This past weekend was Movement.
The legendary dance music festival located in Detroit that started as a grassroots idea between friends is now in its sixteenth year (tenth under its current name) and was the biggest it has been- boasting over 141 artists and 6 stages. Movement embodies Detroit- the idea of hustling harder, working for your dreams, achieving them, then dreaming bigger. This was my second year at Movement and although I had been to Hart Plaza last year and followed the sounds of Detroit techno to Old Miami, St. Andrew’s and TV Lounge in the past, I returned feeling equally as overwhelmed as I did last year.
I was staying with a crew of people that were all living, walking, breathing, partying, music encyclopedias. Last year they brought monitors to their hotel room. This year “just” a Bose portable sound-system would “suffice”. They rent out two rooms so that yes, we have more beds, but also so one room can always be the party room. There will always be a party room. That was the first thing I learned in Detroit this year. Well, maybe not the first, but definitely one of the most important.
I knew I wasn’t ready for Movement. but there was no way I could have prepared any better. You simply can’t. Plus it’s a little better when you go in with an open mind.
I went to Movement and subsequently I got schooled in Detroit.
Below are 20 things that Detroit and Movement taught me:
1. There is always a party room. (as mentioned before). It is also best to bring stuffed animals to the hotel with you (Sharks are best)
2. Kerri Chandler‘s Chicago-house inspired set on the first day as the sun was setting is one of the most under-talked about sets of the weekend. Remember when he dropped this. Yeah, try not to groove to this.
3. Watching Carl Craig close his self curated Detroit Love at the THUMP: Made in Detroit Stage took so much out of me I couldn’t make the Juan Atkins after party. I wasn’t even that upset.
4. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint (but apparently some of my friends can and will sprint a marathon).
5. Choose the AP and stay later. Don’t go home and try be “ready to go” for the next day. The festival starts in the afternoon for a reason.
6. I learned that I stopped loving Art Department a long time ago, and despite catching their last set as Johnny and Kenny, and wanting to love it. I simply could not.
7. The mac and cheese food truck beside The Beatport Stage won best festival food I’ve had in awhile. I got the one with bacon, duh.
8. I learned that the new club Populux may be one of my favourite venues I’ve ever visited, and proves why it is crucial to check out afterparties. While at Populux, mesmerized by pillars with technicolour lights, I witnessed Robert Hood and Nina Kravitz spin a great Chicago house set and a short but fun set respectively.
7. I loved the DJ spinning on the patio at Populux until 2:30am. I do not know his name. He was however, fantastic.
8. You can and will meet anyone you want if you just wait outside the Westin. I met Danny Brown, Skrillex, Boys Noize, MK, and Nicole Moudaber. I wasn’t even staying there.
9. Cab drivers can be your best friend (shoutout to the man that made three stops on the way home from City Club, yes one stop was American Coney Island) or your worst enemy (shoutout to the man that kicked my friends and I out of a cab for no reason).
10a. Old Miami is best to go to later in the day. Don’t try to beat the rush. You won’t.
10b. Don’t bring a backpack to Old Miami.
11. Techno, especially the hard techno being played at the Underground Stage can be scary. #Scared. But Ben Klock was pretty great.
12. Let your ears guide you to the stage you want to go to. They are always right.
13. Seeing Joris Voorn should be manadatory.
13. I learned being able to see Voorn and then walk 100m (or whatever that is in feet) to see a memorable set of Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson is something I am very thankful for being able to do.
14. I learned City Club is also when of the most spooky/cool/loud/damp/DGAF venue in Detroit and very possibly North America. I’m sure there are some equally as spooky/cool/loud/damp/DGAF venues in places like Ukraine, Bolivia, Thailand and/or Serbia so I’m not sure I can argue it is the most in the world. I learned Damian Lazarus will blow out the candles that are set up beside the speakers purely using bass.
15. I learned if you start some people up, they’ll never stop… Never stop…. Never stop.
16. The fan is the best festival accessory.
17. Love your crew and stay with your buddy.
18. I learned to give thanks and praise the Detroit techno legends that make a festival like Movement possible.
19. Pray Paxahau can up their own standard next year (this worked last year, although I didn’t think it could).
20. Book your hotel for next year. Actually, this should have been done yesterday.
What did you learn at Movement? Did you also get schooled in Detroit? Don’t worry slugger, there’s always next year. I’ll see you at the THUMP: Made in Detroit Stage.