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Movement 2015 Recap

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Photo Credit: Joe Gall

By Movement Correspondent Reisa Shanaman
Photos by David Shanaman & Movement Photo Team

After months of anticipation and endless excitement, this year’s festival came and went all too fast and another Movement is, as they say, “in the books.” We thank all of our attendees and artists for making it a memorable musical voyage, and allowing us to continue to share our vision with you, in the city we love.

For the first time in Movement history, we experienced a sold-out Saturday and VIP, causing a significant delay in entering the festival; combined with an overwhelming number of attendees all arriving at once, this temporarily strained the entry system. We acknowledge and sincerely apologize that the wait time for many was extreme, and will change our entry next year to two entrances. For those affected that we have not reached out to yet, please be patient as we close up this year and plan for next year; we will make it right and are elated the rest of the weekend went off without a hitch—even the weather stayed clear all weekend, despite the original forecast calling for some rain.

Although there is never an official theme attached to the weekend, we couldn’t help but notice a motif of “family” running through the festival’s fibers. On Sunday we witnessed beaming papa Derek Plaslaiko bring his baby onstage for the end of his set in the Ghostly International showcase, but we were especially struck by the familial feeling the following afternoon. Sitting by the Made In Detroit presented by THUMP Stage, we noticed the unmistakably mother-daughter duo of Dina and Shelby Williams taking a breather beside us. Both first-time attendees, they gushed about how much they were enjoying the day together, having happened in spontaneously after a stroll along the Riverwalk. The sounds of siblings Dantiez and Damarii Saunderson washed over us while we talked; the two were performing as The Saunderson Brothers in the Origins showcase. Curated by their father, Techno innovator Kevin Saunderson, family was definitely in the air.


Photo Credit: David Shanaman

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Photo Credit: Steven Pham

The showcases were a new piece we added to the programming puzzle this year, and they allowed bona fide musical broods to curate segments of the schedule, fostering an intimate spirit on stage. Konkrete Jungle’s crew delivered drum and bass to the Sixth Stage on Saturday, while Detroit Techno Militia decimated it with their remorseless rhythms on Monday. Carl Craig, Ghostly International’s Sam Valenti IV and Kevin Saunderson, along with their cohorts, controlled the Made In Detroit presented by THUMP Stage each day, respectively. Meanwhile, Britain’s sibling sensation Disclosure turned the Red Bull Music Academy Stage into a sonic safari on Saturday with Wild Life. Finally, Techno innovator Juan Atkins marked 30 years of Metroplex with longtime label mate Eddie Fowlkes, a rare appearance by Model 500, and the introduction of his own daughter, Milan Ariel.


Photo Credit: Joe Gall

There were those we encountered amid the throngs who have created lasting bonds throughout Movements past. To that end, we were thrilled to link up with Jaime Stark and Chris DeMorrow, two locals who met through mutual friends near the Underground Stage in 2013; the two are now engaged to be married, and seemed as enamored with each other as with the music that brought them together.

Beyond the blood, matrimonial and musical bonds at Movement, we were pleased to witness that an authentic festival family has formed over the years, ever expanding and reuniting to stomp the cement together. Miranda Sidor of Los Angeles, who attends with her brother Alex, confirms, “It is a place for me and my friends to meet once a year and hear excellent music.” Movement even has its own unofficial matriarch in 72-year-old Patricia Lay-Dorsey, aka Grandma Techno. Found scooting and dancing her way through Hart Plaza, most of our patrons are acquainted with this electronic music maven and on-site celebrity.


Photo Credit: Christopher Soltis

Every family needs somewhere to call home and, as you know, home is where the Hart is. As Garrick Noonan of Lincoln, Neb. professes, “Detroit has heart. People are friendly and proud of their city.” It is incredible to see over 100,000 individuals from around the globe flood Detroit in a downpour of round-the-clock dancing, and take home with them adoration and respect for the city’s dynasty and dynamism.

It’s hard to imagine a family in which everyone agrees completely, and Movement is no exception; inquiring about favorite acts made this immediately obvious, as we quickly learned that 20 different people would provide 20 differing responses. From Dog Blood to Danny Brown, Maceo Plex to Paula Temple, it seemed every set was a standout to someone.


Photo Credit: David Shanaman

And those sets contained meaningful messages transmitted through the music: Floorplan reminded us to “Just keep your mind in a positive attitude” via Candi Staton’s “Hallelujah Anyway,” Model 500 urged “Earth is ours for us to say / Tomorrow is a brand new day” in the form of Cybotron’s seminal cut “Clear,” and Octave One beckoned revelers to “Just open your heart, just open your mind, and let your love flow like the sunshine,” with their live performance of “Black Water.”

Soul Clap expressed to us, “It really feels like it’s about music first here,” after bluntly declaring Movement their favorite festival. The duo also acknowledged the rarity of locals so eagerly embracing an electronic music event and its patrons. There aren’t many places where cab drivers will tip riders off to attractions like an underground Techno museum, as Alex Shekhtman experienced, or cities where law enforcement officials can be seen breakdancing in the crowd. But as anyone who has been can attest: Detroit is special. While Movement is all about the music, it’s also so much more. It’s the friendships fostered and memories made. It’s the dissemination of love for Detroit, respect for its legacy, and hope for the future. It’s an annual pilgrimage for the soul through sound, and we thank you, our family, for making the 2015 journey with us.


Photo Credit: Bryan Mitchell