Movement Detroit 2018 Recap

Movement: OneEDM Shares Their Tale

Once again Paxahau has brought Movement Electronic Music Festival to downtown Detroit. Since it’s debut in 2000, the festival has grown to become the biggest electronic music festival in the city of Detroit, and one of the biggest Techno festivals in the world. The festival is always something to look forward to, and his year certainly was no different.

“Welcome to Techno City.” That’s the first line on the Movement Electronic Music Festival website. The three-day Memorial Day weekend festival began Saturday afternoon in Detroit’s Hart Plaza. Without a doubt, the festival is uniquely Detroit and is an asset to the city. It brings thousands of people into downtown, making the streets vibrant and a normally empty plaza buzz with activity. With five different stages and more than 75 performances throughout the entire weekend, the festival did not disappoint. Techno clearly was the dominant theme. However, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Estimates state that around 25,000 people attended each day of the festival this year.

J. Philip on the Star Gate stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography


This year’s festival had several stages:

Directly to the right of the festival entrance was the Star Gate stage. This was one of the smaller stages at the festival. The artist faced the Renaissance Center in the east while the crowd faced west. There were LED lights in front of the DJ booth and there were 3 additional panels behind the DJ. This helped create a visual experience, especially at night.

Star Gate stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography

The main stage, located in the center of Hart Plaza, was certainly impressive. It towered over the crowd and was over 30 feet tall. Draped on each side was a banner displaying the Movement logo. Additionally, another banner was on top that simply read “Detroit.” LED panels lay to the back of the stage while strobe lights covered the ceiling.

Main Stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography

The Red Bull Music stage was equally impressive.  This stage was tucked to the back side of the festival. An awning greeted fans. While not as big as the main stage, this stage was still quite tall.  An LED panel was in the center of the state with the Red Bull logo in the middle.

Located in the back of the plaza, near the riverfront, there also was the Pyramid stage.  Fans had a great view of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario across the river as they listened to the music. The stage itself consisted of LED panels shaped like a reverse pyramid. The DJ booth was at the lowest shelf and the LED panels grew taller in steps towards the outside. On each side of the stage was an obelisk paying tribute to techno music and the city of Detroit.

Tyga on the Pyramid stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography

There also was an underground stage. Unlike previous years, Paxahau moved this stage to the eastern side of the room, instead of having it in the center.

Underground Stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography.

Day 1 Highlights:

The Movement Electronic Music festival had five stages. Most-played techno music while the Red Bull Music stage added variety including some trap and dubstep. On the main stage, the highlights of the day included Fisher, Justin Martin, and Claude Von Stroke. Fisher heated up the main stage to kick off sunset. Later, as night fell, Justin Martin took to the main stage. His techno beats got the crowd moving for hours.

Claude Von Stroke on the main stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography

Claude Von Stroke closed out the main stage. A new structure was revealed for Claude Von Stroke’s closing set. It consisted of tubes that lit up in red, white and purple. The crowds grew greatly in anticipation for his set. The thumping beats was certainly a hit amongst the techno enthusiasts. His set was a smooth mix of house and techno beats. It consisted of generally repetitive instrumental music, produced into a continuous set. The crowd danced through the entire length of his performance.

Day 2 Highlights:

The second day of Movement Electronic Music Festival was quite exciting.

For one thing, the day brought musical vibes akin to the festival’s roots. The lineup was full of live performances touched with jazz and funk. It also included expressive sets from the likes of Eddie Fowlkes and John Collins. In particular, John Collin’s work was textured with stellar sax sounds from jazz player De’Sean Jones.

Shigeto at Movement Electronic Music Festival on the Red Bull Music Stage. Photo by Davslens Photography

On the Red Bull Music Stage Shigeto was certainly an act worth checking out. They began their set with some jazz. Then, they switched things up, utilizing a variety of instruments.

Meanwhile, on the Pyramid stage, Christian Smith played a techno set which consisted largely of instrumental music. Clearly, the audience was enjoying it as they moved and swayed.

Seth Troxler heated up the main stage as he brought in the sunset.  Everyone was dancing to the music that was playing. To finish the night, Loco Dice and The Martinez Brothers closed out the main stage. Their set was certainly worth checking out, consisting of techno music that got the growing crowd dancing.

Day 3 Highlights:

Monday’s lineup was scheduled to culminate with several heavy-hitters. These include Kevin Saunderson’s partially reunited Inner City on the main stage and hit-making producer Diplo on the Red Bull Music stage.

The Star Gate stage included solid sets from Detroit-based artists including Chuck Daniels, J. Philip, and Golf Clap. Meanwhile, Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale opened up on the main stage.

Closing the night were many major acts including Diplo, Wu-Tang Clan, and Rezz. Diplo played many of his hits during his performance on the Red Bull Music Stage. Rezz finished out the Star Gate stage.

The Wu-Tang Clan on the main stage at Movement Electronic Music Festival. Photo by Davslens Photography
Wu-Tang Clan Finale:

The Wu-Tang Clan brought the three-day Movement festival to a resounding, fun-spirited finale. They played several hip-hop classics for the audience.

The entire Wu-Tang crew was on hand for the occasion, with RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck and the rest of the collective backed by DJ Mathematics. Wu-Tang took and left the stage to crowd chants of “Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!” These chants only intensified at the end of their set.

The Wu-Tang Clan kicked off their set with “Protect Ya Neck.” Next, they played classic hits including “Bring da Ruckus.” This was followed by a performance of “36 Chambers” in its entirety for the next 45 minutes. Various members stepped up to fill in the parts of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Toward the end of the set, RZA opened a bottle of champagne and sprayed it into the crowd. The second half of the set extended the ‘90s throwback trip. It pulled in other Wu-Tang material and solo hits. A booming “Triumph” and vibrant-hued “Gravel Pit” brought the show into its homestretch before the abrupt sound cutoff at midnight.

Movement Festival

Without a doubt, the festival ended with a  bang. Movement has solidified itself as one of the premier techno festivals in the world. It is a major asset for the city of Detroit and techno enthusiasts worldwide.

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