Good evening Detroit Techno Elitists,
I’d like to apologize to you all for not making the “Disasters of Demf” page this year, and for perhaps smiling just a bit too much at Movement this year. Only kidding, I couldn’t stop smiling this year if I tried! You guys KNOW how to throw a PARTY!
You may remember me from the article I wrote discussing my previous year, and how I was looking forward to this year being way more exciting now that I had figured out how to “hack Movement.” In fact, I caught a little flack from that piece. But, as they say, “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?”
Well, I get it… as a Movement convert I am now required to “wear all black and listen to techno.” I must say my first year, I didn’t get the full Movement experience. I went into the fest all day and went to bed by 12:30 each night. Yawn. Strangely, this year, I can’t remember sleeping so little and having so much fun at the fest and the few afterparties I hit. I now understand why Detroit is the best city in the world for underground parties, warehouses… and I even found myself at the new “Old Miami.” (Too bad the original was canceled this year.)
Friday, we drove up to meet our friends for DJ Dan at a rooftop party in Downtown. On our way, we stopped for lunch in this beautiful area of Detroit, complete with a “beach,” fountain, amazing restaurants, and craft drinks. We both ordered a “Detroit Vice” at The Fountain Restaurant. The frozen peach and strawberry “basic bitch” cocktail was just what we needed to pre-game for house music all night long. As we took in our surroundings, my friend looked at me with surprise, and said what became our motto for the trip, “I didn’t expect this in Detroit.”
Saturday morning we prepared for the festival and walked in early. I lucked out by booking the Doubletree Hotel, so we were able to walk to and from the fest daily with no exorbitant Uber rides or Taxi fares. Plus, those free cookies… delicious. The best thing about Movement is that no matter VIP or GA, the lines are incredibly short and easy to navigate for entry. No more waiting in hour-long lines for a festival? Sign me up!
Paxahau adjusted the stage views this year, and I appreciated having more space. Fisher played a phenomenal set, as well as Justin Martin and Claude Von Stroke, and a phenomenal DNB set from Ed Rush and Optical…but the Saturday winner goes to none other than Maceo Plex. We had to climb the pyramid and bumble through the thickest crowd imaginable to hear and see the stage, but once at the top we were rewarded with the most beautiful view and set that I have ever seen from him. It nearly killed my soul to be so packed in and not be able to dance. We hit the Masonic Temple that evening for the Dirtybird afterparty, and the warehouse vibes were legit. My honorable mention of the evening was meeting Fisher, who I had discovered at the Dirtybird East Coast Campout earlier this year.
Sunday we headed in just in time to catch John Digweed, the DJ my friend from NY wanted to see most at the festival. Watching him mix without really looking up from the equipment was a nice change of pace. Showmanship is unnecessary when you’re a legend. He graced us with a smile and a nod at the end of his set. My brother scooped me up afterward to remind me we were about to experience something truly magical. We headed over to the Red Bull stage for none other than Laurent Garnier. I literally can’t think of anything other than his set after this weekend. We managed to hit a little of Kevin Saunderson and Nina Kravitz, but nothing could have surpassed Laurent. Heading out of the fest we received an invite to Country Club Disco with Chris Lake. I’ve seen Chris Lake multiple times, but never quite like this. His four-hour set was absolutely MAGICAL. Country Club Disco may be the BEST afterparty of my life. Edit: Country Club Disco IS the best afterparty of my life.
After heading back to the hotel in the longest Uber ride ever recorded, I got word from my friends that we were heading out. It’s literally 6 in the morning. Do you even sleep in Detroit?!? I absolutely thought they were kidding, but after a half an hour, they called me from the lobby wanting to know why I wasn’t ready. Insert panic mode here. Luckily I had showered after the 4-hour miracle that was Chris Lake, so I threw the first thing I saw on, tossed my makeup in my bag, and figured sunglasses were just as legit as eyeliner. We headed to the new “Old Miami” where I was blessed with some of the most beautiful techno vibes and an endless supply of beer. Note to self, we won’t be sleeping much tonight… if at all.
It was a miracle we made it into the festival the last day. I had something come up at home, and it was almost the end of the festival for us. Things worked out (sort of) and although I missed some acts (sigh) I made it just in time for Charlotte De Witte and Joseph Capriati. I sat down to eat some fries with my girlfriend and could not believe the DJ we were listening to was Mija. I couldn’t tear myself away from her set. It was my big surprise of the entire weekend. Before Wu-Tang (yes I was there) we headed over to Diplo, just to see if he was going to play some Techno. That was a big fat nope. I found my spot for Wu-Tang Clan on top of the hill and danced my butt off to the greatest rappers alive. Never would I have ever sought them out, but closing Movement with them was never a question.
This year’s Movement will live in infamy. Techno, House, Tech House, DNB, and even Hip Hop was well-represented, for perhaps its most versatile year yet musically. I fell in love with not only the festival itself, but the afterparties, the city of Detroit, and all the beautiful people I met, as well as all my wonderful friends who shared this journey with me. I guess you could say that for me, Movement week exceeded my expectations and put this year’s Miami Music Week to SHAME. I will be back. God Bless Techno City!