For those of us in Birmingham, a mere five hours away the five day electronic music festival that The Guardian describes as "so irreproachable it's basically absurd", is being held in Asheville, NC. The Festival named after Robert Moog, creator of the legendary Moog Synthisizer, is celebrating its fifth year in the city that Rolling Stone dubbed "The New Freak Capital of the South" with synthpop pioneers Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys, as well as contemporary acts like Flying Lotus and Holly Herndon.
The tagline of Moogfest is the synthesis of technology, art, and music, essentially, the ideals of Robert Moog. Spread across multiple venues in the heart of downtown, the festival offers both daytime and night passes, as well as various specialized tickets at a higher price point. These include VIP treatment, as well as an Engineer package (that is already sold out) which includes two three hour courses where participants get to build, modify and take home their very own unreleased Moog synth.
During the day various presenters will be featured, such as Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, Simpson's writer and Futurama Producer David X. Cohen, among others, at various venues. Saturday will have the Moog Film Festival at the Orange Peel showcasing Nicholas Winding Refn's synth-laced classic Drive and the 2002 remake of the Russian classic Solaris, presented by Cliff Martinez, who scored both.
When the sun goes down, the shows start. As mentioned already, Kraftwerk will be handing out cardboard glasses for their 3D show that the Chicago Tribune described as "a merger of futurism and nostalgia, the avant-garde and bubblegum" when the German electronic music forefathers performed at the Riviera back in March. Other acts include Slow Hands, Com Truise, Darkstar, RJD2, The Crystal Ark, Salva, just to name a few.
"You’re talking about how technology can allow us to creatively express ourselves," Emma Parker, Moog Brand Director told the Guardian. "That's the same conversation that Bob started having in 1954 when he started Moog, it's the same conversation we're having at Moog music today and it's the same conversation they're also having at places like MIT and Oxford and Google and Microsoft. We’ve invited two hundred or so folks - artists, musicians, panelists, inventors, electronic musical instrument manufacturers, futurists, ethicists - all together for five days to have that conversation in one little town in North Carolina."
Moogfest starts today and goes through April 27.