I received the fateful email from Moogfest on Tuesday. In it, the thought of buying that first tier pass when it was released evaporated in a puff of economics. The Moogfest for 2016 will take place in Durham, NC as the Moog Foundation have indicated in the months leading up to this announcement. When the smoke and dust cleared from the last Moogfest in 2014, the Moog Foundation announced that the festival had gone into the red to the tune of $1.5M and without further subsidizing by the local Buncombe County government, who did put up $180K worth of support for the last Moogfest, the organizers have made good on their talk of moving the event to Durham.
The $250K that the Moog Foundation requested after the losses were tallied in May of 2014 was subsequently denied by the local Buncombe Country Culture and Recreational Authority. At that point, the writing seemed to be on the wall as to whether another festival would be held here. CEO Michael Adams called the money they did get a “token gesture” and when Moog Music made headlines a month or two ago when the CEO made the company an employee-owned enterprise, I held out the hope that the move to Durham was still on the fence, but that seems to have been a foregone conclusion.
Durham resides in the “Research Triangle” in the middle of the state. The thought is that tech companies [that don’t exist in Asheville] will be more likely to pony up dollars to support the event and get some mindshare in the process. Asheville’s big problem was that Moog Music was pretty much the only tech company in this sleepy, rural town. The sort of music that Moogfest attracted was also at odds with the “O, Brother Where Art Thou” local music scene where listening to the same “old timey” music that your grandpappy liked is somehow okay. So I get it. It stinks, but I get it.
So when the email arrived on Tuesday, I most certainly did not jump on that $99 3 day pass release for the event, now scheduled for May 19-11, 2016. After attending the last complete Moogfest, I was ready to buy that ticket right then and there, but it all falls apart when I have to factor gas/food/lodging to another city [one I’m not particularly enamored of, for what it’s worth] into the equation. Attending Moogfest 2014 was one of the best things that had happened to me. Sure sure; the headliners were fine, but it was the bands I had never heard of who hit me with tremendous impact in a way that rarely happens with age and experience. Even so, going to that for five days required pacing and strategic sleeping. It was not uncommon for me to nip home for a few hours sleep before the next day started it all over again. When it was over I was tired… but elated. It was a feast of music that gave me much more than the cost of the ticket.
The idea of going through that, at great cost, in a foreign city is off putting, so unless that drop a roster that includes some heavy hitters [John Foxx + The Maths, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Heaven 17] I can’t imagine putting myself through that it will cost; mentally and financially, to attend the next one in any way, shape, or form. With my luck, Foxx won’t be a blip on the radar, any way. I’ve already flogged that dead horse with the Moog Foundation and the promoters. Kids today? They don’t know from John Foxx! So I’m resigned to my fate. But what I’ll miss the most will be the types of discoveries where groups like YACHT and Escort hit like lightning bolts from the blue and delivered the sort of thrills that one rarely gets from music, being old and jaded as I am.
But don’t let me stop you! If attending Moogfest in Durham sounds like the thing to you, then by all means click here and buy a $99 three day pass at the first tier special pricing. Once the undisclosed allotment is gone the price will only ratchet further and further up over the next ten months.
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