From the viewpoint of one attendee of Moogfest 2011 (me), here are twenty-one awards from Moogfest 2011:
1. Best Music Technology Immersion Award – The Moogaplex: Not only a synth-geek haven (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but three full afternoons of great insight into the past, progression, and future of music technology. And the workshops weren’t just a Moog commercial – they included modular synth designers, software synth designers, notable sound designers, Moog engineers, musicians, notable individuals from the historic early years of synthesizer history, the list goes on … with the whole thing hosted by The Bob Moog Foundation (more about the foundation below).
2. Best 2011 Addition Award – The Food Trucks at the Animoog Playground: Nom Nom Nom!! Bring these back next year! In fact, bring back more and have them available more places downtown – and keep them open until 3am!
3. Coolest Performance that you probably didn’t see Award – Tara Busch’s live film scoring at the Fine Arts Theater: If you missed this, you missed something special. The lovely and multi-talented Tara Busch performed original soundtrack music live for two short films. Please, Moogfest, schedule more of this next year!
4. Best On-Stage Vintage Synth Collection Award – Neon Indian: Sequential Circuits Six-Trak, Korg MS-20, Roland SH-101, Roland Juno-60 … NICE!
5. Best Keyboard Stands Award – Chromeo: But then again, Chromeo has had the most awesome keyboard stands for years now.
6. Unsung Visual Hero Award – Whoever was doing the visuals at The Orange Peel: Whoever was running the VJ booth at The Orange Peel – you rocked! The visuals added so much to the shows there, but I’m afraid that many concertgoers thought that the lights and video were provided by the individual acts.
7. Ultimate Multimedia Achievement Award – Amon Tobin: ISAM: Quite simply a stunning execution of video and sound combined. Wow.
8. Most Surprising Performance Award – Moby: I’m not sure what I expected, but Moby went all-out and delivered something way better.
9. Show I Most Wished I Hadn’t Missed Award – Suicide: I really wish I hadn’t missed this rare opportunity to see these electronic legends. Seemed like everyone was talking about this show afterward – I’m happy for the people who were fortunate enough to make the show.
10. Coolest-Looking Bikes Award – The Butterfly Bikes at the Animoog Playground – What a great fun visual and interactive element for this Moogfest performance venue.
11. People-Flow Nightmare Award – the crowd going from Moby to Flying Lotus: “Standing room only” shouldn’t have to mean the corridor between venues.
12. Costume I Didn’t Need To See 2 Years In A Row Award – the dude in the green open-front leotard: Time to retire the costume, enough is enough.
13. Best Combination of Coffee & Books – Malaprops: Thanks for being on the way to the next show most of the time!
14. Most Difficult to Photograph Award – Ghostland Observatory / Crystal Castles (tie): Dear Ghostland: Keeping the stage bathed only in red light makes picture taking really difficult, regardless of the sheer awesomeness of your laser arsenal. Dear Crystal Castles: If you never hold still, it’s really hard to get a decent picture of your awesomeness!
15. Most Annoying Concertgoer Award – Girl On Her Cell Phone During The Show!: Dear young lady who insisted on trying to carry on a cell phone conversation while in the middle of the floor crowd at Asheville Civic Center during a show – hang up or go somewhere else!
16. Most Inaccurate Festival Portrayal by the Press Award – MoogFest = Marijuana use: The truth is I haven’t visited any other city with more head shops downtown. I’m pretty sure they didn’t open just for Moogfest. Overall, I’d say that I witnessed less of this going on at Moogfest shows than other concerts I’ve attended
17.Best After-Hours Food Award – Lexington Avenue Brewery: THANK YOU for being open and serving food long after most places were closed. Not only that, but my food was DELICIOUS! I’ll definitely be back multiple times next Moogfest.
18. Most Memorable Breakfast Award: City Bakery’s Espresso & Stuffed French Toast: What a delicious breakfast. And Wi-Fi too! Great, sunny atmosphere and friendly staff.
19. Most Mind-Expanding AND Entertaining Lecture In Recent Memory Award – Brian Eno’s Illustrated Talk: I couldn’t possibly do Eno’s lecture proper justice here. Thought-provoking, philosophical, funny, enlightening, and surprisingly edgy at times, it was all kinds of excellent. Oh, and bonus points for creative use of overhead projector and transparencies.
20. Most Regrettable Hours Of Operation Award – YMI Cultural Center: I figured I would go see the Eno exhibit on Monday (the day after MoogFest) before I had to head to the airport for my flight. Alas, the YMI Cultural Center is closed on Mondays. I can’t help but think I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. Knowing there were still plenty of Moogfest attendees in town for at least part of the day Monday, maybe the hours could have been altered.
21. Most Awesome Piece of Moogfest 2011 Memorabilia – A One-of-a-kind Moog Voyager Autographed by Moogfest Artists! – This fabulous collectible piece of Moogfest history will be given away. For a chance to win, support the Bob Moog Foundation’s “Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool” program. Under the direction of Michelle Moog-Koussa (Bob Moog’s awesome daughter), the Bob Moog Foundation continues to make its vision a larger reality by bringing a unique program that combines creativity, music, and technology to inspire children all over the USA to pursue creative and inventive career paths. If you’re a fan of Moogfest, music, or simply want our kids and our country to have a better shot at being successful in the future, then go to the Dr. Bob’s Sound School project at IndieGoGo and help the cause with any donation between $5 & $1,000.
Have a few of your own ideas for Moogfest awards? Let’s hear ‘em!