An insider's guide to Movement 2014

After the cold, snow, and ice of the gloomiest winter in these parts since the late-19th century, Detroiters are certain to party long and hard this summer.

Yes, we are ready for fun, ready for love, ready to move, baby, move.

Fittingly, it all begins this holiday weekend with the aptly named Movement Festival, which showcases the infectious, high-octane, machine-driven rhythms that originated in Detroit in the early 1980s. And it's happening on no less than six stages, outfitted with pristine pro sound -- all firing at the same time. Boom! That's some serious repetitive sonic heat, brothers and sisters.  

What's that? You say it's your first time experiencing this massive celebration of funky Detroit grooves that have been exported to nearly every corner of the world? Where, oh, where have you been? But no worries. Here's a quick backstory about the festival, followed by some key picks for each day of the weekend plus a few sweet after-parties to push the limits of your curiosity (and endurance) a bit further.

Chris Liebing
This is the 15th edition of the Memorial Day weekend festival, which began as a free event called the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) in 2000. A quick few words about the DEMF event scheduled for July 4 weekend then abruptly canceled: this ain't it. Carol Marvin, organizer of the 2000, 2001 and 2002 festivals, announced plans to resurrect the old brand earlier this year, confusing techno tourists from Sterling Heights to Shanghai.

Put this info in your memory bank and pass it on to your children's children: Movement is produced by metro Detroit-based and has been since 2006, when it became a legit paid event (the 2005 festival, called Fuse-In, had a nominal $5 entry fee). Let's put to rest forever the interchangeability of Movement and DEMF. They are quite separate, thank you.

Movement now costs $130 for a weekend pass. Tickets for Saturday, Sunday and Monday are available at $55 per day.

As for the talent, we indeed have some favorites. Let's make it simple and go with some recommendations day by day. To be totally honest from experience, though, the best way to take in the festival is to just show up on any (or every) single day and just drift from stage to stage, letting your kicks take the lead. Nonetheless, here we go with a few can't-miss picks:


The Red Bull Academy Stage should be blowing up from early in the afternoon until late. Don't miss Berlin techno innovator Moritz Von Oswald, who launched the projects Basic Channel, M, Chain Reaction, Main Street, and Rhythm & Sound (all generally collected under the Hard Wax brand) with partner Mark Ernestus beginning in the early 1990s with, guess what, early Detroit techno inspiration.

Also highly recommended on the same stage: Los Hermanos, begun by Detroit's Gerald Mitchell as part of the Underground Resistance/Submerge network; followed by Cologne's Michael Mayer and nouveau disco specialists Metro Area. The night is capped by a live performance by Timeline, a live group presented by Detroit techno titans Underground Resistance.

Other expected highlights for Saturday: the entire Made in Detroit Stage (featuring all Detroit talent, all weekend) including Anthony "Shake" Shakir, Keith Kemp, BMG and Stacey Pullen); Brit-living-in-L.A. Damian Lazarus on the Beatport Stage, German acid hunk Chris Liebing on the Underground Stage and Windsor's Matthew Hawtin on the Silent Disco Stage (where there is no live PA, only headphones distributed by Sennheiser. Interesting, yes? Worth checking out).
For all set times clip and save Movement schedule here:   

Stacey Pullen


Red Bull rolls out another killer lineup headed by Matthew's big brother Richie Hawtin, based in Berlin for the past decade. Also appearing: Detroit's Amp Fiddler, Rochester Hills' Jimmy Edgar (now a Berliner), and Lake Orion-bred Seth Troxler, now living, working, and playing hard in London.

Made in Detroit features homies Mike Huckaby, Kevin Reynolds, Andres, DJ Psycho, Stacey "Hot Wax" Hale, and Delano Smith; while the Moog Stage hosts some of the weekend's most highly anticipated talent, including London dubstep impresario Kode 9, German house music vet Move D, and Detroit-based disco project Secrets (live). Unfortunately, the Detroit premiere of UK-born, Berlin-based leftfield dubstep artist Shackleton won't be happening (no) thanks to U.S. Immigration officials, who denied him a temporary work visa. C'mon, man, you didn't take all that "art-terrorist" mumbo-jumbo seriously, did you?

The Underground Stage has the Detroit debuts of Voices from the Lake (live) and Zeitgeber (Speedy J and Lucy), and features live sets from Function and headliner native-Detroiter Rob Hood, an Underground Resistance original (along with Mike Banks and Jeff Mills) from the early 1990s.


On the Red Bull Stage, see Detroit powerhouse Carl Craig, Welshman Jamie Jones, Loco Dice (from Germany but originally from Tunisia) and Barbados-born, UK-bred Carl Cox. You want global talent, you get it here. Beatport features Detroit's Christopher Jarvis, Windsor native Heidi (now running London record store Phonica, which she co-founded in 2003), UK dubsteppa' Skream, and Montreal native and electro-disco vet Tiga.

Detroit techno's legendary "Elevator," Kevin Saunderson, curates the Made in Detroit Stage all day Monday. It should be bumping nonstop from noon until close with featured artists Eddie Fowlkes, Kenny Larkin, DJ 3000 (aka Hamtramck native Franki Juncaj), Octave One (live), Detroit Techno Militia (feat. Tom Linder and DJ Seoul fresh off their annual spring EU tour) and the Elevator's son Dantiez Saunderson making his Movement debut. Kevin also presents his "Origins" project as part of the program. Expect excessive heat for a solid 12 hours.  

To cap off the night, don't miss the iconic Jeff Mills playing a three-hour DJ set on the Underground Stage. Wow, and its a wrap.

Jeff Mills


A wrap except for the pre-festival and after-party scene, which extends the three-day weekend into something closer to five days (and late nights/early mornings).

There are dozens to choose from, but a couple of Friday kickoff events are highly recommended: the official Resident Advisor opening party at Bleu (1540 Woodward, downtown Detroit) featuring DJ Harvey all night, beginning at 9 p.m. Down the street at St. Andrew's Hall (431 E. Congress, downtown Detroit), Ghostly International presents Adult., Matthew Dear, Shigeto, Osborne, Heathered Pearls and Mike Servito. How many times can we say hot? OK, this is the last time, we promise.

On Saturday, the place to be is at Northland Roller Rink (22311 W. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit), where Mahagoni Music presents its annual Soul Skate Party, with music by Little Louie Vega, Kenny Dixon Jr., and others from midnight to 5 a.m. And on Sunday, pull a true all-nighter at No Way Back, which features BMG, Carlos Souffront, Erika, Mike Servito, Scott Zacharias. and more, more, more. It's at 1515 Broadway in downtown Detroit and begins at 11 p.m. and rages until 9 a.m. Monday. Then go out and get yourself a big breakfast. You've earned it.
For all after-party choices go here

This story first appeared in

Walter Wasacz is a Hamtramck-based freelance writer, editor and consultant. He's been to every Memorial Day weekend festival, no matter what it was called, since 2000, and has lived to write about it.
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Read more articles by Walter Wasacz.

Walter Wasacz is a writer and the former managing editor of Model D. You can find more of his writings here.