Durham, N.C. — Hip hop artist and activist Talib Kweli and Syrian musician Oman Souleyman will be among the artists opening the 2017 edition of Moogfest in downtown Durham.
The annual festival devoted to art, music and technology has designated its main stage on opening night on May 18 as a Protest Stage, with performances, talks and technology experiments.
The festival runs May 18-21 at various downtown Durham venues.
Local performers playing the protest stage include Raleigh native Mykki Blanco, a noise rap poet and performance artist, and Raleigh-based punk band Pie Face Girls. Also on the bill is British DJ and producer Bearcat, who is known for making politically-charged bass-heavy mixes. Bearcat is part of Discwoman, a collective showcasing cis women, trans women and genderqueer talent in electronic music.
Last month, Moogfest announced that it would be featuring a Protest Stage in response to North Carolina's House Bill 2 and President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban.
Other protest stage activities will include a demonstration of a new counter-surveillance armor for citizens in direct response to the debate over police accountability. Gan Golan and Ron Morrison of New Inc will showcase the amor, dubbed The Argus Project, a head-to-toe mobile suit embedded with cameras that allows the wearer to monitor and record what's going on around him and to broadcast it to an audience of remote viewers. New Inc. will also be hosting a protest sign-making workshop.
The MIT Open Doc Lab will present the Land Marking app, which mixes music and activism. The app goes inside protest events and features location-based audio contributed by event participants in real-time. Land Marking will be teaming up with the Protest Stage to allow festival attendees to contribute their thoughts on protests and tune into a mix of commentary and field recordings from others throughout the city.
Vivan Thi Tang has created a customized beta of her irlbb app specifically for Moogfest 2017. The app helps connect people after their real-life interactions and creates a community for them to continue collaborations. The beta version of the app will be revealed at the festival's Protest Stage.
Democracy's Exquisite Corpse, an immersive installation housed within a completely customized geodesic dome, will bring together artists, activists, innovators and festival attendees to explore sound as a living ecosystem. The dome will house nine unique stations, each with analog or digital sound-making instruments. Each person's instruments will be chained to the person sitting next to them, so their choices will affect the person next to them and, in turn, the entire table.
Tickets for Moogfest are on sale now. Festival passes are $249 and VIP passes are $499.