Moogfest 2018 Festival Review

The Festival of the Future? Put simply, Moogfest is a festival unlike any other. One part TED Talk, one part that record you discovered in college that blew your mind; the event’s dual focus of Future Thought and Future Sound has made it a beacon for discerning artists and festivalgoers alike.

During the day, theatres, classrooms, and workspaces are filled with lectures and workshops led by artificial intelligence scientists, synthesizer engineers, musicians, and even galvanizing social figures like this year’s headlining keynote speaker, Chelsea Manning. By night, the tech incubator town of Durham, North Carolina, becomes a cyberpunk music festival – robot-accompanied bands, A Clockwork Orange-esque montages, stages resplendent in synths and patch cables – each venue showcasing a multitude of genres, all unified by the artists’ devotion to pushing the envelope.

Moogfest is a truly unique voice in the world of music events and the convention circuit. It’s tailor-made for a crowd whose idea of consciousness expansion is hinged around hard sciences in addition to the optional (and likely) inclusion of substances and metaphysics. But what makes Moogfest special is also what makes its continued existence an uphill battle. It’s disruptive. It’s different. If it survives, it just might set the pace for the future of boutique festivals and broaden the name “Moog” to be more than a beloved synth brand: a stamp of musically-driven, thought-leading excellence.