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Caroline Polachek drops off Moogfest: “gender is not a genre”

Chairlift at Brooklyn Steel
photo by Em Grey

Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek has cancelled her performance at the 2018 edition of Moogfest, whose initial lineup, led by female, non-binary, and transgender artists, was announced earlier today. In a tweet, Polacheck said she was “furious to be (without approval) on an all-female & non-gender-binary announcement list.” She continued, “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.” She then tweeted a second time, saying she wouldn’t be performing. Read Polacheck’s tweets below.

As Pitchfork pointed out, Moogfest responded to Polacheck with a statement apologizing and explaining their intentions. “We apologize for reframing you in a way that takes focus off of your artistry and talent,” they begin, and continue, “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.” Moogfest also point out that the festival “is not curated by a man, it’s curated by a diverse group of people that work together as a team.” Read their statement in full below as well.

Dear Caroline,

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

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