The walk between Moogfest’s U.S. Cellular Center and the much more intimate Orange Peel is approximately 18 minutes. Not too bad in festival terms, and instead of battling the hoard during that time, the hike is better spent grabbing a handmade crepe, petting some puppies, watching a few buskers, indulging in some fine chocolates, and/or sharing some stories over a microbrew with a local. Okay, so maybe the walk can end up taking closer to an hour.
That is part of the charm around Asheville. Void of the chains that clutter most downtown skylines, Asheville runs at its own comfortable pace. Unlike major metropolis like Chicago, New York, Miami, and L.A. that seem to frown on the influx of visitors for music festivals, Asheville locals are inordinately helpful; always down to give directions and even offer a few recommendations based on the route. Major streets remain barricaded yet the city acts over-joyed to host thousands of wandering, costumed miscreants. The actual performances don’t start until after 7 p.m., but attendees converge on the downtown area early to grab lunch, check the work of the city’s many artisans, pick up a few extra essentials for a Halloween outfit, or peruse the Moog Factory and the multiple nearby record shops. All of this brings valuable funds to the area, which helps maintain the beauty and public art spaces.
Bob Moog may be best known for the technological advances he made to music, but like the city which houses his factory, it is based in a simplified beauty. Take a moment to examine the Minimoog Voyager Old School; it has dozens of knobs and is capable of making thousands of sounds, yet it does so much within a handsome, compact casing. This aesthetic is also the base for the type of artists that perform each year to celebrate Bob Moog. The lineup is diverse, but all of the talent is humble in their boundary defying abilities. Not all of the artists in the 2012 installment employ synthesizers as a major live tool, but there is a shared appreciation for the crossroads of art, technology, artistic freedom, and the subsequent synergistic beauty.
Senior Staff Writer