Ashley Capps, the man behind Moogfest, provides the “AC” in AC Entertainment.
Capps responded to our questions over his company’s recent split from Moog Music as the promoter of Moogfest.
AC Entertainment is a music promotion company out of Knoxville. According to Wikipedia, it co-produces Bonnaroo and Vegoose (both with Superfly Productions) and is the talent buyer for the Orange Peel.
Until just this month, in the biggest music news of the year, AC Entertainment was the promoter of Moogfest.
Here’s Capps’ responses to our questions about the Moog Music split, and information about 2013’s new Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, the new festival AC Entertainment will produce in Asheville next year.
Is there an approximate date for the 2013 Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit?
For the moment, we are still focused on the last weekend in October. But we are always brainstorming and re-evaluating our events and looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone. We love the Halloween weekend component, but we recognize too that October is peak tourist season in Asheville, which brings an additional set of challenges. Plus, we continue to discuss creating an outdoor component to the festival, which clearly suggests another time of year. Maybe we ultimately grow this into two festivals, each with its own unique character. We’ll see.
How will this festival be different from Moogfest?
Well, the team that conceived, created, produced, booked, publicized and marketed Moogfest in Asheville in 2010, 2011, and 2012 is the exact same team that will be behind Mountain Oasis. So, from our perspective, it’s really only a name change, although we always have exciting new ideas that we hope to incorporate each year. So while we will continue to evolve the festival programming and experience, we will continue to focus on the core principles and values that have guided us from the beginning.
What do you think is an ideal outcome as Asheville hosts electronic music festivals from AC Entertainment and Moog Music in 2013?
Our goal is always to create the most engaging and exciting festival experience that we can imagine and produce. So, as always, our ideal outcome is to create an experience that the artists and the fans enthusiastically embrace. After all, it’s ultimately about the artists and the fans. What we create is highly influenced by the feedback and input that we get from them, and their response to the festival is really the final word, isn’t it?
Why did AC Entertainment decide to hold its own festival after Moog Music made its decision to seek another promoter?
As noted above, we’re really simply continuing to hold our own festival. We’re not creating a new festival – we just had to rename the old one. We licensed the name “Moogfest” from Moog Music, and they helped on some of the panels that we presented. And we always asked them for and were open to their ideas. But we conceived, funded, booked, and oversaw virtually every detail of what was known as Moogfest in Asheville for the past three years. It’s an event we truly love. It’s a wonderful weekend in one of our favorites cities on the planet, and the overwhelming enthusiasm from the fans in response is what we live for. We didn’t want to walk away from that…we wanted to continue to build upon it.
I wrote that the new Mountain Oasis event “can never offer the spiritual, emotional and intellectual appeal to electronic music fans or performers that a tribute to the great Bob Moog did.” What’s your response to that?
I hope you are wrong about that. We were certainly proud of that association, however. When we first conceived of this event, we approached Michelle Moog-Koussa first. Bob Moog had died about a year before, she had formed the Bob Moog Foundation, and we felt that celebrating his extraordinary legacy and inspiration was a beautiful thread around which to build this festival that we were imagining. At the time, we had other names in mind, but we wanted this to be an important facet of our event. Perhaps there will continue to be a way to acknowledge his influential role in music history as well as in Asheville’s creative community with Mountain Oasis. I hope so.
What will Mountain Oasis offer Asheville’s local music scene?
Well, we want to engage at a deeper level with Asheville’s creative community in general. We’ve taken tentative steps in that direction in the past, but we would really like to see this develop further. We’ve had some ongoing conversations with a number of potential partners based in Asheville–during the past few years but especially in the weeks leading up to the latest edition–that could help us do this. It was great seeing the acknowledgment and attention that Ahleuchatistas received from NPR this year. We hope to provide more opportunities like that…and not only for the music scene.
Anything else you want to say to Asheville, and our readers?
I suspect many are tired of hearing me say how much I love Asheville, but I do and so does my team. We’ve been presenting shows in Asheville for over a quarter of a century, going back to the mid-1980s. We booked the national acts at Be Here Now during the 1990s and have done the same at the Orange Peel since it opened in 2002. And we’ve presented countless shows during that time at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and the Arena. We’re very passionate about what we do and it’s so rewarding to be able to do it in a community that embraces it with an equal passion. It inspires us to want to explore some other ideas as well.
Follow Capps on Twitter as @ashleycapps, and follow the new Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit here and here.
Great interview Jason. You asked the types of questions that I would want to. I think having MOEMS and Moogfest compete against each other would be a good thing.