Movement Electronic Music Festival (DEMF)



Every year, thousands of people put on their dancing shoes and visit Detroit to experience a non-stop sweaty dance party which can been heard thumping into the night from almost any part of Windsor. Movement Electronic Music Festival, formerly known as DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival), is hitting Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit this year on May 25-27. The festival takes place every year in Detroit, showcasing over 100 electronic acts on five outdoor stages, with last year’s attendance reaching over 107,000.

Dillon Francis
Dillon Francis

The festival was first established in 1994, but it took another 6 years for the official launch. Detroit played a very important part in techno history with a huge scene exploding in the 1980’s, and the festival has highlighted many acts that are associated as being founders and innovators of electronic music.

The lineup for Movement 2013 includes Moby, who has sold over 20 million albums, Windsor based DJ, Richie Hawtin, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson (two of the founders of Detroit Techno), Big Gigantic, Carl Craig – who is one of the innovators of the second generation of Detroit DJ‘s, Gold Panda, and well-known Windsor DJ, Annie Hall. Tickets are $39 per day or $89 for a weekend pass with free WIFI inside the festival, tons of after parties and local food, clothing, and art vendors.

Techno, as a subgenre of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), was invented right here in Detroit, Michigan. To better understand the history of electronic music, it is important to mention the endless list of subgenres associated with it.

The list of subgenres to the techno genre is quite overwhelming and includes tribal, industrial, minimal, acid, trance, synth, disco, dream, futurepop, ambient, dubstep, trip hop, IDM (intelligent dance music), speedbass, gloomcore, rave and experimental.

Big names associated with the history of techno in Detroit include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson.

In 1988, the word ‘techno’ stood on its own as a genre and started to be used by people to describe the movement happening in Detroit at the time. Both Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson are scheduled for this year’s lineup, doing a set together called the High Tech Soul Concept.

Kevin Saunderson was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Michigan at the age of 11. He actually met Juan Atkins and Derrick May at Belleville High School, and eventually started making electronic music together. After playing clubs and subsequently developing Detroit Techno, they became known as the Belleville Three.

The main aspect of techno that was different from the House music scene in the 80’s was that analog synthesizers and drum machines were used. Funk bassist, Bootsy Collins, and the Japanese group Yellow Magic Orchestra, according to Saunderson, were notable influences in the creation of his sound, along with Kraftwerk, Prince, and the B-52’s. The three of them often travelled to Chicago to check out the House music scene that was happening there in the early 80’s. The main starting point for Detroit Techno was when Juan Atkins joined with Richard Davis to form Cybotron and released the single, Alleys of Your Mind in 1981, which sold 15, 000 copies on their Deep Space label.

For this year’s electronic festival, the main stage will be sponsored by Red Bull, and the Beatport stage will be located by the water. The three other stages are: Electric Forest, the Underground Stage and Made in Detroit. Each has its own personality and type of music featured. Last year, the Underground Stage was filled with dubstep, whereas the Made in Detroit stage consisted more of minimal.

To be completely honest, Movement Electronic Festival is a really interesting experience, with lots of great costumes and fashion, very loud beats, people break-dancing, magic performances, and other interesting sights. It is definitely a very fascinating and entertaining festival to attend, so do not miss it!

For more information, including the full lineup, visit

See you at the show.


By: Clara Musca