Thursday, June 7, 2012

Movement Electronic Music Festival- Day 2 & 3 Recap

After being in Detroit for 3.5 days and taking an entire week to recover, I think it's safe to say that I am ready to recap what was the best music festival I have ever attended. It was just the right amount of weird...add in some great company and 72 hours of music that literally. never. stopped. And you have a recipe for one amazing Memorial Day Weekend.

Photo from Megan Matteson
Tyler did a great job giving you an idea of what happened at DEMF on the first day, but I thought I'd school everyone through tips on what you should and should not do, what I loved and did not love, and what to expect or not to expect when you're dance partying your way through Detroit in case you’re wondering if you should go next year. Spoiler alert: YOU SHOULD.


1. Don't expect to see every single artist you wanted to.

You can't be in two places at once. The schedules between the Beatport and Red Bull Music Academy Stages on Sunday alone made me wish I knew how to split myself in half so I could see every artist and relish each dance party. Running from stage to stage is fun, but at some point you just need to stop yourself and enjoy the music. I was most excited for Slow Hands and Lindstrom on Sunday and ended up missing Slow Hands because we were at the daytime party, Shit Show 3 thrown by Gary Springs Hunting Club (Detroit) and As You Like It (San Francisco). It was an awesome party and am already looking forward to next years "Party Til You Feel Guilty" soiree. If you have the opportunity to experience something other than the festival during the day, I highly suggest you run with it; I met some awesome people and the disco rooftop dance parties made the vibe at the venue that much more better.

And missing Slow Hands was just a drop in the bucket because the rest of the Red Bull Music Academy Stage was fire. One look at the line-up for the entire day and you'll see why I wasn't too disappointed.

Each artist threw down dance parties and showcased their talent wonderfully. Lindstrom made up for it as well. I’d say he was my favorite act on Saturday, and I’m glad I was able to capture a few videos throughout his performance.

2. Choose your after parties wisely.

I've been waiting two weeks to go off about this. If you were following any of the after parties on Resident Advisor, The Liason Artists and React Detroit Presents: Rare Form at Waterfalls was a forced to be reckoned with. A line up with names Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, Eats Everything, and PillowTalk caught my attention, but I ended up not buying a ticket to the show before it sold out. Most everyone I knew at the festival was going though, and when I was offered a ticket from a gracious friend unable to attend, I jumped at the chance to join my friends in what should have been an incredible night after a great day of music.

Note to everyone: When an after party doesn't release set times for artists, it's shady and a huge red flag. After walking down the stairs to meet up with some friends, I was told I was not allowed to go back upstairs to the patio. No reasons were given, and I was left downstairs with other friends and a bunch of other angry attendees for over an hour. The entire event was poorly orchestrated and the promoters are giving each and every person who bought a ticket their money back. It was a total shame to have so much talent under one roof and the execution was piss poor. Once I got over the fact that I, along with about 75 other people had gotten their night shat on (I hope I'm not being dramatic), I let go of my disappointment and channeled it into a large dance party for one. I won't even go into how they completely cut off Maya Jane Coles around 3:00 in the morning with no explanation other than turning on the lights.

From what we did see of MJC, she did not disappoint that night.

That being said, I had an awesome time at the Hot Creations (Hot Natured; Jamie Jones + Lee Foss) after party on the final day of DEMF. This was a party I hadn't planned to go to, but the rest of my friends were going, and I got on that gravy train as well. And I'm sure as hell glad I did because as exhausted as I was, it was one huge dance party in a loft complete with lasers.

3. DEMF holds a special place in people's hearts and Detroit is unlike any city you will have gone to.

The Made in Detroit stage was a highlight for me. I think it holds a special place in so many DEMF attendees' hearts because it truly showcased the electronic movement scene and what it encompasses. I was able to see Derek Plaslaiko two years ago in New York and to see him again, playing in his hometown at the Made in Detroit Stage was truly special. It was an amazing set and the crowd loved him.

The icing on the cake was Jeff Mills’ closing set on Monday night with a high-energy techno set (complete with disco segment which you'll see below) that could only be described as amazing. Mills is considered one of the biggest names in techno (if not biggest, I think) and was born in Detroit, so it only seemed fitting for him to end an amazing 3-day journey of incredible music that weekend. If you watch the video, you’ll notice him going on and off the decks and it’s because he went through about 100 records throughout his entire set... and closed with a 10-minute drum machine solo.

4. Canada is totally close to Michigan.

Wait, why is this in here? Well, you’d be surprised at how many people at the festival said, “Whoa, is that really Canada over there?” “Yeah, dude, it really is Canada.” Do you see what is behind me as I'm trying to be super American and patriotic - with a mustache on my shirt? That's Canada. Seriously.

Yup. That's Canada. Photo from Megan Matteson
5. Slow and steady wins the race.

That's totally what she said, and what you need to practice when coming to DEMF. Easier said than done, right? I’m here to tell you that at the end of your 3-day music binge you will be sore in places you didn’t know existed, tired beyond words, and satisfied beyond belief. DEMF is unlike any other music festival and I’m already counting day the days to next year’s festival in 2013 because you better believe that I will be there.

7/27/2012- Update: Here is the Tiger and Woods set from Day 2.

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