The much-anticipated art and technology festival known as Moogfest takes over downtown Durham May 19-22. We'll update this post regularly during the festival with photos, stories and other updates.
It's raining. Boo. But there's still a ton of excitement in downtown Durham as crowds begin to gather at outdoor exhibits and inside music and tech workshops. Here's the full lineup for the day. And check out some shots from around Durham:
"Future Cities" kicked off the daytime lineup at Moogfest. Check out our recap of the town hall discussion between a trio of city planners and NPR's Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.
Realiti: Inside the music of Grimes
Canadian electronic musician Grimes is known for doing it all—writing, engineering, producing and performing her work, in addition to filming her own music videos single-handedly. While she's performing Friday night at Motorco, a festival-long installation outside Carolina Theatre lets attendees interact with her track Realiti using Microsoft Kinect technology. Interactions with hardware cause various sounds and images to appear.
Anti-HB2 Open Mic at Moogfest
The rain didn't stop an open mic session from happening outside the Carolina Theatre. Moogfest encouraged attendees, artists and downtown Durham residents and workers to take the mic and have an open dialogue about the bill. Speakers ranged from a Moogfest organizer to a leader of an LGBTQ group in Durham to a man who was present at the Stonewall riots of 1969. Most speakers opposed the legislation.
American Underground @Main
A committee made of up startup community leaders affixed decals like these to the sidewalks around Durham, letting guests know various fun facts about the city and its tech community.
Aloft Hotel Musical Playground
The Cage at American Tobacco Campus
The Power Plant at American Tobacco Campus
More photos of the Moog synth-building workshop, which continues Friday:
For context, check out our coverage leading up to the fest:
Moog is pronounced Mogue (like vogue). I learned this after incorrectly pronouncing it "Mooog" in front of some fanboys last year. It's the last name of the godfather of electronic music movement, a New York man named Robert Moog who designed and manufactured electronic instruments in the 1950s and the first synthesizer (called the Moog) in 1963. He eventually left the company and moved to Asheville, where he continued to design instruments for other companies.
In 2002, he regained rights to the name Moog Music and grew the business in the mountain town until his death in 2005. It lives on today in a building you'd recognize just north of downtown Asheville—a large Moog synthesizer is painted on the exterior. The company makes and sells a variety of synthesizers, theremins, guitars, controllers and other gear, and is still recognized as a leader in the electronic music industry. It also gives free factory tours.
The festival began in New York in 2004 to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Moog Music.
Moog Music Inc. gathered city and startup community leaders on the American Tobacco Campus (owned by ExitEvent parent Capitol Broadcasting) in May 2015 to make it official after months of speculation and rumors. The Asheville-based maker of the synthesizer, which took over operations of the namesake festival from promoters in 2014, will move its event to downtown Durham in hopes of wooing major technology companies as sponsors and giving local innovators a global stage for which to talk about their projects, companies and inventions.
Welcome to Moogfest, where fascinating individuals and controversial topics take center stage in an international-in-scope festival all about the future and intersection of music, art and technology.
Moogfest is out with new details about the art installations, exhibits, discussions and workshops hosted by a group of prestigious organizations that range from RTP, Burt's Bees, IBM and Duke University locally to the MIT Media Lab, Google and Kickstarter.
For a hint at what Moogfest is all about, read Editor Laura Baverman's take on Moogfest in Asheville in 2014.
And here's a video of a talk by Moog organizers at American Underground earlier this year: