Written By: Mitchel Tilley
What makes Movement Music Festival so special that everyone returns year after year? Movement has become an annual pilgrimage for music enthusiasts coming together to celebrate techno (and other types of music) in downtown Detroit Hart Plaza. Movement Music Festival is the longest running techno festival in the United States and has earned a reputation for the world’s best techno lineups, amazing crowd vibes, quality production on unique stages, delicious food, and more.
1. World’s Best Techno Lineups
While techno enthusiasts love to enlighten you about why you picked the wrong set, Movement has so many set conflicts that you have to follow your ear. There is so much talent playing across the multiple stages that there isn’t a correct or wrong set during each day of Movement.
Each year Paxahau (the production company) puts together insane lineups comprising of talented artists from around the world for Movement. During Memorial Day Weekend this year, we discovered some amazing sets:
Day 1 (Saturday) – Amie Lens, ART DEPARTMENT, Disclosure, Josh Wink, LOCO DICE, and Orbital
Day 2 (Sunday) – Andrea Ghita, ANNA, Charlotte de Witte, Chris Liebing, Fisher, Patrick Topping, Richie Hawtin, and Dubfire b3b Nicole Moudaber b3b Paco Osuna
Day 3 (Monday) – Chris Lake, Get Real (Green Velvet / Claude VonStroke), Golf Clap, GRiZ, Heidi, Hot Since 82, J.Phlip, Tale of Us, and Yaeji
2. The Birthplace of Techno…DETROIT!
Over the course of Memorial Day weekend, the city of Detroit transforms into a non-stop techno party. Whether is a club, event venue, or even an abandoned warehouse, the city comes together to celebrate the sounds of techno. Each of the stages at Movement feature different elements from the city’s industrial heritage at Hart Plaza.
The weather this year was a little temperamental with a flash thunderstorm on Day 1, which caused a temporary shutdown of the festival around 4pm. Despite the minor logistical issue, Paxahau worked with the City of Detroit to extend the festival hours an extra thirty minutes so the Movement artists could perform full length sets. It takes a good working relationship with the host city to allow such flexibility.
3. The Movement Crowd – Friendliest Vibes Imaginable
Throughout Memorial Day weekend, over 99,000 festival attendees passed through the gates into Hart Plaza. The first day of Movement alone set a daily attendance record of almost 35,000 people. With so people in a compact city festival layout, it is hard to imagine friendly vibes. In reality, the Movement crowd is one of the most polite and friendliest crowds we have ever encountered. Shuffling enthusiasts welcomed all to the dance floors, including children and even Detroit’s own Patricia Lay-Dorsey (aka Grandma Techno). The festival crowd was so happy, loving, and welcoming to strangers that Detroit felt like home for everyone. Watching strangers dancing together made Movement a magical and truly one of a kind festival experience.
4. Quality Production on Unique Stages
The Movement Stage – The festival’s main stage had an amphitheater feel in the shape of a bowl with tapered viewing decks and a lower open dance floor area.
The Stargate Stage – Ready to transport you to the stars, this stage featured a huge ring structure that ran parallel to the lawn and plaza where festival attendees caught sets as they first entered the festival gates into Movement.
The Pyramid Stage – One of the most unique city stages, Pyramid runs along the Detroit River with Canada in sight. At the back of the stage, steps converge upwards to form a pyramid that fans used to soak in the beauty of Detroit and Movement.
Resident Advisor Stage – Truly as underground as you can literally get for a techno stage. Deep, dark techno vibes flourished as performers took the stage.
Red Bull Stage – Nestled near the river, the Red Bull stage overlooked a grassy hill with trees. Some of the best LIVE performances were hosted on this stage throughout Movement.
5. Delicious Local Food
This year’s edition of MOVEMENT was an overall success!
If you are a crazy about techno, Movement must be on your festival watch list for 2020. Assemble the crew and start making plans for Movement next year because you will NOT want to miss out! Stay up-to-date through the Movement Festival website.
Also, big thanks to Paxahau (the company that sets up Movement every year), the City of Detroit, and Jason Huvaere (the president and founder of Paxahau) for making Memorial Day weekend a special annual celebration of music for techno enthusiasts from around the world.