Moogfest lineup announcement sparks controversy, artist Caroline Polachek cancels performance
Following the recent reveal of Moogfest‘s 2018 initial talent announcement, the festival is facing some backlash over this coming year’s lineup –– from one of the artists topping the bill. Caroline Polachek, formerly of the band Chairlift, listed by her CEP moniker on the lineup, has announced that she will no longer be participating in the festival, pulling out of her performance due to her inclusion on an all female, transgender, and non-gender-binary lineup without her approval. In one tweet, the Brooklyn-based vocalist wrote,
Furious to be (without approval) on an all-female & non-gender-binary announcement list for @Moogfest. Gender is not a genre. I don’t need a sympathy pedestal, esp from a male curator. Take my name off this list and put me in the pit with the boys. pic.twitter.com/6XWcWgldZC
— Caroline Polachek (@carolineplz) December 6, 2017
Moogfest has since responded to Polachek in a statement, clarifying their intention and thanking her for her honest expression. Read the festival’s full statement below:
We apologize for reframing you in a way that takes focus off of your artistry and talent and we regret that you will no longer be taking part in Moogfest 2018.
Today’s lineup announcement was inspired by and coincided with Always On, a celebration of voices that are traditionally underrepresented. Our intention is to showcase an initial lineup that further amplifies those voices while supporting others in a way that challenges the manner in which festival lineups are typically presented.
We believe that using our platform to center women, non-binary and transgender people is an important tool to combat the erasure and invisibility that can occur when these identities are kept on the periphery. Please know that no musician was booked for Moogfest for any reason other than their own unique artistry, and today’s announcement is just phase one of our 2018 lineup. As always, the full Moogfest artist roster will be a diverse lineup of talented performers across a wide spectrum of gender, culture and politics.
Thank you for your honest expression. Thank you for your willingness to hold us to a higher standard. Thank you for starting this conversation.
PS. Moogfest is not curated by a man, it’s curated by a diverse group of people that work together as a team. There is not a single person, nor a single man that’s in charge of curating this event.
Love, Team Moogfest”
Moogfest takes place in Durham, North Carolina from May 17 – 20, 2018. The phase one announcement also includes performances by SOPHIE, Fawks, Jamila Woods, and Gavin Rayna Russom of LCD Soundsystem, along with a keystone presentation by privacy rights activist Chelsea Manning.
Featured Image: Karsten Moran