Each year at the end of May, thousands of fans descend on Detroit’s Hart Plaza to experience 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.