

      NASCAR Nation? What is this, 2005? NASCAR Nation disappeared years ago bruh. Can’t blame them for turning their backs on the arts when they probably never actually paid attention to them in the first place. Also the hipsters suck but not their fault either. Asheville just isn’t the town for something like this. The prices are sky high for tickets, lodging downtown is not affordable at all, the whole “festival” like idea downtown was doomed to fail sooner than later. Its a shame, I had a great time every year but I was always surprised that it showed back up the following year.

      Reply

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