“Do you want to drive to Movement with us?”
I’d just finished playing my set at Liberty Bar in Philly and was now sitting with Heidi and Johnnie in the back.
She asked again, not sure if I heard, because I’d started laughing. But I had heard, I was just wondering how many times Heidi and other friends had asked, but for one reason or another, it just wasn’t possible to swing it, much to my disappointment.
So yeah, I’d heard. It was just that my mind was racing to see if there was some reason why I couldn’t again. That’s why I started laughing!
“You guys asked me last year didn’t you?” I said.
“yes, we went down with a big van, had a coupla rooms and an amazing time. Are you in?”
“Yes!” I answered empathetically. Simple as that.
The Movement stages schedule and the after parties had been released the week before, and I saw a few that looked tempting and made some brief notes of a few personal must-see’s at the festival itself (Lil Louis, Tale of Us, Benoit & Sergio, Mary Jane Coles, David Squillace, Roni Size, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex, Claude von Stroke, Jeff Mills), then added to it as other opinions were considered.
The release of the Vitamin Water sponsored app was really great (although the Android version came out much later than the iPhone app & had less features) The schedule reminder was cool and would send me an alarm notification on my phone 🙂
The hype was all around me! It seemed like every other person I spoke with in Philly was going! The majority have been making this annual pilgrimage for years. Everyone gave me advice – the best I got came from many: Movement is most definitely a marathon, not a sprint!
I decided to concentrate on enjoying as much of the festival itself, with perhaps an afterparty or two thrown in. I really wanted to really drink deeply from it, to feel like it was home to me. So I bought just 1 $10 presale ticket for Shit Show 3 on Sunday and saw another one for Monday that would be $10 at the door. Perfect!
Packing light was a priority since I’d be sharing the ride with at least 6 others, lol. Have you ever seen my picture? LOLOLOL!
OK, so I could’ve done a lot better, but wasn’t so bad – two people couldn’t make the trip at the last minute, that left six for the ride there.
We planned to be on the road at 7 am to pick up the local people and be in Detroit by 7pm. It was near to 11 am when everything and everyone was packed in, including Pat, with his loaves and rolls of the most fabulous bread and Johnnies’ famous meataballs (which the smell of them slow cooking as I ‘slept’ on their couch the night before plus the excitement made for some weird dreams!)
The rental ‘van’ was a beautiful, and Huge! A shiny black Chevy Tahoe. Wow, we were entering Detroit in American-made style, baby!!
On the road, we played mixed cd’s by the DJs in residence (lol, all but one of us!)
Edging closer to the city, we began to play that old rave game, “how many people on the road right now are going the same place we are. I was tweeting and sending pictures of the journey along the way. My husband, Rob, sent me a lovely message to “now just ready your mind to have an incredible time.”
At the last rest stop we pulled into, we were all so giddy with excitement that, when seeing a ‘suspicious’ car full parked nearby, that I easily persuaded one of our group to ask if they were going to the same place we were going, and they just laughed knowingly.
Finally, there it was! The giant basketball! It’s quite the majestic entrance that the highway makes into the city as it swoops into the city. Beautiful architecture surrounded us, intertwined with the history of the city of Detroit.
It’s now 9pm, and, there, near the Fist of a Champion – Detroit’s Monument to Joe Louis, the GM Renaissance Center, and the (!!!!!) tunnel to Canada (!!!) was our hotel, yay!!!! We unloaded the car, loaded up the racks and were swiftly shown to our adjoining rooms. We quickly claimed our stuff/sleeping places, freshed up, changed and out we went to the Bang Tech party at Bookies!
We all had a wonderful time in the multiple rooms, floors and roof deck of Bookies and made many new acquaintances. We would see a lot of each other in passing over the next few days! This was a delightful part of the fun and magic of Movement Detroit.
Back at the room, everyone serious about the all important business of the night’s sleep, it was just a bit of music on our rigged up little system, then lights out.
Saturday arrived quickly, and we were all ready for it! It was hot, but not too humid with a decent breeze. We walked over as a group to Hart Plaza, the site of the festival. Soon after we were all checked into the venue with our wristbands.
I tried to keep my energy level in check – repeating that mantra, ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’…then it started to rain! Lol
We headed over to the tents in the VIP section (as a female, I recommend it!) Heidi found us some fantastic bright orange rain ponchos at the ‘Made in Detroit’ vending booth and soon after we had drinks in hand and were wandering all over the sprawling wonderland of Movement! There was music absolutely everywhere!!! I tried to get a few drops for my radio programs and station from a few of the artists, but unless I could lure them to the media tent, it was a no go 🙁
All the different sounds and noises intermixing, rather than being cacophonous and annoying, became a warm pulsating blanket of sound that gently followed you from area to area, disorienting you just enough to make you feel lifted, alive, free.
And the people, so many happy, smiling faces! Everyone dancing.
It’s so easy to meet people here, everyone is eager to hear where others traveled from, who they want to hear, what after parties they are going to…
I stand at the top of the main stage bowl and gaze – to the fountain, the food vendors toward the other stages – it’s a constant and colorful stream of revellers bopping along stage to stage 🙂
I make the rounds to all the stages, the many, many vending booths, the food court area and the beautifully appointed VIP area (hello, chandeliers in little cabanas that ring the main stage?!?!) Starting with beautiful sounds of Mark farina at the Main Stage, then over to Earl Mixxin McKinney – such a great vibe! Got in a good bit of Tale of Us over at the shady Beatport stage, then down into The Underground to explore the (AIR CONDITIONED!) Technology Area where we all scored some great gear label swag.
Down there we heard the last bits of Phil Agosta then Droog, so surreal! The humidity from the rain created a haze that the lighting efx played hypnotically with. The underground is a cool maze that features a sunken dance floor of sorts, you descend into the dance floor in this huge concrete area and boom, hear the sound and dance dance…
Then back up for air and headed to Beatport for Benoit & Sergio, delightful fellows! Great fashion sense and perfect tune selection for this bright sunny afternoon 🙂 The crowd was really loving it. They were followed by an sexy d0P performance.
Over to the Main Stage now in time for Todd Terje, who caught me by surprise with “Rock the Casbah” and Pet Shop Boys! Back to the Underground for Mr C!
Missed Two Fresh, drat! But caught some of Photek at the amazing Red Bull stage… Main again, and there is Derrick Carter, just happily funking everybody up, dang, you can feel that bass in the chest! 🙂
As Beatport stage just continued to kill it with Damian Lazarus then Davide Squillace, friends pulled me over to Made in Detroit for a wonderful set by Mike Huckaby and introduced me later to this excellent DJ who I’d been a fan of for many years 🙂
As I made my way to Guy Gerber & Seth Troxler back at Beatport, there was Little Louis very much enjoying his time as evidenced by the dancing crowd that had had a full day of fun. And now it was time to get funky!
Oh no! I forgot to eat! hahahahaha The food trucks were doing a brisk business all day and here, near closing, were still slinging it out 🙂 I got some really delicious falafel then some beer at the corner store and voila! Thus prepared, our group made it’s way back to the hotel.
Some got ready to head out to the after parties, while some of us stayed in, chilled, listened to music and shared stories of our day. Around abouts 2 am, 2 were back, 3 am 2 more and by 4 am all my room mates were accounted for.
It’s Sunday, Memorial Day! Back in Philly, it’s time for the bi-annual picnic I help promote called Hang Free in Fairmount Park, but here in Detroit it’s time for the Shit Show. My poor tired legs are saying no no no 🙁 So I take a slow roll over to the venue and find the beer garden and the spiciest Bloody Mary I have EVER had! Soooo delicious.
Got my butt over to the main stage in time to hear/see The wonderful Camea followed with an excellent transition to Heidi – very enjoyable! Back over the beer garden for another amazing Bloody Mary, this time with friends, then we head over to extraordinarily scenic Red Bull stage for some Slow Hands, then Tiger & Woods, and I met Brock from RBMA.
Then, finally get to see and hear Maya Jane Coles – soooo good, saw many of the artists dancing around, was very cool to see that!
Heard some of DJ Sneak then rocked with Josh Wink for a bit at the Main stage. Back and forth to Beatort! Loving Maceo Plex, and really really loving the set by Ian Pooley!!! Too much going on, ackkk! lol, having so much fun bopping around between stages, getting caught up in conversations and interesting situations along the way.
This is a Massive day here at the festival – attendance was huge – many many colorful and wonderfully creative outfits are all around!!!
I get a text from my roomies – Flava Flav just checked into our hotel and Heidi got a pic with him! I saw Mr C checking in earlier 🙂 It’s DJ star power everywhere you go! At first you are like, oh wow, wow, then you get used to it and everyone is as one – back home in Detroit to celebrate this music 🙂
Ah man, realize that I’ve been so caught up in the vibe at the Beatport stage that there’s more going on I gotta see and hear! Left a bit to catch some Marco Carolla and now I hear Ice T introducing Loco Dice! Woooo! Great set by him, But I gotta check out Claude Van Stroke at BeatPort and so happy I did 🙂 Back to the main stage just in time to see Ice T again introducing – The finale of the night for tonight – Public Enemy!
The crowd surges forward, the energy changes…It’s an excellent performance and leaves the crowd on a high note for the day.
Time for after parties! Everyone going in different directions – Moodyman, Circo Loco, many great parties with all these dj’s and producers you have heard, and now you can see them play! So great 🙂
Suddenly, it’s Monday!
Legs are stronger today and I make sure to really explore all the vending booths in depth. Meeting so many interesting people and bought many great t shirts! I see Scotty Grooves and he has a goodie, “Vinyl – it may warp, scratch or skip but it will never ever crash!” He offers me a deal for a shirt and 2 slipmats and we agree to meet at the massive circular Horace Dodge Fountain. What a magnificent thing this is! It’s a really hot day and this is a very enjoyable place to survey the scene 🙂 It feels so good to wet my bandanna in the waters splash and lay it around my head and neck for a bit to cool down 🙂 Then, nirvana! Frozen lemonade for sale in a long necked colorful bottle that was re-fillable for a small charge! All day long, yes!!!!! I also took more advantage of the food offerings, and indulged in the treats at the famous Slow’s BBQ – oh yummmm!
After all that initial excitement, I decided to head deep into the VIP area, find a corner to sort out my agenda and reorganize myself for having the maximum fun on this final day. Oh so loving the beautiful cabanas and sweet seating areas they have set up. It really is a lovely option to have 🙂
Decided to start out my day with Nina Kraviz at the Main stage. Soon, friends once again pulled me over
to the Made in Detroit stage for the fantabulous Dj Psycho!
What a guy, what a dj, what a set! DJ Psycho for Emperor! lol, well, that’s what the banner said that a bunch of guys brought out! There were all manner of characters out that day! A group of colorful unitard body/face suits were a huge hit there, interacting with the crowd and making crazy dancing moves.
Then, tore on over to the Red Bull stage and really enjoyed me some Danny Daze 🙂 wooo! Disappeared into the PS3 van for awhile – had a lot of fun in there for awhile (AIR CONDITIONED!) I emerged refreshed and was drawn to The Martinez Brothers over at Beatport who were really going for it and had the crowd gone happy! I skipped (yes, I did) back over to Made in Detroit and Derek Plastiko held my heart for that hour, and then Stacy Pullen, omg! Wanting to get a good spot for ‘The Wizard,’ I made my way over and was so happy to hear the goodness from Mr. Kevin Saunderson. An excellent set!
And then, it was time for Jeff Mills – set up higher on the main stage, with his rig before him in a reddish glowing fog he played, funky, good god, so funky, groooooving to this… and then, about 25 minutes before set end, “The Bells” broke loose the gates of Techno for a storming finish — omg, so good!
We took a few more pictures by the fountain, looked around, smiled and passed thu the exit gate slowly as we could to make sure we soaked up every last bit of it.
We then sat outside across the street sipping ice water watchin’ all the people streaming peacefully out — damn good time!
Back at the room, we first made certain to call for a late checkout in the am. Several headed out to assorted afterparties, including the official closing hosted by Marco Carolla.
Sleep then awake, lol. It’s Tuesday, and time for these tired Techno travelers to head back home.
As we pack up our stuff and prepare to check out I check my social media feed and see pictures of friends doing a spa day in their room, deciding to stay in town for an extra day to rest and explore the city a bit more, very nice 🙂
But a stop at Bucharest Grill is in order first for shawarma and bit more of the delicious local brews. We were able to relax and gather our energies for the lonnnng ride home. Luckily two of the guys headed back on their own so we had a lot more room and were able to offer someone else a ride. Many more mixes later that really weren’t listened to because we had to keep turning them down as our conversation flowed exchanging sights and sounds that we experienced at Movement. One by one, we got dropped off, said our goodbyes, hugged extra tight and said to each other,
“see you next year!”
See YOU there!!!!!!
So, what did I learn to help me plan better for the next time? Yes, I started planning for the next one as I was unpacking from this one. I made notes on what I used and didn’t use, wish I had or had to buy there.
1. Packets of instant iced tea, coffee, and fruit drinks are brilliant. You’ll be drinking so much water that it’s nice to change it up…and the instant coffee packs are versatile, add them to the hotel’s weak brew and voila! Next time I’ll bring along some shelf stable milk as well, and pack a can of whipped cream in the cooler.
2. Humidifier for the room is a necessity! I learned this first when our family went to an Anime convention a few years back…it was a recommendation that we’ve always followed. I forgot about it and we all paid with dry sinuses/throats in the am :/
3. The local food and beer is great! Coney Dogs, Shawarma, so many choices, yummmmy! You can also get ice cold bottles of water from local ‘vendors’ for $1 🙂
4. Comfortable lightweight shoes and socks, good socks, lots of socks…and peppermint foot cream 🙂 Burts Bees makes a nice one, my favorite is by Lush because it has Arnica which is reported to be healing 🙂 I was happy to have brought 2 pairs of sneakers (one for day, the other for night), a pair of nice sturdy yet comfortable sandals good for day or night and flipfliops for the room and hotel.
5. Any length shorts or skirt/sundress will work better than pants. Footed or footless tights are popular underneath with layers of light t-shirts and a light cover up for the evening. For my stuff, a backpack and cross-body bag worked well, needless to say, the less stuff you feel you need to carry with you the better!
6. Things you’ll need during the day there – water, some light snacks like nuts, sun block, hand sanitizer, napkins, sunglasses, hat, camera, phone, a handkerchief (nice to wet with water from the huuuge fountain and lay across the back of your neck 🙂
7. Some first aid supplies and etc. stuff – band aids that have antiseptic infused pads are great, masking tape, rca to mini plug cord, 1 boom box per room, rubber-bands, plastic bags from the supermarket to neatly dispose of your trash in the proper receptacle.
8. Having all my stuff in separate 1 gallon clear plastic baggies was great. Not only were they easy to rummage around to look for stuff, the one i had all my bathroom supplies (tooth care, deo, soap, shampoo/conditioner/styling stuff, face care, clippers, powder, qtips, etc was great! No matter how weary, I could depend on having everything needed when it was my precious bathroom/shower time 🙂
9. More colorful clothing! It was such fun spotting interesting tees and having others comment on my own choices. Next time tho, I am going to unabashedly bring out a little more of my inner candy raver and get a bit brighter. The eye candy is fantastic here, especially the second day of the festival, which is more general, and a larger crowd, this day really brought out a huge number of very creative outfits! You can reach out by wearing your own crew affiliations, favorite labels, artists, and other conversation starters 🙂
10. A sleep mask and earplugs are essential if you are keeping all hours and sharing a room with others. You gotta be able to sleep when you can sleep. The after parties don’t go all that late (well, most of them) and chances are you may be back in your room between 3 and 5 am – this means you can sleep til at least 11am! Buttttt, a few parties started at 7am this year!
11.You can do this without spending a huge amount of money. Start putting aside a little bit when you can all year long. Buy your ticket as soon as the first wave is released…sign up for all the notifications! Traveling with friends and booking/sharing travel and room costs helps a kit, Get yourself a refillable water bottle with a filter and carry it everywhere and drink 🙂 Bring along snacks that you know you love – things like beef jerky are awesome! The food stands in the festival are good, and the portions are good. But ask friends who have been there where the local cheap eats are. Each t-shirt is going to cost you between $15 and $25 with $25 being the norm.
12.Plan how you like and try to get where you want to go, but be prepared to just go with the flow, where the mood and feeling take you…the crowd gets thick in areas, and you may have to go thru another stage’s area to get to where you think you want to go…take your time and see what’s going on there, and if you find yourself getting carried away with that vibe there don’t beat yourself up, go with it, enjoy yourself, open your mind 🙂
13.Be prepared to dance – a lot. Be prepared to move, to walk, and laugh, and smile and see, and hear, and dance some more 🙂
Things I would change or add to the festival – Well, it is pretty perfect. There are two things I would suggest to the organizers. One, that there were more trash cans about, and two, I was happy to see so many children really enjoying the festivities, but sad seeing few with ear protection 🙁
Here are my photo galleries of the wonderful event—
These photographs will be placed in a permanent gallery 🙂
refillable water bottle (with filter)
nice to have –
around the neck portable fan
Packing list –
leggings for girls (guys go right ahead 😉
long shorts (can sit on ground easier with)
lightweight blanket & pillow (the hotels quickly run out!)
gallon zip bags
instant coffe, sugar, milk
ice tea packets
anything that you will eat like beef jerky, food/protien bars, etc
an open mind and a body ready to jack!