By Emily Honeycutt – Arts and Features Editor – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, a three day music festival during Oct. 25-27, gives festival attendees the opportunity to not only hear a variety of music but also to have a proper experience of downtown Asheville, according to Ashley Capps, AC Entertainment president.
“The big picture to take away from the festival is we really want to create a remarkable experience for everybody attends,” Capps said. “There are many facets to the experience we are trying to make. We want people to enjoy seeing a lot of the music they love and also experience downtown Asheville, which we consider to be a mountain oasis itself.”
The festival takes places at five different venues – the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, ExploreAsheville.com Arena, The Orange Peel, Diana Wortham Theatre, and the Asheville Music Hall. A sold-out festival, which Capps expects to see this weekend, will be 8,000 attendees.
“The festival is relatively small, but interest has been there from the beginning,” Capps said. “This year looks to be the most successful of the four years. We’re expecting to sell out each day.”
A festival like Mountain Oasis is a chance for artists to showcase the new innovations in the music industry.
“The exciting thing about the music industry is that music is really continually reinventing itself, exploring new ideas and going back to the past for inspiration,” Capps said. “So many new tools have emerged from technology that give people so many ways to explore. It offers a whole new range of sounds and ability to manipulate those sounds.”
AC Entertainment also puts on the annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
“Mountain Oasis is certainly never going to be the size that Bonnaroo is,” Capps said. “80,000 people come and there is no place in Asheville for a gathering of those people. We hope that it has its own unique identity and it offers something really special for the audience that attends it. Each festival has its own unique characteristics.”
Capps said an important part of the festival is the community aspect. AC Entertainment works closely with Buncombe County Schools and the Bob Moog Foundation. A portion of each ticket sale goes to Buncombe County Schools Foundation and Dr. Bob’s Soundschool to support music education.
“It’s always important to give back to the community in some meaningful way,” Capps said. “We like to target programs that we feel strongly about. Arts education and music education are really near and dear to our hearts.”
Along with the artists playing at the designated venues, there will also be shows going on at smaller venues all weekend like the Emerald Lounge to give concert-goers experiences outside of the festival.
Capps said Mountain Oasis gives people an opportunity to experience all that downtown Asheville has to offer.
“The business owners downtown have been very supportive,” Capps said. “An audience that really wants to experience the town is going out and checking out great restaurants and visiting shops and seeing what Asheville has to offer. We don’t start concerts until 6 in the evening, which gives people an opportunity to explore Asheville.”
Capps said the combination of opportunities for festival attendees should leave a lasting experience.
“We want people to experience electronic music,” Capps said. “It really inspires people to actually start thinking and exploring ideas in new ways. We hope the festival provides that spark of inspiration for people who attend it.”