In a world overcome by EDM festivals, competitors need a bit more than a star-studded lineup and monstrous LED displays to stand out beyond the rest, so why not give back to your city while making history? It’s safe to say that Movement Electronic Music Festival is one of the only festivals continuing over a decade in the same location (Hart Plaza) that continues to receive love and support from its city. Every Memorial Day Weekend, the city of Detroit practically shuts down to come together not only to remember our fallen soldiers, but to celebrate the birthplace of techno. The festival is rich in history, which drives tourism and economic growth. Civic leaders and media outlets across the globe have hailed MEMF as one of the safest, most professionally managed and upheld, groundbreaking artistic installments in the world.
An idea thought up by Carl Craig, and later touched on by Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, MEMF is now a powerful music movement led by Paxahau, a music production company whose two decades of expertise in concert production have brought Movement to its greatest successes in 2006 and beyond. Movement stands out against other festivals because it thrives on showcasing the music that the rest of the world has been afraid to tiptoe around. Artists like Butane, DJ Shadow, Mike Dearborn, and Dave Clark headlined Movement a decade before the States understood what “EDM” was, let alone that daunting word: techno. Now, the festival is highlighted for its dark, debunked sounds and free-spirit atmosphere with artists like Richie Hawtin, Masters At Work, Dennis Ferrer, Magda, Terrence Parker, and Ben Sims dispersed among five stupendous stages. It’s not a place specifically for the young or the old. It’s a place for friends, music lovers, families, city officials, and anyone else who cares to join the Movement–neon furries to a minimum, Funktion One speakers to a maximum.
Not quite convinced of the awesomeness that ensues in Detroit? The birthplace of techno is rich in culture and history, which is why some of MEMF’s proceeds help fund The Detroit Techno Foundation, a non-profit, educational institution soon to hold “the most relevant historical techno timeline,” stated Jason Huvaere, President of Paxahau. The foundation believes that integrity-based music comes first, and this is a motto that needs to be shared with today’s up-and-coming artists. The Foundation, still in its early stages, will archive techno culture from its start in the ’80s through today in a museum, and will help “showcase where the techno culture came from before people forget. We feel it is important for young ones to understand the history of techno and electronic music.” Aside from housing a full-fledged techno museum, the foundation will have a state-of-the-art production studio where students will learn electronic music production from some of the industry’s best. The foundation will be a much-needed and lasting legacy, because history seems to be getting lost.
Check out some of LessThan3’s favorite Instagram moments from MEMF 2013 here, and be sure to join the Movement next year!
Photo credit: Oliver Correa