Festival Preview: Detroit’s “Movement” 2013
24 Apr 2013

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GM - Megan H. Matteson

GM – Megan H. Matteson

Detroit is a city in pain. Once our nation’s thumping industrial center, now America’s abandoned child left to forage for itself. Dilapidated buildings, forsaken warehouses, and vacant lots represent a city in retrograde, a former lucrative metropolis inching back into nature and self-reliance, an echo of Thoreau’s Walden. Or Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers”… whichever you prefer.

Yet behind Detroit’s wounded exterior is an internal soundscape that permeates the day-in and day-out of its people: sweaty, sexy, body moving, tantalizing techno. Techno music became the soundtrack to Detroit’s derelict cityscape in the mid-1990s. Birthed in the city’s famous warehouse parties (i.e. house music), techno raged in the empty edifices deserted by auto and utility companies. Once a year, Movement Electronic Music Festival pays homage to its beloved city and to the people who started it all.

In its eighth year under Paxahau Promotions Group and its 13th year as a festival, Movement continues to reside at Hart Plaza, its riverfront location in downtown Detroit. Native to the motor city, Paxahau first established itself 15 years ago promoting electronic music in its early stages when names like Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson first reverberated warehouse walls.

MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson

Paxahau’s progression has been momentous. The well respected production company has just announced a partnership with Asheville’s Moogfest and will co-create a brand new, electronica festival in the spring of 2014.

For the first time, Electric Forest Festival will be curating a stage at Movement alongside Paxahau and will feature a fine collection of electronic artists including The M Machine, Gramatik, and GRiZ. Inversely, Movement will curate a stage at Electric Forest, providing “an energy-packed evening at the Tripolee Stage, showcasing several Movement alumni, along with rising talents ready to explode onto the scene,” according to the Electric Forest website. (http://electricforestfestival.com/curated-events.php)

Claude Vonstroke - Paul Kelly

Claude Vonstroke – Paul Kelly

This year in Detroit, Movement will feature five tech-savvy outdoor stages, more than 115 artists, an exclusive VIP setting located behind the main stage, dozens of official after parties, an interactive technology center featuring the freshest equipment in the industry, and various art exhibits intended to inspire the senses.

Movement regulars “the Dirtybird Players” are throwing it down for those still dancing after the festival closes up shop on Saturday. This year, Dirtybirds’ Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J.Phlip, and Leroy Peppers will bring it to the Russell Industrial Center on the first night of Movement. (And the party don’t stop ‘til 6 in the morning!). The full list of official Movement after parties can be found here. (http://www.movementafterparties.com/)

Beatport disclosed its stage lineup last week, which includes headliners Moby (performing a DJ set), John Digweed, and Masters at Work (Kenny Dope & Louie Vega). Beatport, the online electronic dance music giant, will host its performances on the east riverfront area of Hart Plaza, known as the Pyramid Stage.

Red Bull Music Academy Stage - Megan H. Matteson

Red Bull Music Academy Stage – Megan H. Matteson

The Red Bull Music Academy main stage will present electronic pioneers like Adult, Mala, and Moodymann. Performances by Richie Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson, Nina Kraviz, Azari & III, Nicolas Jaar, and a live set by Squarepusher on the main stage will fuse the past archetypes of electronic music with the present innovators. Movement Electronic Music Festival bridges the old with the new in Detroit’s historically rich and visually fascinating landscape.

You might be thinking, “Detroit? Like Eminem, 8 Mile, and Cheddar Bob?” Yes, I thought that too. So I got in touch with fellow Sparkleberry and Movement alumnus Harrison Woodson to ask him a few questions regarding safety at the festival.

“The festival is super safe. It is right on the water similar to the Ultra venue,” he said. “During the festival there are so many people downtown and around that I never felt unsafe. The festival is always packed and the streets are always packed.”

Although, Harrison said, there are a few things to be aware of as you exit the festival. “Downtown is surrounded by an interstate and as you get outside of that interstate, things get a little sketch.”

Cabs and rickshaws are parked outside of the festival, so do the right thing and hop in or on one if you’re not feeling comfortable with the city, Harrison suggested.

MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson

“You have to hassle the cab drivers or you will most likely pay too much, so be on your toes. Pretty much everyone is trying to hustle you for something, its kind of our ongoing joke: “Detroit hustles harder.”

As for accommodations, the Movement website suggests making reservations at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center right up in the action, adjacent to Hart Plaza. It is advisable to stay as close to Hart Plaza as you can, as to avoid taxi fares (but also creates less opportunity for risky situations like getting lost in an unfamiliar city!). Visit here for booking information with the Detroit Marriott. http://movement.us/travel/#1

The festival will be held May 25-27 downtown along the Detroit River. Discounted tickets for Movement are on sale now ($89 for general admission/$199 VIP), and can be purchased by visiting www.Movement.us. For Dirtybird after party tickets, visit www.dirtybirdrecords.com/dates/, and then come find me in the crowd on May 25 at the Russell Industrial Center. Movement ticket prices will increase on May 1, so get on that, sparkleberries. See you in Detroit.

Written by Courtney Catagnus, make sure you grab some glitter from her at Movement 2013!

Check out More Photos from Movement 2012, by our good friend Megan Hope Matteson:

MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson

Maya Jane Coles MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

Maya Jane Coles MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson









MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson

Wolf + Lamb MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

Wolf + Lamb MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson









MEMF 2012 - Megan H. Matteson

MEMF 2012 – Megan H. Matteson




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