Moog Cancels Moogfest 2020

Moog Music announced today that they were cancelling Moogfest 2020 and that the annual Moogfest music event is “on hold to focus on the future.”

Here’s what they have to say about cancelling Moogfest 2020 and their future plans for Moogfest:

Moogfest 2020, originally planned for April 16-19, 2020 in Durham, NC, has been cancelled for logistical reasons.

As an organization, our purpose is to create deeply meaningful experiences and relationships in order to continually enrich our creative community. This intermission will be used to focus on the future of Moogfest and to investigate new ways of exploring the future of music, art, and technology.

Since its inception in 2004, the multi-day interactive tech conference and music festival has drawn both musical pioneers and futurist thinkers as Keynote guests in the science and art fields from around the world. Renowned electronic musicians such as Devo, Laurie Anderson, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, Suzanne Ciani, Keith Emerson, Brian Eno, and Giorgio Moroder are among the festival’s past performers. We will continue to support emerging artists, celebrate the musicians who helped shape electronic music as we hear it today, and work diligently to design an event that honors the spirit of Bob Moog and the Moogfest community.

To all attendees, artists, sponsors, presenters, and volunteers: thank you for your support, understanding, and patience as the Moogfest experience continues to evolve.

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Moog Music

Early Moogfests were 1-day events, focusing on celebrating Bob Moog’s work, Moog instruments and Moog players. In more recent years, the event has morphed into a multi-day music festival with a much broader focus,  becoming more of a regional music festival and featuring speakers that are innovators in a wide variety of fields.

Refunds

Moogfest 2020 ticket holders are instructed to email the event organizers at moogfest@moogmusic.com for information regarding obtaining a refund.

 

88 thoughts on “Moog Cancels Moogfest 2020

  1. The reason why is because Moog had a very similar product to the Poly D it was going to release but at a much higher price point….so now they need to go back to the drawing board. That is what a little bird told me.

      1. The Poly D is a 4 oscillator Paraphonic synth not unlike…….. the Matriarch! So no “back to the drawing board.” It’s already out.

          1. Pray do tell about all the 4 oscillator paraphonic monosynths that are so different from each other. The poly d is to the matriarch what the crave is to mother 32.

      2. “You know it’s reliable information when statements end with “a little bird told me”.”
        This is funny as —-! You made my day. 🙂

        Comments like these, are what makes Synthtopia great.

  2. Cancelled for logistical reasons = they are hurting for money.
    Behringer is killing them.
    First the D, then the Poly D, who knows what else they can do at a fifth of the price that Moog could?

    1. Right!
      Never bought cheap copies in the past, will never buy a cheap copy in the future. There is a lot of second-hand Moogs, Rolands, Korgs and Yamahas in decent condition for the same price as new behringer crafts. Or spare and buy new instead of amusing yourself with a thought that you paid twice less for the “exactly like” copy.

  3. Curious if anyone commenting about behringer garbage here has actually been to a Moogfest. Festivals are damn hard to pull off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Moog felt like this festival was growing outside of the original intention of the festival. I could see them scaling this back and going back to the smaller, more intimate festival style they had in Asheville a few years back. I was at the 2014 fest, and it was truly intimate and immersive, and being in Asheville we had a chance to tour the factory, interact with modular vendors, hear Dave Smith and Linn speak, and see Kraftwerk in 3D in a small theater, and Flying Lotus in a small club. In other words, rad as fuck.

    1. Nailed it. Having never gone I thought it was weird (although diplomatic) that competitors also appeared to be at the fest. Plow the money into affordable (or not) 5U and Eurorack modules now. Part of me wonders if Moog One warranty claims have sunk them. It seemed very buggy and hard to repair given its design ethos.

  4. Lots of Ill-informed (at best) comments.

    Moog has been killing it lately, apparently they’ve sold over 1,000 Moog Ones – which is not exactly a loss leader like all the synths that Behringer has made. Behringer’s CEO has basically said that they’re losing money on their synths to price them so that people will want to buy them, because they just want to get into the market.

    Moog is cancelling Moogfest because their former marketing director wanted to make it something about politics and futurism instead of about music, and it wasn’t meeting their goals for growth and getting the audience they needed to justify the types of speakers they were featuring.

    It peaked when it was in Asheville and I think they know it. They need to figure out how to make it about synths again, while also using it as an opportunity to expand the audience of people that are into synths. This is not an easy thing to do in NC, which is sort of a conservative, right-wingish state, so they’ve got their work cut out for them.

    I wish them luck, because at its best, Moogfest was one of the best electronic music events in the world.

      1. Calling someone naive is name calling? It’s pretty naive to think that a company makes products at a loss ‘just’ to get into the market. Behringer is dominating the market, not trying to get into it.

        1. It’s probably naive (at best) to think you have any idea what Behringer’s numbers, strategies, motivations or market ‘domination’ is.

          1. Working at sweetwater I have a pretty good idea of sales numbers we’re having, and Behringer is far, far from getting ‘into’ the market. Strategies under any capitalist system are simple and clear: Make as much profit as you can. That shouldn’t be new to anyone.

            1. Moog operates with under 100 people. Volume is the most meaningless aspect of this conversation. Less than 100 people designed and pumped out thousands upon thousands of Mother 32s and DFAMs at decent profit margins. Compared to one guy raking in the majority of profit while also with magnitudes more labor to distribute the rest to in China at razor thin margins.

              Behringer is low hanging fruit, tastes like shit compared to the ripe Apples. Just ask Adam.

    1. Good for them on canning the out-there marketing director. In this divisive climate music should bridge gaps not create them. It looks like her marketing experience had no concern for the bottom line or existing customers, some of whom may not share her views.

      1. “Good for them on canning the out-there marketing director.”

        Don’t think that’s what anyone said happened, I think that the marketing director just moved on.

        Point is, they tried to turn Moogfest into something bigger than a music festival, but they weren’t getting the attendance to justify the types of speakers that they were getting.

        I think they need to make synths/electronic music the focus again and then try to expand the audience for that.

      1. There is some truth in that though, virtually all of Moog’s videos are done by Women, BAME, or gender unspecific people. It’s really boring when companies are forcing gender and race politics into everything and people are really starting to get sick of it. Even if this isn’t the reason for the festival being cancelled, it will lead to something else, mark my words. Not everything has to be a census !!

        1. DigDog

          “virtually all of Moog’s videos are done by Women, BAME, or gender unspecific people”

          Your insecurities/biases are on full display.

          Any reasonable person viewing Moog’s Youtube page would realize that the videos overwhelmingly feature white men:

          https://www.youtube.com/user/MoogMusicInc/videos

          The company’s videos for the Matriarch and the Grandmother are exceptions, and it sort of makes sense, given the synths’ names, doesn’t it?

          If those videos freak you out, imagine how uncomfortable you’d be if a synth company actually tried to reflect the world’s population, or even just their customer base?

          It also makes sense for Moog to try and do better about recognizing the contributions of women and non-binary people, given the huge contributions that women and non-binary people made to the history of electronic music. At least Moog is trying to be inclusive, which is better than most companies.

        2. Wow. Have you ever found yourself typing “virtually all [insert any other synth company]’s videos are done by cisgender men” into some Internet comment form? If not, presuming you mean what you say here, why?

        3. Uh… people are getting sick of women and minorities? Maybe you are. I’m an older white guy and one of the factors that sold me a Moog synth was how awesome, creative, diverse and inclusive Moog’s presentations are – not from a political perspective, but from a HUMAN perspective.

          Who could be more amazing and captivating than Lisa Bella Donna? Made me go buy a bunch of her music too.

          Refreshing to see someone besides Jordan Rudess (as talented as he is) do product demos!

        4. Everything needn’t be a census but the truth of the matter is non gender specific individuals and heaven forbid women actually create art, contribute to society and live regular often less visible lives than the rest of us.
          Think before you type “It’s really boring when companies are forcing gender and race politics into everything” applies just as equally to a status quo that has done the very same thing for years with predominantly white hetero-normative tropes dominating every major narrative since well …..tell me when it hasn’t.

          1. All the people who replied instantly with their per-programmed replies of horror, You’re missing my point,
            Firstly, I AM A BLACK MAN – a person of colour, a BAME or whatever else you want to add to the list of pigeon holed labels.
            I am not offended that a woman or a trans or whatever is making music, or they might show up demoing a synth. I am offended by the liberal (mostly) whites who push us forward like novelty acts, to be applauded like a mother to her small child with the quiet shout of ‘yayyyy look at the BAME playing the keyboard’. Sure the status of equality has always favored the white male in the past but this is not the way to address that.
            Should we have equality, or revenge ? or should we be pushed forward out of some misguided guilt or trend that does nothing in reality to help long term.

            If I win an EMMY or an OSCAR I want it to be out of hard work rather than making up the numbers of how many Black people should be winning, and I’m sure deep down that goes for all of us.

            So save me your horror and white guilt, treat everybody equal, stop this silly WOKE bullshit.

            1. Sorry DigDog, but you stated “Virtually all of Moog’s videos are done by Women, BAME, or gender unspecific people.”

              That’s just empirically BS and you’re not being misunderstood.

            2. “stop this silly WOKE bullshit”

              Lots of offensive misinformation in your comments. Like suggesting that any time a woman or minority is featured, they’re a token or a novelty.

              The performances featured in Moog’s recent videos – which have included a range of women and minorities – are some of the best demos anyone in the industry has done recently.

              Does anybody really think that the boring dudes featured in most synth promos, or the bad 90’s synth pop background music, are selected based on merit?

      2. Well, I wouldn’t say they “went broke,” but they kind of did what they had to.
        Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
        2016, North Carolina passed a law that people had to use the bathroom of their biological birth. In response, performers started boycotting NC in droves just before Moogfest. They HAD to do something.
        https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mgwbz3/moogfest-lgbtq-law

        But then, for 2018, they went for an all female, transgender and non-binary line up.
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/arts/music/moogfest-2018-female-non-binary-transgender-artists.html

        They had Chelsea Manning speak (who has exactly zero to do with music and synthesizers) and Caroline Polachek pulled out because “Gender is not a genre!”
        https://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/article188551419.html

        So in 2016, I don’t fault Moog at all for their response. Going whole-hog in 2018 was a mistake and forgot it’s about the music, not what’s between your legs.

        1. 2018 was the best Moogfest in Durham; I attended all of them. I went to Moogfest to be surprised by new artists, not to go see synth artists from the 80’s, though they were generally good. I still think having more diverse artists makes for a more interesting festival.

          1. Cool, but not my point.
            Admittedly, I’m and old crumudgen who can’t get excited about anything post 1999.
            And I’m a live-and-let-live libertarian annoyed by social engineering by way of our entertainment.
            Wendy Carlos was the bomb, and her “transition” had nothing to do with her genius and success.

  5. Politics always finds a way… Like dino-DNA in Jurassic Park. Even in a comment about finding an audience of people into synths then labeling the neighboring audience as conservative and right-wing so they may not be the correct audience is pretty funny. Democrats = synths, Republicans = guitars. I think we’ll all be in a way better place when we go back to “No politics-No religion”. Especially when you start creating groups whose political affiliation leans then one way or another in their choice of musical instruments.

    1. I know right? I made my original comment as a joke….make your music political sure, but the instruments themselves? It’s a sad joke. My comment shows how easily people jump into this mentality nowadays.

  6. When did these Behringer Bro-trolls begin to be a thing?
    Anyways, (negativity and sad internet people aside) it’s pretty terrible to see Moogfest go, it was such a good time and such a good crowd with fairly positive vibes.

    1. It’s called astroturfing, an online gimmick to create false consensus. The fact is that few people are buying Behringer’s junk so they have to create a virtual fan club to make the brand seem legit.

  7. Troll or eyeroll, I feel like “Behringerfest” was a pretty obligatory comment in light of all the synth world happenings. It’s the first thing, albeit jokingly, that popped into my head, and I’m not a Behringer fanboy. Maybe making such a comment in Synth Memes would be more apropos…

    I’ve never been to Moogfest, but I was shocked to see that it’s been cancelled.

    1. It was an eyeroll. I’m not a behringer fanboy either, I have a couple, the VC340 and the DM12 and I very much like both of them but I have 7 Moogs at last count. I’d like to get to a Moogfest some day but Knobcon is my go-to.

  8. Life comes at you fast when you’re using an underaged girl as “native advertising” and demonizing straight/white men while pandering to the same 0.02% of the population who cannot afford your products.

      1. I cannot afford a Moog One, though I’m impressed with the sound (because wanting doesn’t result in having, as it turns out). I can’t be the only person in this situation. If I had Moog One money I’d fix my car.

    1. “demonizing straight/white men”

      Any straight white man that feels demonized in this day and age must be extremely insecure – and it’s not because of an electronic music festival.

      Also, it looks like your comment about “0.02% of the population who cannot afford your products” is unintentionally bass-ackwards from what your probably intended to say.

      Sad!

      1. Chiara, is it permissible for a white man experiencing food insecurity to feel insecure? Or, in this day and age, should he feel secure, despite what his belly tells him?

  9. i have a tough time with moog. all this goes with a grain of salt because i know noting of what it takes to operate their company but… i would have like to see the moog poly D years ago, i would have liked to see them scale all of their large format modular down to eurorack and offer all their bigger systems in eurorack format. the only releases from moog that have made me excited have been the DFAM and Matriarch, everything else has seemed very similar and all monophonic, and the One is not even in the discussion at that price. i would love to see them full of fresh energy and and finding their edge because one thing is for sure, with certain products at certain price points i don’t think any of us would buy a competitors product over a moog if we had the choice. hopefully this allows them more time to really think about the future of their company.

  10. It’s more likely they cancelled it because both SuperBooth and Ableton Loop take place a few days later and exhibitors and guests can’t afford to visit all three events at once.

      1. Behringer has been stealing guitar pedal designs for decades. Get out of here.

        Crave == Mother 32 rip off
        DM == Juno rip off

        Neutron and the old MIDI controller Daft Punk used in the 2000s are the absolute only decent things Behringer has ever done, using cheap slaves at that and then snuffing the online presence of their protests so no one hears about what goes on in China’s “Behringer City”. But then they can get their stolen and cheap landfill synths almost at cost and be happy for the few years they work while making awful music.

      2. None ot the above are very original. Deepmind is a kind of updated Juno synth flawed in many ways because of Behringers lack of innovation and knowhow. Crave and Neutron are rehashes of well known synths. And the XR18 is in many ways copied from SM Pro/Soundcraft mixers.

  11. When moog started making synths again I emailed the company as the prices where very high.I got an email from Bob Moog himself which said how for now they where working on production of their present product line etc it was polite and courteous and was a surprise to get.That was early 2000s.I think a lot of companies moog included have not paid due respect to us budget consumers.There are lots of others companies who have seen a gap in the market and catered for it.Moogs are great synths but not at their cost. Moog fest means nothing to me , but the democratising of music by the production of cheaper goods does.When Moog made that Gold plated Voyager to me that was ridiculous .I have owned a rogue and a voyager but have no interest in their products any more.Behringer could pay a licensing fee to synth companies they copy ( per unit) then everyone would be happy .

  12. The “owners” at Moog were disappointed about the profits and christmas was in danger, so they cut the money for this event. By the way, Matriarch is way too cheap if available at all. 🙂

  13. It’s a shame they couldn’t figure out how to scale it down in time for 2020. I also don’t think that Behringwhatever had anything to do with this (contrary to what the expert insiders here are saying), but it certainly doesn’t look good for Moog to cancel the festival so close to the date. To anybody looking for a synth fest to go to in the US, I can’t recommend Synthplex enough. I went last year and it was packed with amazing acts and sessions.

  14. “As an organization, our purpose is to create deeply meaningful experiences and relationships in order to continually enrich our creative community”

    So…. Isn’t that what the Moogfest is all about?
    Run the damn thing, (scale it back if you have to) but don’t let your loyal supporters down!

  15. Moog used to be good. Now they’re just overpriced, elitist and political. But, I still have my Sonic Six and will never part with it.

  16. Here’s my recipe for a great Moogfest:

    3 nights Thurs-Sat
    2 Days Fri-Sat

    Feature things that make Asheville awesome: Moog, Make Noise, local beer culture and great food.

    Thurs night – do a brewery takeover and have an evening of synths and beer. Indie synth artists, taco trucks, gear makers, local brew. Showcase some icons of synthesis.

    Fri and Sat nights – three main shows each night, not 15 shows, and make them a-list electronic acts. Late night sessions feature up and coming synth focused artists or niche acts.

    Fri and Sat days – focus on real masterclasses, rig tours, interviews, demos, etc from the a-list acts and other artists, instrument designers, etc.

    Create a food/drink/synth focal point for eating and meeting people. I went to three Moogfests and there was never a central place to congregate with food trucks and beer. Who wouldn’t want a place to hang out and talk synths over street tacos and a good beer?

    Have some hardcore DIY sessions that anyone can afford. If you can sell 100 $1500 engineer tickets, do that. But it will only ever attract true believers. Do something to expand the audience.

    Limit the event spatially so it’s not too spread out, nobody spends $400 to spend their day walking from venue to venue.

    Moog fest has demonstrated that if can spend a lot of money and have a big event that doesn’t pay for itself. Scale it back – focus on synths and doing a world class synth-focused electronic music festival. Learn how to make a really well-run, focused festival and then grow that organically.

  17. Can I pay for their products with life enriching experiences as well, or do they still cost money? It’s not about wonderful ideals, it’s about the money, otherwise they would roam the streets barefoot, giving away synths to orphans and not selling them to guys who can cough up 35k for a toy like it’s nothing.

  18. How about the enriching experiences of those who can’t afford Moog’s astronomic prices? Behringer put that ancient tech in every kid’s room, while Moog has been milking it for decades. From now on, I will disregard the Moog label, if it’s ten times more expensive and it doesn’t sound ten times better, I will do my part to drive these hypocrites out of the business.

  19. Moog needs to reinvent themselves.. the market segment they are catering to is now vastly more crowded with arguably much better value from more interesting designs, in manifold configurations

    if they really want to grow they should go after the lower-mid range prosumer stuff like korg, behringer, et al

    sadly i doubt they have much interest in expanding in such a way considering their business model – and the ultra expensive boutique stuff may not help them survive through another generation… but i guess we will see

    1. Moog has always had synths across the price range and now probably more than ever.

      I mean the Sub 37 is a full on classic and it’s $1500, but the Sub Phatty was damn fine, too and it was a budget synth.

      Their soft synths are cheap and their Euro synths offer a lot of bang for the buck, too.

      They’re also one of the few synth companies, though, with the reputation to make high-end gear. When you can do that, there will always be cheap imitations, but not everybody wants a cheap imitation. Apple’s done well targeting the profitable slice of the market, and there are examples in every product category.

      Trying to be the cheapest at anything, though, is always a precarious game.

  20. I’m so tired of Behringer trolling, I don’t even care what the company is doing anymore. (yawn) It seems a bit like cars. If you buy one made on Wednesday, you’ll probably get a good one. If its made on Monday or Friday, a few things will probably fall off early. I never had anything from Roland suddenly disintegrate or die 5 minutes after the warranty ran out. The market will decide in the end.

  21. I really wonder on posts like this if B-ringer is paying for online trolls for some of these posts, a la Putin. I mean, it’s possible that people are this enthusiastic about a company that’s selling cheap clones… It’s just kind of funny to me, like people are taking it as class warfare when Moog is actually employee-owned and supporting the community in the US. It’s a shame that they cancelled Moogfest, I’ve known people that have had a great time there.

    1. There’s definitely some serious astroturfing going on in the comment section of any Behringer item, here or on Youtube or wherever. Nobody can be that enthusiastic about cheap cloned junk.

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