Huge loss for the NC mountain music scene, huge win for the Triangle’s.
By Uncle Blurt
Your ol’ Uncle always had a great time at the annual Moogfest electronic festival in Asheville – at least while it lasted. The 2010, 2011 and 2012 events in the fall were among the best festival experiences North Carolina had ever provided for music nuts, but due to creative differences between the Moog Music folks and festival booker/promoter AC Entertainment (also co-producer of Bonnaroo) it was killed in 2013, with ACE going on to stage the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in its place and Moogfest, after taking a year off, resuming operations in the spring of 2014. But neither did all that well, and in 2014 the Mountain Oasis festival did not take place, with Moogfest opting to cancel plans for 2015.
Rumor recently began to swirl, however, that with the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill suddenly “the” hot spot for music and the arts communities, Moogfest had entered into negotiations with some unnamed partners to bring it to Durham for 2016. An Asheville source close to the scenario has informed BLURT that those rumors “are probably true” and that an official announcement will be coming “very soon.” Our source added that some details have yet to be worked out, but the ability to draw heavily from the entire Triangle area for festival-goers is the key here, what with the Asheville community’s apparent unwillingness – ticket sales-wise – to support the event heavily.
It’s clearly a huge loss for Asheville and the mountain music scene; after all, Moog Music is located in downtown Asheville. But it’s a big win for Durham and the Triangle; for several years the fall Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh has done moderately well, if not exactly gangbusters, while for two years running the annual International Bluegrass Music Association’s “World of Bluegrass” festival has been a huge success.
It won’t be the first time Moogfest has relocated, incidentally: the first few years were in New York City. But when it was restarted in Asheville with the participation of AC Entertainment, by all accounts it was a significant kicking-iinto-high-gear. Watch this space for more details as they emerge. Additional reading:
Mountain Xpress: “Moogfest won’t happen in 2015, plans to return in 2016”
Indy Weekly: “Moogfest seeking move to Durham in April 2016”
Mountain Xpress: “Moogfest reportedly considering move to Durham”