As a techno fan, Movement Music Festival has always been a dream – an all techno festival in the heart of its birthplace?! Yes, please, give me more! It was an honor to be given media passes for this historical festival and to write this review.
THE PEOPLE – 9/10
Honestly, what you hear about Detroit makes you nervous to be in the city. However, that is the most judgemental accusation ever to exist. From the second we hopped in our Lyft at the airport, we were greeted with the kindest and helpful souls! Our Lyft driver was so nice, she drove us on a mini tour through downtown with the meter off, just so we could gain our surroundings. The festival attendees were also the best people I’ve been around. Although it is all ages, it didn’t “feel” all ages. It was a very mature and polite crowd.
** Author’s note: the clean and beautiful scenery is within the city limits of downtown. It is no secret that driving 3 mi in any direction away from downtown leads you into the desolate suburbs. Detroit is transitioning through a rebirth, which will take much time and effort, but the people who live in the city hustle hard to bring great change.
With an entire section behind main stage dedicated to VIP and Media with two bars, a pop-up stage, flushable bathrooms, and art installations, their attention to VIP is often imitated but never duplicated. VIP even had their own raised view of the main stage, away from the peasants… Just kidding. We love everyone! We strongly recommend attending VIP as it is 1000% worth every penny!
HOTEL BOOKING – 7/10
Since it was a late booking, we had to use other resources. We looked into AirBNB, but figured we do not know the neighborhoods, and you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the street. So, we turned to a booking engine for deals of the day. Greektown Casino was in a great location with exceptional hospitality. Plus, its location in GreekTown was adorable! I highly recommend eating at Pegasus for delicious Greek food! This section would have a higher rating if it wasn’t for the insane costs for the booking.
LOCATION – 10/10
We’ve been to a lot of festivals, and many claim to be the best downtown festival, but let me tell you, NOTHING beats the location of Movement. Settled right in the heart of downtown, along the waterfront American / Canadian border is the most powerful experience. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined it would be that grandiose. Let’s take a moment to say, bravo, Paxahau. The ease of access to the festival deserves a 10!
Walking around the festival was also easy because all stages were placed in an outer circle of the Hart Plaza monument. Food trucks and vendors were aligned all throughout the inner circle with endless options of the best food in Detroit, but we’ll get to that later. The vendors were placed in a second section of the festival. It was awesome seeing every techno label present selling merchandise – you don’t find that often!
PRO TIP: Head to the underground stage when it starts to rain. It’s sponsored by Resident Advisor, so you know you can’t go wrong! My best memory was on Monday when the rain continued on and off. We were checking out Barclay Crenshaw at the main stage, and boom.. DOWNPOUR! I mean heavy rain, we were drenched. We thought it would be a great idea to get it into the underground stage, but so did 1,000 other people. If this happens, fight through the crowd and make it to the floor, don’t stay on the upper level. There is plenty of room to dance and breathe on the ground level! Plus, Rebekah’s hybrid set was jaw dropping!! Deep, dark, warehouse techno – ugh my soul bleeds for times like this.
FOOD AND DRINKS – 9/10
Ah, my favorite section of our reviews. 🙂 Let’s just say, Movement did not disappoint! Nearly 20+ food vendors and trucks inside the festival with every option you could imagine. From gourmet pitas to Andiamo’s pizza and pasta, to fried chicken on a stick, gourmet grilled cheese and sandwiches, specialty ice cream, and more – the foodie in me went wild! Everything was moderately priced with little lines since the options were endless.
The cocktail and beer selection was also on point! Movement had their own custom cocktail menu with delicious and affordable sponsored options. With multiple bars and a beer garden, you never waited more than 10 minutes (if that) in line for a drink.
MUSIC AND PRODUCTION 10/10
UGHHH the music!! Best sets of the weekend were Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Nicole Moudaber, Adam Beyer, Rebekah Hybrid Set, Testpilot, Josh Wink, Carl Craig, Keith Worthy, Heidi, Leon Vynehall, Cajmere, Patrick Topping brb Nathan Barato, Recondite, Kay Alce.. Ugh! To Movement, we see your might with the artist bookings and we thank you!!
There were 6 stages in total – Resident Advisor Underground Stage, Red Bull Academy, Stargate Presented by Thump, Pyramid, Made in Detroit and Main Stage. Excellent stage production grew with each day that really sucked you into the festival.
One thing is for sure – festivals teach you patience. When there’s that one artist you’ve been waiting years to see, you would never let anything get in the way of not seeing that performance through until the end. To Joel, we thank you for your deliberation to showcase TestPilot. You were not giving up – regardless of the treacherous rain. We stood there unwaveringly supporting you through the equipment blips and failures. Since you did not give up, neither did we, and it was damn sure well worth every passing moment. TestPilot was unlike any other techno performance I’ve ever seen. Joel may be a troll, but he is a musical genius!
Movement 2017 is top 5 best festivals I have ever been to – and that’s saying a lot.
This festival has been officially ranked a 45/50 by Unity Travel.