This year, Moogfest is coming back with its 11th installation. This will be the second consecutive year in Durham, North Carolina. Following a successful inaugural year in the Bull City, excitement is high for an even better second year. The festival is renowned for its emphasis on the technology and culture behind its unique music. As of last year, Moogfest took on a brave new role. The organizers have taken an adamant stance against the inequalities imposed on the LGBTQ community in North Carolina with its HB2 bill. Now in 2017, many surrounding states are trying to implement similar bills into their legislature and Moogfest is pushing back even more. The minds behind one of the United States’ brightest festivals has penned an open letter against these oppressive laws which can be read below:
Once again, we are stunned by discriminatory politics in our beloved home of North Carolina and across the U.S.
Last March, North Carolina state legislature passed House Bill 2, a law that enables discrimination across gender, sexual orientation, and class. Specifically, the law eliminated past protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, stripped local government control over minimum wage, removed the right to sue for discrimination at the state level, restricted city councils ability to protect local residents from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and barred transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender they were born with.
Moogfest took an immediate stand against the law, reaffirmed our commitment to protest inequality, and offered a safe space for all artists, fans, and visitors who attended. This past December, despite the ongoing work of our community and our allies, lawmakers failed to repeal the law.
Now, as we prepare for the 2017 festival, we are faced with new and mounting concerns. Lawmakers in Texas and Kansas have taken steps toward enacting laws similar to HB2. And in his first few days in office, the 45th president has taken actions, such as the travel ban, that threaten our foundational beliefs and intimidate members of our diverse global network of thinkers and makers. But we are not afraid. We are not hateful. We are alive in our mission to bring the dream of a more equal society to all humans. We seek out facts, respect evidence-based science, and welcome a wide-open worldview. We believe this base of knowledge powers creativity, imagination, and innovation.
We stand with the millions who marched on January 21st in cities around the world for the rights of women. We fiercely support the march’s mission of standing “together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” We also stand with those who have been continuing to protest over the last few weeks. The intersectionality of those participating in these protests makes it clear that we cannot turn inwards, and we cannot exist solely for the individual. As said by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while behind bars for protesting in Birmingham, AL, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
We are inspired by this movement and the spirit of those that came before it. The fight against inequality echoes our own mission to design radical instruments for change and reflects the legacy of Bob Moog, the inspiration behind Moog who believed that true innovation comes through collaboration, not exclusion. Moogfest is transformed, by the urgency of our times, and we invite you to keep marching with us into the future.
• Write to North Carolina politicians to share your love for the people of our state and your strong opposition to HB2 and other discriminatory laws. You can write your own or use this form from Equality NC or this form from Democracy.io.
• Join us at Moogfest 2017 and attend the Protest Stage, a dedicated space for resistance. As one of our key themes this year, Protest will also be brought to life through workshops, installations, conversations, and masterclasses. We will stand in full accord with artists from various communities to collectively celebrate inclusivity and elevate the fight against discrimination here in North Carolina and across the world.
Participating artists on the Protest Stage will be announced soon in our weekly newsletter, Future Thought Future Sound. Sign up here.
– Your friends at Moogfest
(Originally published on The Amalgam)