Movement Electronic Music Festival drops beats Memorial Day weekend

Annual celebration to feature world-renowned DJs, Movement Yoga


DETROIT – When the beat drops in downtown Detroit, even the people in Windsor can hear it.

Tens of thousands of electronic dance music enthusiasts will descend on Hart Plaza to see over 100 local and international artists perform Memorial Day weekend at the 2016 Movement Electronic Music Festival.

The annual festival kicked off Saturday with crowd-pleasing shows by 31 different artists including Detroit natives Juan Atkins, Carl Craig and Seth Troxler, and headliner German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk.

Across six stages in Hart Plaza, some of the best DJs will perform drawing electronic music fans from all over the world.

Mayor Mike Duggan proclaimed May 23-30 to be Detroit Techno Week on Monday signing a certificate of recognition and setting the tone for the week leading up to one of the world’s most recognized electronic music festivals.

“I encourage all to come out and celebrate the festivities as it creates local and international awareness of Detroit’s rising creative culture,” Duggan said.

But prior to the festival's existence, Detroit is where techno music was born and it started with the "Belleville Three."

Detroit Techno

Kevin Saunderson, 52, moved to Belleville, Mich. at the age of nine from Brooklyn, New York, and attended Belleville High School where he met Derrick May, 52, and Juan Atkins, 53.

They are widely considered the creators of Detroit techno.

As teenagers, the Belleville Three were fans of local radio DJ Charles “The Electrifying Mojo” Johnson and synthesizer-driven bands like Kraftwerk, who performed Saturday on the Movement Main Stage.

Atkins began recording with Cybotron in 1981 and working with May on sets as Deep Space, taking them to The Electric Mojo who played them on the air.

Saunderson studied telecommunications and played football at Eastern Michigan University before joining Atkins and May in their music careers.

Listen to Kevin Saunderson Deep Space Radio in 2014 below:

More recently, Atkins taught classes at the Detroit Institute of Music Education. He did an interview last summer on Live in the D and talked about his class, Spin Masters 101: DJ Crash Course.

Just weeks later, May discussed his teaming up with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for a concert in Chene Park on Live in the D. 

May collaborated with conductor and music director Dzijan Emin to transcribe May's collective works into musical notation for orchestra.

Both interviews are available below:

Atkins performed with Mortiz Von Oswald presenting their collaborative project Borderland on Saturday on the Movement Main Stage. Saunderson will be playing Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on the Made In Detroit stage, closing the concert for the weekend.

Festival History

Detroit has hosted the Movement Electronic Music Festival in Hart Plaza every Memorial Day weekend since 2000. It was known then as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, or DEMF.

The first year was a major success with performances by each of the Belleville Three as well as The Roots, Mos Def, Richie Hawtin and the Detroit Grand Pubahs.

Ford Motor Company was sponsor of the 2001 event, renamed the Focus Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Just weeks before the festival, artistic director and local legend Carl Craig was fired causing controversy.

In 2003, May took over and the festival became Movement.

For a brief year, the festival was called Fuse-In. Local 4's coverage of the 2005 event shows the festival in its infancy and includes a short interview with Saunderson. It was the first year the festival didn't have free admission, charging $10 for day passes and $25 for the weekend. 

Three-day general admission passes this year are $175 and individual day passes are $85.

Production company Paxahau took over in 2006 and the festival has been known as Movement Detroit Electronic Music Festival ever since, drawing big names and consistently creating a better experience every year.

The festival runs from noon to midnight, but that doesn't mean the music stops in the city. 

After parties extend into the early morning hours as Hart Plaza prepares to reopen for another day of music. From the Masonic Temple to the Leland Ballroom, sold out shows are playing through night.

For a complete list of Movement after parties, click here.

Movement Yoga

A long day of dancing can require a great deal of stretching and after a long night of after parties, attendees can participate in Movement Yoga to renew themselves throughout the festival weekend and rejuvenate before heading back to the dance floor.

The Detroit Yoga Lab is offering free one-hour yoga sessions on Sunday and Monday on the Opportunity Detroit Stage. The group sessions begin at 12:30 p.m. and are led by two of Detroit’s top yoga instructors, Najee Robbins and Imani Smith, featuring music by Jon Zott.

Free mats will be provided by Lululemon on a first-come first-served basis, but participants are encouraged to bring their own mat or a towel.

Festival Features

Hart Plaza will feature an interactive technology center, lockers and charging stations, free bike valet, numerous food options and several art installations created by members of Detroit’s creative community.

Industry leaders in electronic music production and performance hardware and software will be presenting and providing product demonstrations, workshops and hands-on interactions at the Technology Area, located in the Hart Plaza underground, adjacent to the Movement Main Stage and the Underground Stage.

Red Bull Music Academy Radio will be broadcasting live performances from the Red Bull Music Academy Stage. The RBMA Radio pop-pop continues through the weekend with original programming celebrating the past, present and future of Detroit music.

For anyone riding a bicycle to Hart Plaza, Wheelhouse Detroit will be providing a bike valet for festival goers to secure their bike for free. Wheelhouse Detroit is also offering discounts to Movement wristband-holders and exclusive “Techno Tours.”

The event will have a number of food options including Delectabowl, Andiamo, and The Pita Post, among others.

Lockers and cell phone charging areas are available and can be reserved online.

A smartphone app is available for both iOS and Android users with artist bios and information about the festival.

2016 Lineup

The festival is played out across six stages in Hart Plaza, stretching from the riverfront to Jefferson Avenue and each stage has their own schedule. They include the Movement Main Stage, Red Bull Music Academy Stage, Beatport Stage, Underground Stage, Made in Detroit Stage presented by Thump and the Opportunity Detroit Stage.

Phase I of the 2016 Lineup was announced in January and has since grown into a massive list of over 100 local and international artists.

The full 2016 Movement Electronic Music Festival Lineup is below:

Stage Saturday Sunday Monday
Movement Main Stage 2-3:30 Rickers 3:30-5 Sonja Moonear 5-6 DeWalta and Mike Shannon 6-7:30 Seth Troxler 7:40-8:40 Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald present: Borderland 8:40-10:10 Maceo Plex 10:30-12 Kraftwerk 3-D 2-4 Barem 4-5:30 Bjarki 5:30-7 Matador 7-9 Loco Dice 9-10:30 Adam Beyer 10:45-12 Dubfire: Live Hybrid 2-3:30 Fit Siegel 3:30-5 Stone Owl 5-6:30 Anja Schneider 6:30-8:30 John Digweed 8:30-10:30 Chris Liebing 10:45-12 Modeselektor
Red Bull Music Academy 2-3:30 Jeff Risk 3:30-5 Shady P 5-6:30 Kyle Hall 6:30-7:30 Dam Funk 7:30-9 Kenny Dope 9-10:45 Four Tet 11-12 Caribou 2-4 Pontchartrain 4-6 Honey Soundsystem 6-8 The Black Madonna 8-9:30 Tiga 9:30-10:40 Will Sessions feat. Amp Fiddler 11-12 RZA feat. Stone Mecca 2-3:30 Wheez-IE 3:30-4:30 DJ Funk 4:30-5:30 DJ Godfather 5:30-6:30 Big Freedia 6:30-7 Zelooperz 7-8:30 J. Phlip 8:30-10 Justin Martin 10-12 Get Real: Green Velvet & Claude Vonstroke
Beatport 2-4 Mister Joshooa 4-5:30 Guti 5:30-7 Zip 7-8:30 Davide Squillace 8:30-10 Marc Houle 10-12 Nic Fanciulli 2-4 Job Jobse 4-5:45 DJ Tennis 5:45-8:45 Magda 8:45-10:15 Ame 10:15-12 Tale of Us 2-4 Hito 4-6 tINI 6-8:30 Joseph Capriati 8:30-12 Richie Hawtin
Made in Detroit presented by Thump 12-2 Al Ester 2-3 Niko Marks 3-4 La Fleur 4-5:30 Paul Woolford 5:30-7 Matthew Dear 7-9 Stacey Pullen 9-11 Carl Craig 12-1:30 Eddie C 1:30-3 No Regular Play 3-4:30 Ryan Crosson 4:30-6 Lee Curtiss 6-7:30 Shaun Reeves 7:30-9 Art Department 9-10:30 Ellen Allien 10:30-12 Eddie Fowlkes 12-1:30 Art Payne & Keith Martin 1:30-2:45 Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale 2:45-4 Bruce Bailey 4-6 The Saunderson Brothers 6-7:30 Delano Smith 7:30-9 MK 9-10:30 Guy Gerber 10:30-12 Kevin Saunderson
Underground 2-4 Project 313 4-5:30 Andrei Morant 5:30-7 Kyle Geiger 7-8:30 Jay Denham 8:30-10 Scuba 10-12 Len Faki 2-3 Rezz 3-4 Josh Pan 4-5 Mija 5-6 Vindata 6-7 Bixel Boys 7-8 Alex Metric 8-9 Sliink 9-10:30 What So Not 10:30-12 Kill The Noise 2-3 Abbe & Toth 3-4:30 Jared Wilson 4:30-6 2AMFM 6-7 Tin Man 7-8:30 DJ Pierre 8:30-10 Boys Noize 10-12 Nina Kraviz
Opportunity Detroit 2-3 Scott Zacharias 3-4 Israel Vines 4-5 Patrick Russell 5-6 Mike Servito B2B Derek Plaslaiko 6-7 Gay Marvine 7-8 Carlos Souffront 8-9 Ectomorph 9-10 Claude Young 12:30-1:30 Movement Yoga 2-3:15 Rebecca Goldberg 3:15-4:30 Loren 4:30-5:45 Ryan McCray 5:45-7 Chuck Daniels 7-8:30 DJ Seoul 8:30-10 Mike Huckaby 12:30-1:30 Movement Yoga 2-3 Murder House Party 3-4 DJ Holographic 4-5 The Friend 5-6 Brian Gillespie 6-7 Marshall Applewhite 7-7:45 Calico 7:45-8:30 Laceration Selekta 8:30-9:15 Mark 8en Moss 9:15-10 Dilemma 10-12 Dub Phizix & MC Strategy MC 7-10 MC Bombscare

The festival begins each day at noon and ends at midnight.

For tickets, click here. Three-day general admission passes $175, individual day passes are $85 and three-day VIP tickets are $300.

The will call and sales box office is located in the outdoor plaza in front of the Cobo Convention Center, directly west of Hart Plaza at Jefferson Avenue and Washington Boulevard.