City Travel Guide: DETROIT

It’s likely that if you ever tell someone you’re taking a vacation to Detroit, you will be met with a mixture of concern and curiosity. While many don’t think of the Motor City as a leisure destination, Detroit holds a special place in America’s history and more so in the dance music world as the birthplace of techno and home of Movement Electronic Music Festival – a three-day affair complete with impressive line-ups attracting tens of thousands to the city’s Hart Plaza every Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t be mistaken in thinking of the city as unsafe or not worth visiting, however, for Detroit is rebuilding and remains a great party and visiting destination throughout the year thanks to its vibrant techno scene, iconic venues and wonderful arts scene.

Throughout this Detroit travel guide you will find everything you need from hotel and food recommendations, transportation tips, things to do away from the music, and of course, a party guide to techno in the Motor City.

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#TBT Series: What Was It Like To Be At The First Ever DEMF/Movement In 2000?

Carl Craig, Derrick May and Richie Hawtin during DEMF 2000. Photo courtesy of Resident Advisor

Carl Craig, Derrick May and Richie Hawtin during DEMF 2000. Photo courtesy of Resident Advisor

At the end of May 2016, thousands of fans will descend on Detroit’s Hart Plaza to experience the 10th Anniversary of Movement Electronic Music Festival. As most attendees of Movement may know, the festival’s history goes as far back as the year 2000, when the celebration was first called Detroit Electronic Music Festival, or DEMF for short. The annual electronic music event changed named two other times, going simply as Movement in 2003-2004 and as Fuse-In in 2005 before being taken over by Paxahau under the current name.

But what was it like to be in Hart Plaza during the event’s freshman year sixteen years ago? The first DEMF was a landmark celebration that brought visitors from all over the world to celebrate techno in the city that gave birth to the genre. At the time, the City of Detroit injected serious money into DEMF, working with pioneers of techno to put on a weekend festival that went down with few hitches, no reported crime and plenty of injected tourism for the Motor City.

The flyer from that year tells a clear story of how DEMF started and what it has become today. We see on it an entire list of techno pioneers who will be returning to Hart Plaza once more at the end of next May. Names the caliber of Stacey Pullen, Richie Hawtin, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Magda, Mike Huckaby, Eddie Fowlkes, Derek Plaslaiko, Stacey Hale and Ectomorph, all acts who have remained at the forefront of electronic music for decades now. The names of other illustrious DJ guests on that roster are easily recognizable, including those of Carlos Souffront and Laurent Garnier. It is clear that from day one, the festival has always tried to push the boundaries of its sound to include more than just techno, as the billing of The Roots, Mos Def, DJ Assault and Godfather evidently highlight.


There is no doubt that the production in 2000 was not quite up to the level of the work put on by Paxahau in today’s day and age. Below you can get a glimpse of how things went down during that first DEMF in 2000, starting off with a two-hour video recording of Derrick May’s Main Stage (then called DEMF Stage) set on Day 3.


Next up, a second two hour recording from the Main Stage that day, this time focusing on another of the Belleville Three who performed over the weekend: Kevin Saunderson. The quality is poor, but it still renders an idea of how things were then and have changed since.


Stacey Pullen closed out the first ever day of DEMF’s history with the following performance in Hart Plaza’s built-in amphitheater:


Mike Huckaby played the C Pop Stage that year, the grassy area alongside the Detroit River that is now presided by the Red Bull Music Academy Stage.


Kenny Larkin graced the Motor Stage Stage with his presence and sound in 2000, while Kelvin Larkin performed at the Underground stage.


Below is a three-hour recording of the one and only Carlos Souffront doing what he does best at the Underground Stage.


Presented by, below is a full documentary that explores the history of the festival and how it was born in 2000. From the death of the underground to Motor Lounge, this short documentary touches on some of the significant milestones that led to the festival’s birth. Featuring original interviews with Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, Jason Huvaere, Dan Sordyl & Barbara Deyo, all three parts illustrate the path that led DEMF into becoming the Movement we know today.


Connect with Movement: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


More 6AM Movement 2016 Coverage:

Movement Detroit Set Times & Stage Programme

Your Complete Party Guide to Movement 2016

15 Must-See Artists At Movement 2016

The Women of Movement Detroit 2016

City Travel Guide: Detroit


Other articles in 6AM’s #TBT Series:

What Was It Like to Party in New York City in the Early 90’s?

Relive Some Of The Best Frankie Knuckles Moments Caught on Video

The Women of Movement Detroit 2016

Photo by Joshua Hanford

Photo by Joshua Hanford

While going through the stage lineup and set times for Movement Detroit last week, it occurred to me that this year the festival has booked a great selection of female artists. While there could and should be more, I remained pleased to see that at least when compared to 2015 the presence of women at Movement has grown.

Some of these artists are returning to Hart Plaza, see Nina Kraviz, tINI and J.Phlip, while others will be making illustrious debuts. Some even made our list of Top 15 acts not to miss at the festival.

Regardless, ensure you bear this pool of talent in mind when making your schedules for this coming Memorial Day Weekend!

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Movement Detroit Releases Stage Info and Set Times for 2016


This coming May, Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit is celebrating 10 years of life at the core of the birth city of techno with a line-up that brings together legends of the famed genre, popular up-and-comers in the underground world, current house favorites from across the globe and a small roster of signature eclectic acts.

This year, those making the pilgrimage to Detroit will be witnessing the first ever Kraftwerk 3D performance at Hart Plaza, with Modeselektor and Dubfire’s Hybrid show both set to complete the headlining spots at the festivals’ main stage over the weekend. Paxahau has also decided to change things around a little, adding different sounds to an Underground Stage that is usually chock-block full of hard techno, also placing Richie Hawtin’s PLAYdifferentlyShowcase at the Beatport stage by the Detroit River – with Richie closing out the night with a two-hour set – and inaugurating the first-ever Acid House devoted stage at the festival with the likes of DJ Pierre, Boys Noize and Nina Kraviz all set to perform.

The stage programme and set times are now out, allowing attendees to plan their entire Memorial Day Weekend with as much ease as possible. While there’s bound to be plenty of conflicts with Phase I and Phase II lineups of such size, there is no doubt that as always the entire weekend will be filled with top-notch music and amazing performances.

Check out the release below and make sure you also check out our Detroit City Travel Guide to ready yourself for the trip. The guide is complete with recommendations that cover travel, accommodation, food and other activities to do while in the Motor City.



Connect with Movement: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Movement Detroit 2016 Lineup Possibly Leaked Ahead of Announcement


Techno and house fans in North America have been waiting in anticipation for Movement Electronic Music Festival to drop its Phase I line-up, set to come out on Jan 20th.

The Detroit festival is celebrating 10 years of operations this coming Memorial Day Weekend and began teasing its fans with clues on social media hinting at some of the artists we can expect to see in May. They essentially announced the first-ever Movement appearance of German techno group, Kratfwerk, while the subsequent two were more obvious indications that Hart Plaza will play host to the Movement debuts of both Get Real (Claude vonStroke & Green Velvet) and Caribou.

Then, last night, a reportedly leaked image of the festival’s Phase I line-up began to circulate on various social media channels, igniting speculations as to the acts that the festival’s promoters Paxahau will be announcing this coming Wednesday. Whether accurate or not, the leak included the aforementioned three artists, making it believable to the many who saw and shared the picture.

Adding further fuel to the fire today, Drumcode head-honcho Adam Beyer posted the same line-up (which he is featured in) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Although the Swedish producer removed the image since, this solidified the already effervescent internet chatter from fans convinced that it may truly be the line-up coming out next week.

While we don’t know for sure, it has surely left us waiting for a confirmation. But for that, we might just have to wait until Jan 20th.

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Movement Detroit Teases First Act to Play in 2016


Movement Electronic Music Festival is celebrating its 10th Year Anniversary this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, and rumor has it the line-up will be a special one for the occasion. Read more