Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit has pretty much come to mean Movement Weekend. It’s kind of an odd mash-up, since Memorial Day evokes the past as we look back on those who gave their lives in service and Movement is all about progressive music and culture that looks forward.
Interestingly enough, in the past (beginning in 1579 to be exact), ‘to progress’ was a verb (an action word) used to denote the making of a journey. When Paxahau came together in 1998, the founders of Movement (the festival) gave people from all over the world reason to journey to Detroit for a carnival of festivities all weekend throughout the city and in Hart Plaza. And the music the festival celebrates has caused people to literally move (i.e. dance) since its founders moved the needle (okay, again often literally) from conventional classifications of music into a new genre that remixed the past with the future.
While other people travel from afar to come to Detroit this weekend in order to discover old favorites or new performers and places, I am lucky enough to live in a Downtown Detroit Loft where I can hit up every one of the Pre-Parties, Performances, and After-Parties.
And this year, I am even luckier, because I won weekend passes to the Movement Electronic Music Festival from Ann Delisi’s Essential Music on WDET 101.9. Disclaimer: I am listening, as usual, to WDET as I write this…WDET’s license was originally granted to the UAW in 1948 (the way past) and I’ve been listening to NPR since I was a kid (the past, but not that far past) yet they have programs like Ann Delisi’s, Culture Shift, and The Progressive Underground with Chris Campbell (just to name a few) that play upcoming new artists that will be on everyone’s playlist in the future….
Okay, and while I can simply walk the couple of blocks to the Riverfront and all of the Pre- and After-Party venues, this year people can move to and from the Movement Main Stage to their other destinations via the resurrected Detroit streetcar system that has been reborn and newly opened as the QLINE Detroit.
But no matter how you get to Movement, here are my recommendations for the Pre-Parties, the Performances, and the After-Parties to be sure to hit up.
First, you should get purposefully “Lost in Transit” (and Pre-Pre-Party on Thursday, May 25th) at the “Lost in Transit: Movement Edition” with fresh music from Rick Wilhite, m. woo / milieu, and Satin Panther aka Matt Berels at The Old Miami (which was established in the 1970s for Vietnam Veterans).
Whether you live here or come from afar, you should journey (progress) through Detroit (the old and the new) with the “Extended Techno Bicycle Tour” from Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop! “This tour will bring the beats that electrify Detroit to life. Spend an early afternoon in the saddle visiting Detroit’s historic electronic music sites, including the Warehouse District, The Music Institute and the Packard Plant. There will be a stop at Submerge, Underground Resistance‘s HQ, for a tour of Exhibit 3000, a museum and gallery dedicated to preserving the history of Detroit Techno. There is also a record store onsite. This extended version of our annual Techno tour will venture into Hamtramck for a visit to the site of the venerable Motor Lounge, a stop at Detroit Threads record/vintage shop, and a cup of coffee at the charming Oloman Cafe.”
Okay, it’s not technically a Pre-Party, but on Sunday and Monday you can join Movement Yoga to warm up (and get limber) for your day of moving from stage-to-stage. This FREE yoga session will be presented by Detroit Yoga Lab at the Made in Detroit Stage from 1:30-2:45. (Because, yes, when you’re festival-going and after-partying sun-salutations don’t happen until after noon. )
On Saturday, you can (and should) start your day at noon, but you don’t want to miss The Belleville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson) from 9-10:30 p.m. on the Movement Main Stage.
Then hit up the After-Party hosted by The Crofoot with The Belleville Three & Richie Hawtin at The Detroit Masonic Temple (here you get Guinness Book of World Records and history, since “Detroit’s Masonic Temple… the largest building of its kind in the world” was constructed in 1920 and completed in 1926).
Sunday is another full day of where you can shift from stage to stage to catch incredible acts all afternoon and evening, with Paranoid London (Live) from 8:40-9:40 p.m. at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage and Kevin Saunderson as E-Dancer (Live) from 10-11 p.m. at the Stargate Stage presented by Thump.
You need to get to TV Lounge for at least one After-Party, so check out “OK COOL 5 Year Anniversary, Official Movement After Party 2017” hosted Dax Presents with Dax Lee featuring John Tejada, Honey Dijon, Danny Daze, Doc Martin (Sublevel), Ardalan, Solar, Eddie C, Voigtmann, Rick Wade, Dax Lee, Mister Joshooa, Ted Krisko, Loren, Nate Manic, Ed Mazur, and Steve, The Amazing.
While this pretty much should take you right into Monday, you’ll want to get back to the stages at 1 p.m. for another full day—and I can’t think of a more perfect performance than Carl Craig presents Versus Synthesizer Ensemble (from 8:55-9:55 on the Movement Main Stage) to progress (journey) to on Memorial Day. With Classical Music meets Techno, Symphony meets Synthesizer, this creative collaboration brings together the canonized past and the cutting-edge present with remixes that give another whole new meaning to the word progressive….
Which brings me back to all the ways in which this Memorial Day/Movement Weekend, with its mash-up of the past and the future, is the perfect weekend to either be living in a city that has a long history of innovation or to be making the journey to Detroit so that you too can be a part of this tradition that celebrates creative visions of the future!
View the Full Schedule Here