caroline polachek moogfest

Former Chairlift Singer Pulls Out of Moogfest Over an All-Female/Non-Binary Lineup

Caroline Polachek, lead singer for the late, lamented band Chairlift, has pulled out of Moogfest 2018, the annual, multi-day music, art and technology festival. Polachek, who also performs as Ramona Lisa and CEP, objected to being put on a bill that only featured “female, transgender and non-binary” artists without her consent.

In a series of two tweets, Polachek explained her reasoning:

Other people on the bill included LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Russom (who came out as trans earlier this year), cis female artist Kristin Kontrol (a solo project from Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls) and trans military whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Though not a musician, Manning will give a keynote presentation called “The Future of Creativity.”

Moogfest replied with an apology to Polachek, written as an open letter:

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

Moogfest is currently doing a 50-hour livestream with continuous performances with female, trans and non-binary artists to promote the “phase one” gender-diverse lineup. The livestream is in partnership with Tom Tom magazine.

Watch the Moogfest ‘Always On’ livestream below (without Caroline Polachek):