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Detroit’s “Movement Festival”: one of the world’s longest-running electronic and techno music festivals


All roads lead to Detroit - if you are a techno music fan! 

The birthplace of techno has numerous ways to celebrate this music genre, and "Movement Electronic Music Festival" is one of them. This annual three-day music event is held in Detroit each Memorial Day weekend since 2006, welcoming thousands of people from across the globe. 

It is one of the longest-running electronic and techno music festivals globally, celebrating Detroit's heritage and musical influence while showcasing authentic music and providing an exceptional festival experience. In 2017, "Movement" was nominated for Festival of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards.

The festival takes place inside the riverfront park Hart Plaza and features five technologically rich outdoor stages; more than 100 artists; free Wi-Fi access on the grounds; a VIP setting located up and behind the main stage; dozens of official afterparties around the city; an interactive technology center featuring the best gear in the industry; and several art displays.

Previously, Hart Plaza was celebrating the Memorial Day weekend with the events "Detroit Electronic Music Festival" (2000–2002), "Focus Detroit Electronic Music Festival" (2003–2004), and "Fuse-In" (2005), which all presented separate producers, brands and directions that emphasized the qualities of the electronic music culture and the Techno subgenre. 


Let's dive into the festival's history!

Before "Movement Electronic Music Festival," there was "Detroit Electronic Music Festival." It was the first electronic music festival held in Detroit in 2000 and one of the first ones of its kind to be held in the United States. It was produced by Carol Marvin and her organization Pop Culture Media, including the event producer Adriel Thornton, Telo Dunne, and Barbara Deyo, and others.

In 2001, the event was sponsored by Ford Motor Company ( the company provided $435,000 for Title sponsorship). The event changed its name to "Focus Detroit Electronic Music Festival," which allowed the following event to be free-of-charge. 

In 2003, Detroit city Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick designated Hart Plaza and the Memorial Day weekend dates for the DJ Derrick May. Unfortunately, the City Of Detroit withdrew $350,000 funding provided in previous years, which led to significant financial losses for the second "Movement" festival in 2004.

After May resigned in 2005, the producer Kevin Saunderson took matters into his own hands, and the festival was once again renamed, only this time it was called "Fuse-In." For the first time, a Hart Plaza event did not have free admission, but the sales still did not retrieve the festival's $756,000 budget, and the festival faced financial losses and a lack of sufficient promotion once again.

In 2006, Saunderson announced his resignation. Fortunately, Paxahau, an event production company that has worked with Craig, May, and Saunderson, decided to take on the festival's production under its new name, "Movement," and has been producing the festival ever since.


"Movement" has always treated its visitors to fantastic lineups.

Some of the best electronic and techno music artists have performed on "Movement" 's stages. The 2018 event showcased names such as Amelie Lens, Brian Kage, Carl Craig, Channel Tres, Charlotte de Witte, Chris Liebing, Richie Hawtin, Patrick Topping, Volvox, Danny Daze, Detroit Techno Militia 2x4, DJ Bone, Stephan Bodzin, Tale Of Us, Marie Davidson, Seth Troxler, and many more.

The pandemic, however, forced the organizers to cancel the 2020 and 2021 editions of "Movement." Paxahau even announced a free "micro" festival that was supposed to happen in May this year, but unfortunately, didn't take place.

Hopefully, as soon as things get back to normal, we will be able to enjoy "Movement" once again. So far, the date and the lineup for the following event haven't been announced yet, but the loyal fans of the festival should remain excited!


Author: Techno 24/7

Pic: themusicessentials.com

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