Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival
Hart Plaza, Detroit, Mich.
Saturday, May 26-Monday, May 28
Every year on Memorial Day weekend, while much of Indianapolis is reveling in the big Indy 500 race, electronic music fans make the journey to their music mecca: Detroit, Mich. For eight years, the city has hosted Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, celebrating Detroit as the origin of techno music. And for eight years, Indianapolis techno fans have taken advantage of their close proximity to a city known worldwide for its continuing contribution to electronic music.
This year, some 40,000 people ventured to Hart Plaza to take in the sights and sounds of multiple themed stages, hosting talent from not only Detroit, but Europe as well — from Berlin to Italy and beyond.
Wandering from stage to stage was a trip as always. In the shadow of the GM Renaissance Center laid a maze of booths, hawking records, Detroit logo-emblazoned shirts and refreshments, all surrounded by a variety of stages booming out beats. The main stage hosted the biggest names in electronic music, from Germany’s Hardfloor, to Detroit electro originators Model 500, while just up the hill, the Real Detroit stage was graced by both old school and new school techno artists — from Aux 88 to Claude Young to Matthew Dear. The Beatport stage, sponsored by one of the leading digital music Web sites, put the spotlight on fresh new talent like Canada’s biggest export, Misstress Barbara, and Chicago’s up-and-coming Sassmouth. Nearby, the Pyramid stage afforded a breathtaking view of the Detroit River and Windsor, Canada, and brought such diverse acts as dub techno legends Rhythm & Sound and drum and bass names like Gridlok and the U.K.’s Mampi Swift.
For this, the eighth incarnation of the festival, Detroit’s promotional team Paxahau provided the best soundsystems in festival history and a cutting-edge lineup, while local promoters gave a veritable plethora of afterhours nightlife.
The after-parties were a huge draw, with people dispersing throughout the city to check out a massive variety of artists. Indianapolis names like Adam Jay and Ben Wu kept fans dancing into the wee hours of the morning, showing Detroit the Naptown take on techno.
DEMF has become an annual mecca for those immersed in the forward-thinking sounds of electronic music, and its location in the Midwest has made it an easy trip for Indianapolis electronic music heads. The people, the music and the atmosphere make for a charged experience to be found nowhere else.