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Movement sets the stage for summer, welcomes crowds to Detroit

The crowd at Movement Electronic Music Festival, in Detroit, MI
The crowd at Movement Electronic Music Festival, in Detroit, MI
Douglas Wojciechowski

Over 100,000 people packed into Hart Plaza during the Memorial weekend to dance to the music that filled the expansive venue. The grounds were saturated with techno fans from every country, state and city imaginable- and those living in Detroit repped the city hard. It seemed like everyone was a proud Detroiter during the massive party weekend, a prelude to summer.

Movement, the electronic music festival that takes place in downtown Detroit, has become the standard event to kick-off the summer right since 2000. They got it right this year too. Movement always has been, and continues to be, the biggest underground electronic fest that always has the right mix of acts to keep crowds coming back again and again.

With six stages, finding your vibe was simple. The hard part was deciding who to hear when great acts performed on different stages. That's not really a problem though. Chances are you could hear the beginning of one set on the Moog stage, then hit Beatport to see the end of the set. There were tons of chances to see what you came to hear, and check out music.

The Moog Stage pumped up crowds with artists like Action Bronson, Just Blaze, Riff Raff and Flosstradamus throughout the three-day weekend. Pounding down the Beatport Stage was Claude VonStroke, Heathered Pearls and Tiga.

The Red Bull Music Academy Stage played home to greats such as Carl Craig, John Digweed, Amp Fiddler and Richie Hawtin. The Made in Detroit Stage featured local artists including Stacey Pullen, Kevin Saunderson and Kevin Reynolds.

Notable acts that hit the Underground Stage were Chris Liebing, Robert Hood and Jeffs Mills. A new addition joined Movement this year, the Silent Disco Stage. Performances by Annie Hall and Shawn Michaels were standouts.

The scene around Movement was filled with tons of people wearing over-the-top outfits. Gold lame vests seemed to be the costume of choice for the guys while the best accessory I saw was the artistry of many girls makeup brushes as they transformed their eyes into glorious butterflies and detailed rainbow creations. A gal named Pookie rocked an inflatable inner tube resembling a donut with lighthearted conviction, adding to the free-thinking attitude that makes Movement work.

Aside from Detroit's stoic skyline that has always stood watch over Hart Plaza, art installations were scattered throughout the park to add to the landscape Movement creates. The pieces always add a unique and unexpected element to the festival, and this year, the interactive art stood out. Chess boards were set up and each board was occupied by friends facing off as competitors, while others opted to chill in the treetops and listen as the sounds from the stages rushed in and took over.

Every detail is covered to enhance the overall experience, right down to the picture-perfect weather that was probably ordered in advance for this event. And if the sun didn't shine, Paxahau, the event promoters would have flown in from somewhere. Everyone ready for next year?

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