Festival Coverage

Brief History of Moogfest


Moogfest is an annual music, art, and technology festival held in May in honor of Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music. Previously, this festival has been held in Asheville, North Carolina, where Moog spent the last 30 years of his life, but this year will be held from May 19th-22nd in downtown Durham, North Carolina in 17 various locations. The festival will be headlined by such artists as Grimes, Miike Snow, and ODESZA. You can get tickets by going to

Moog developed the first commercial voltage analog controlled synthesizer with Herbert Deutsch in 1964. While there were other synthesizers on the market at the time, Moog’s invention began to rapidly gain popularity after it was showcased at the International Pop Festival of 1967. After that, the sound of his machine gained popularity through the 1970’s and was used to create the sound of crucial albums of the 20th century, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”

Moogfest officially began in 2004 when one of Moog Music’s New York representatives wanted to have a music festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of electronic music. The first festival was held on May 18th, 2004 in B.B. King Blues Club in New York. It was a one night show that sold out in honor of Moog’s birthday. Unfortunately, Moog died the following year, but his friends and coworkers decided to keep the festival going in his honor.

In 2010, Moogfest was moved to Asheville, North Carolina after Moog Music partnered with AC Entertainment, a music promotions group that helps produce other big music festivals like Bonnaroo.  That was also the year it changed from a one day to a three day event, multi-venue festival. It featured artists as Massive Attack, Sleigh Bells, Caribou, and MGMT. 

Moogfest coming to the Triangle is an exciting prospect. It is big and important festival, and being in the Triangle will add to both scenes. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are all rapidly growing urban areas, with new night, social, and music scenes. Moogfest will find an excellent new home here.

– Marissa Jerden, WKNC Co-Public Affairs Director