Durham lands major electronic music festival

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Durham will play host to Moogfest, a popular electronic music festival, in 2016.

"The entire world is beating its path to Durham," Mayor Bill Bell said during the announcement.

The announcement was made this afternoon by city leaders and comes a year after the festival went on break to become a biennial event. The festival will be held May 19-22, 2016.

No lineup has been announced yet but early-bird tickets going for $99 sold out less than an hour after the announcement was made. Pre-sale tickets are still available for $200. (Passes for the 2014 festival retailed for $299.)

Past performers have included M.I.A, The Naked and Famous, Moby, TV on the Radio and The Flaming Lips.

Moogfest is named after Robert "Bob" Moog who invented the Moog synthesizer and is considered to be the father of electronic music. The festival was previously held in Asheville where Moog spent the last 30 years of his life. From 2004 to 2008 the festival was held in New York City.

An urban music festival, Moogfest concerts will take place across a variety of downtown Durham venues and organizers say next year's festival will have an extra focus on technology and innovation to honor Moog's pioneering spirit.

"This is an event that brings creative and technology leaders together," said Adam Katz, president of Moogfest.

On top of music, the 4 day event also includes speakers, panels and art installations. New original works and technologies will also be debuted during the event.

The city of Asheville received international praise while it hosted the event. "Like Austin, home to SXSW, Asheville is becoming famous for its cultural event Moogfest," wrote the British newspaper The Guardian.

Last held in 2014, the festival lost $1.5 million according to a grant application made by organizers. Despite the loss, area leaders say the festival had a $14 million dollar economic impact on the region. The Asheville Citizen-Times says Moogfest and Asheville received 1.3 billion mentions from media outlets worldwide during the festival.

Moogfest 2014 featured more than 100 bands and 105 speakers at 20 different venues. Some 7,000 passes were sold and more than 25,000 people attended free performances.

Street scene from Moogfest 2014 in Asheville.

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