Movement Electronic Music Festival Is On The Rise
June 4, 2012 at 3:37 AM (PT)
By Ashley Zlatopolsky
As we leave another weekend behind, there is news from MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND's MOVEMENT ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL. The festival, also known by many as DEMF or Tech Fest, is an annual event held every MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND in downtown DETROIT, and this year's installment featured three days' worth of booming electronic music at Hart Plaza, located directly on the city’s beautiful riverfront.
In its 13th year running, MOVEMENT 2012 (MAY 26th-28th) drew people from all over the world and had record-breaking attendance numbers, with the festival’s biggest turnout since becoming a paid event in 2005. This year rang in a whopping total of just over 107,000 people, as opposed to last year’s approximate 99,000.
Hip-hop legends PUBLIC ENEMY headlined Sunday night, resulting in the highest single day attendance for the festival since becoming a paid event (40,043). Other headliners included LIL’ LOUIS on Friday and JEFF MILLS a.k.a. “The Wizard” on MONDAY (5/28).
It’s clear that MOVEMENT ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL is on the rise and isn’t stopping anytime soon. What started as just an idea between the founding fathers of techno (JUAN ATKINS, KEVIN SAUNDERSON, DERRICK MAY) and a few others in 2000 has blossomed into one of AMERICA's -- and even the world’s -- most recognized and revered electronic music festivals. With five stages and over 100 artists, Movement is continuously growing and making history.
Day one of this year’s festival started off proper and included big names such as MARK FARINA, DAVIDE SQUILLACE, SBTRKT, RONI SIZE, and of course, headliner LIL’ LOUIS. MOVEMENT’s official after party, CLR at ELYSIUM LOUNGE, was a perfect ending to the evening with some of Germany’s best techno talents. CHRIS LIEBING’S set had the venue shaking, and his unique style resulted in a completely sold-out event.
The second day of MOVEMENT had a wide variety on its roster, including DJ SNEAK, CARL CRAIG, JOSH WINK, LOCO DICE, MAYA JANE COLES, GOLD PANDA, ZED’S DEAD, JUAN ATKINS, and DETROIT favorite CLAUDE VONSTROKE.
The biggest lure of the day, as evident in festival attendance numbers, was PUBLIC ENEMY. Joined onstage with a surprise appearance by ICE T as MC, PUBLIC ENEMY gave a stellar performance and closed out the festival that night with a bang. Classic hits such as “Rebel Without a Pause,” “Don’t Believe the Hype” and others had the crowd going wild. PUBLIC ENEMY’s DJ also dropped a remix of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by NIRVANA, which was a huge crowd-pleaser. And, as always, FLAVOR FLAV was sporting the usual giant clock around his neck.
SUNDAY night’s after party, KMS 25 at SAINT ANDREW's HALL, was an extremely rare get-together of techno’s creators and pioneering artists. JUAN ATKINS, KEVIN SAUNDERSON, and DERRICK MAY (the originator, the elevator, and the innovator of techno) came together again onstage for what may have been a once-in-a-lifetime event. Other special guests included EDDIE FOWLKES, KENNY LARKIN, CARL CRAIG, and a live performance by INNER CITY. The energy and stage presence from all of the artists was incredible, as techno history congregated in one building.
The festival’s third and final day showcased DJs such as RYAN RICHARDS from 98.7 AMP RADIO, DJ PSYCHO of DETROIT TECHNO MILITIA, THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS, a back-to-back set between JORIS VOORN and NIC FANCIULLI, DILLON FRANCIS, MAJOR LAZER, KEVIN SAUNDERSON and the outer space sounds of JEFF MILLS (also known as “The Wizard”).
[AUDIO CLIP: Kevin Saunderson on EDM Becoming Mainstream ... click play button below to listen]
"I think America's finally caught up ..." - Kevin Saunderson
With temperatures soaring in the 90s, MONDAY was a scorcher -- but that didn’t stop people from dancing nonstop morning to evening. JEFF MILLS brought the festival to a final close, with an astonishing light show accompanying the end of his set. However, the party wasn’t over yet, with after parties following all night.
MOVEMENT ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012 was one for the books - not just in numbers, but also in the quality of the event itself. With excellent production, top-of-the-line staging, a diverse booking of talented artists, and overall management, this year’s festival definitely raised the bar high for 2013. Anticipation is already building for the next MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND in DETROIT and has left people wondering how this year will be topped.