The Idea

Yes, this is a plea for something. Ostensibly, money. But, I'll settle for just five minutes of your time.

About three weeks ago, in an e-mail chat with a freelance writer in North Carolina, I joked that we should get a local alt-weekly to provide us with press passes to Moogfest. Then, it dawned on me that this is the age of New Media and we wouldn't need to get press passes through any source but ourselves. So was born this project, which is now an crowd-funded project. But first, some detail:

What is Moogfest?

Moogfest is a three-day music festival held in Asheville, North Carolina and is centered on musicians who make use of any of the devices invented and/or perfected by Bob Moog. While many consider it primarily an electronic music festival, there are often bands involved that don't squarely fit that category (this year, for instance, The Flaming Lips).

Last year, the festival drew an estimated 24,000 people to the City of Asheville to see dozens of bands and DJs at pretty much every venue in the town. Hundreds of thousands of words were written, thousands of pictures taken, hundreds and hundreds of shaky, jittery, cell phone videos uploaded to youtube....

And none of it about the 24,000 people.

I'm wanting to change that.

Social History of Hipsterism? Are you serious?

I think there's a story inside music festivals that doesn't involve the artists, the logistics, or the "cultural importance" of the event itself. What's interesting about music festivals is how they've come to dominate the "youth culture" (more on this in a few) scene. There's a social history going on here that isn't even being properly documented, much less considered in the larger scope of cultural history.

What I'm interested in, more than taking pictures of darkly-lit stages filled with smoke and asking Brian Eno yet another banal question about his work, is you (well, assuming you are going). I want to talk to festival-goers and find out why they would scrimp and save the up to $370+ dollars for a pass to the festival, plus pay for travel and lodging (not everyone will fit in the hostel, I imagine).

That money would, over a year, buy a ticket to at least ten or fifteen shows at your local club. Sure, maybe you won't see Suicide or The Flaming Lips or STS9 in your hometown this year, but you will see someone. So, why travel to Asheville for Halloween?

That's the question I want to ask people on the streets as they amble from place to place during the festival. I think it's a far more interesting story than asking a band like Holy Fuck why they chose that name.

So, what do you need from me?

Well, as I said above, ostensibly I need funds to purchase some equipment (I've been more busy with rent and power and children than cameras and trinkets), plus travel expenses and nourishment. After all, this is not being done through any major magazine, or even a minor one, that would pay expenses. We are trying to get the story printed but haven't received any word back yet on it.

I am wanting to document the weekend as text, pictures, audio, and video with an aim to produce content from each independently and together. Ambitious? Sure it is. But I've been saving all my ambition for a project like this for years.

We set a low figure of $3,500 as a goal on our page. I wanted to go higher, my accomplice wanted to go lower. At any rate, we can't do much of anything without getting as close to that figure as possible (unlike, we can keep anything donated, the goal is not a drop dead figure).

What are you asking us to do?

I'd love to ask all of you to chip in $5. Or $10. Or $1,000. But I know that a successful campaign doesn't work like that. The reason crowd-sourced projects work is that they reach a certain cascade point of people visiting the site. To do that, the friends of your friends have to be involved. I can't reach them directly, which is why I'm appealing to you.

Please visit and take a look around. Use the links there to post to your preferred social network (twitter, facebook, etc) or plain, old-fasioned e-mail). Send it to five or six people and ask them to do the same.

And, yes, if you have $1 to spare, that would be great.

What do I get back from this?

Good feelings are the very least of what you can get out of doing something to help. The most would be dinner with me and/or my accomplice in either Asheville or Charleston, South Carolina sometime in the coming year (assuming you're in town - otherwise we hook you up with something else).

You could also wind up with bragging rights that you helped launch an entirely new subsection of cultural research and the career of one of its progenitors.

Hey, anything is possible.

Thank you for the five minutes of your time. If you have questions, /msg or e-mail me (address on homenode).

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