Discopolis, May 2009 

Discussed: Winter Music Conference and sundry fests

For many Indy dance music fans, the summer of fests got an early start with Winter Music Conference (WMC) and Ultra Music Festival in late March in Miami. The fest is always one of the biggest parties in the U.S., and from what I hear from those that went, it was better then ever. Put my name on the list of people that still wants to check it out "next year" (that goes in quotes since I said the same thing last year).

For many others, and me, the first big fest of the summer is Movement, also known as DEMF, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now in its 10th year. The full fest schedule was released last week and includes super popular artists and DJs like electro house producer Benny Benassi, Chicago's famed B96 mixmaster Bad Boy Bill, Montreal's electro clash producer Tiga, French house banger Busy P, San Francisco's multi-genred Bassnectar, Def Jux hip-hop producer RJD2 and bad ass turntablist Z-Trip. The festival mostly focuses on techno though - the sound of Detroit.

Fest goers will be treated with sets from techno names like the U.K.'s Carl Cox, Chicago's Frankie Vega and Derrick May. Derrick is known as one of the "Belleville Three" - one of the originators of the techno sound and at one time was in charge of the festival. The lineup also includes house names like Germany's electrohouse group Tiefschwarz, deep house producer Steve Bug and French house music original François K. Minimal techno producer Audion, aka Matthew Dear, will put on a live performance. Detroit DJs Seoul and T-Linder of "Bang Tech Twelve" and "Detroit Techno Militia," who came to Indy just a few months ago, will put on a four-turntable set. The list just goes on and on, and this isn't even counting the after-midnight events, some of which feature Indy DJs like Adam Jay, Ben Wu, Taylor Norris, StarSteady and Slackerpop.

It should be no surprise with such a huge lineup that as of now Paxahau, the organizers of the fest, have sold more than two times the number of pre-sale tickets as they had sold last year at the same time. Here's looking forward to a huge fest! I'll be there covering it for NUVO, so stay tuned for that.

Of course there's always megafest Bonnaroo, which takes place June 11-14 this year in Manchester, Tenn. The electronic/dance side of the lineup includes Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Paul Oakenfold, Public Enemy, MGMT, Girl Talk and MURS.

You don't necessarily need to leave town to find a big event though, especially not lately. Indy's dance scene has been growing for sure.

Did you hear the one about Paul van Dyk playing in Indianapolis? No, seriously, PvD - one of the best known and highest rated DJs in the world - is playing June 22 at Talbott Street. It might be on a Monday, but I still expect to see a crowded venue. It has been years since a name this big has dropped by Indy.

Then later in the summer we have Forecastle Festival in Louisville to look forward to, with a heavy jam band lineup including Widespread Panic, the Black Crowes, the Black Keys, the Avett Brothers, Zappa Plays Zappa and Umphrey's Mcghee. There will also be an Ocean Stage yet again, which is a pool-side stage that overlooks the Ohio River and features live DJs all three days, July 10-12. The Ocean Stage lineup will be announced soon and will include a few Indy DJs.

Later in the summer (Aug. 7-9) is Lollapalooza, the biggest/closest festival to Indy, taking place at Grant Park in Chicago. This year's lineup includes a lot more electronic music than previous years, with Bassnectar, MSTRKRFT, Simion Mobile Disco (DJ set), Deadmau5, Boys Noize, Crookers, A-Trak, LA Riots, Kaskade and even a DJ set by Animal Collective.

There's plenty more, but I'll let you discover those on your own ... see you on the dance floor!

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