Moogfest's Marketing Director Jonna Humphries Talks Tech, Music, & Moogfest 2018

Written By: Kimberly M. Knight

Photo Credit: Moogfest

Editor's Note: A special thank you to the staff of Moogfest!

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As the head of Marketing, what would you like for potential and attending festival goers to know about Moogfest?

It's a celebration beyond being your typical festival. Moogfest is a celebration of the legacy of Dr. Robert Moog. If your not familiar with him he created the world's most loved synthesizer, the Moog synthesizer, and influenced music that is being created today as well as music we have loved in the past. Artists that have been inspired by it range from Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. Moogfest is special because it celebrates what he did and his perspective he brought to music. Which is to create tools for artist to creatively express themselves. It wasn't about creating a tool to make a lot of money but it was really about creating a platform and home for artists to express what's inside of them. That's what Moogfest is whether its the daytime programs or night time events we try to continue that mentality for that platform. We are creating a space for artists to teach workshops, to give keynote lecturers, and performances in which many of them are doing experimental performances they have not done in front of an audience. Be prepared for something that's unlike anything else that's out there and it's a special experience. It's the kind of experience where you dive in and walk away with something you thought you weren't going to get. 

We love how technology and music are intertwined at Moogfest. Being that the festival is located minutes from RTP, how has that been an influence in planning the festival?

Our location completely guides what we do and I say that from a marketing perspective. It defines the way that we market. The program itself is inspired by what's happening here and it's not that we are trying to bring something to change what's happening here but we are trying to elevate and show the world that RTP/Durham is the place where there is this really unique and powerful energy that is based around tech and interim music as well. I would say the location and people here inspire what we do. I would say in marketing I try to figure out ways we can integrate that within the program such as working with media outlets based here. So we can get the opportunities of Moogfest to people in the area interested in it and get value from it. 


What events or performances are you most excited to see this year? 

This year I'm looking forward to Kelaya . I'm a big fan of hers and I'm looking forward to her live performance. She is also going to be doing a conversation so I'm looking forward to that. Then we also have a woman named Jennifer , Creative Director at IBM Watson, she will be giving a keynote lecturer so I'm very excited about that. She's going to be speaking about the future of creativity and IBM Watson will also be here to do some workshops exploring the inner sector of artificial intelligence and creativity. There are 150 artists participating and I'm excited to see everyone of them. It's really special at Moogfest because the artists that perform at night are also the same people in workshops, master classes, and conversations during the daytime program. That's a special thing to me because you see a side of the artist you wouldn't typically see. 

What’s something unique people don’t know about Moogfest?

I would say something people may not know unless they have worked directly with Moogfest but is more on a personal side which is very special within the space of music and technology we are in is that behind the scenes it's 2 Black women running the show. Myself running the marketing and my boss Amy Parker at Moog Music who is our Creative Director. I just think that is something that is hugely special and for me I like doing this role because my hope is that there is a girl out there seeing that it's 2 Black women doing this and thinks that she can do it too. 


What can festival goers expect at Moogfest 2018?

I would say something that is really special for this year is we will be transforming the Durham Armory into a spacial sound environment. The environment is called A3 and we will be transforming the environment to where you can you essentially feel the sound on all sides. There will be 9 artists performing in there including Suzanne Chuani, Chabazz Palaces, and they will be able to control the way the sound is being articulated so that is something that is really special. That's something we haven't done before. 

What’s one of your go to self-care methods after the Moogfest Festival ends?

I'll take a couple of days and do everything I can to turn my phone off. I will meditate and I'm also really into spinning so that's sort of my de-stressing tool. Just checking out because I think it's important to give yourself a mental health break and to let yourself enjoy some time with friends or loved ones where your not thinking about work. Especially when your working festivals because it is a lot and it pulls you in. It's to the point where it's something your thinking about every single day and it's so important to take those breaks even leading up to the festival. Take those 1 or 2 hours breaks a day to do something that has nothing to do with work. Having that break is so important so you can do your best work when you get back into it. 

One of the many inspiring highlights of this interview was the fact that two African-American women are in leadership roles for curating this festival. That speaks volumes to the grand scheme of how this festival operates each year and how women of color are being trusted in non-traditional spaces to be creative. This is what our younger generation should be exposed to and for those wondering if Moogfest is for them. Yes, it's for music lovers of all kinds and your favorite blog will be there covering this awesome event! 

Until Next Time Ladies & Gentleman This Is The Lux Blog NC! - K. Knight






Kimberly Knight