If you are looking to get out of town this Halloween weekend to avoid the crush of Colbert/Stewart fans, Marine Corp Marathon runners, and trick-or-treaters (have I left anything out?) then might I suggest that you hop on a bus, train, or plane down to scenic Asheville, North Carolina for MoogFest 2010. Trade the Comedy Central rallies’ rumble for the large-scale trip-hop of Massive Attack. Leave those marathon runners behind for an evening with Thievery Corporation. Pull a trick this year instead of giving out treats and head to North Carolina to witness the large-scale weirdness of MGMT.
MoogFest 2010 is a three-day music festival taking place in multiple indoor venues in downtown Asheville on October 29, 30, 31. This unique festival is designed to celebrate the life, inventions, and influence of sonic innovator Robert Moog by inviting over 20 world-renowned, electronic music acts to perform over the course of this weekend. Robert Moog was the inventor of the Moog keyboards and synthesizers, a true music pioneer whose inventions have enabled thousands of musicians to push the boundaries of sound for decades. Asheville, NC is where Moog based his business and his home for the last 30 years of his life.
Every year, there are many Moog Fests around the world dedicated to Moog and his instruments. These specialized events are usually smaller and intended for die-hard Moog enthusiasts. This year the Moog Institute in partnership with AC Entertainment (the organizers of the Bonnaroo Music Festival) have decided to combine all of these smaller Moog festivals into one gigantic celebration of electronic music and sonic exploration. MoogFest 2010 is a high-profile gathering of electronic artists and musically innovative Pop acts that is going to prove to be one of the most interesting, large-scale festivals of the year.
Most of my personal travel is based around music performances in other states, cities, and countries. Traveling to attend a music festival or rare performance in another place is the ultimate in destination travel as far as I am concerned. As a concert MoogFest 2010 offers an ideal scenario for both die-hard music fans, casual concert goers, and those looking for a reasonable getaway from DC for the weekend.
MoogFest’s organizers have put together one of the most considered and interesting festival line-ups of 2010. Working with the theme of Moog’s spirit of sonic innovation, the organizers have hand picked a line-up of legends (like Massive Attack, Devo), weirdo Pop stars (like MGMT, Hot Chip), hot electronic acts (like Sleigh Bells, Neon Indian), and underground artists (like Headtronics, Emeralds) who all defy being pigeon-holed in one simple genre. In addition to the late nights full of amazing music, the Moog Institute has organized two afternoons full of panels and demonstrations about Robert Moog and the history of his instruments. For a full line-up of acts check out the MoogFest 2010 schedule page. For a major festival, the line-up really is pretty amazing; it offers diversity in its big name acts while also embracing the electronic underground.
The entire festival takes place in downtown Asheville, spread over three indoor venues each night. MoogFest has even organized a couple of after-hours nightclubs to keep the party going long into the night. The beauty of this festival lay-out is seeing bands in top-notch venues rather than make-shift tents; in other words the music is going to sound phenomenal. By setting things indoors, MoogFest organizers have also taken the unpredictable elements out of the equation (something many other festivals are often adversely affected by). A weekend full of great bands, great sound, and not getting caught in the rain or cold sounds like a good deal to me.
Enjoy a couple of my recommendations for each night. Even if you don’t make it down to MoogFest, each of these acts is worth checking out sometime.
The Octopus Project
Devo (receiving a lifetime achievement award)
Saturn Never Sleeps