Come Fourth of July weekend, the city of Detroit will be the land of the free, and the home of the rave.
After a 12-year hiatus, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival – known to fans simply as DEMF – is officially coming back for another year of techno celebration. The announcement comes courtesy of founder Carol Marvin, who put on the festival from 2000 to 2002. The festival will take place over a span of three days at the Campus Martius Park, and will coincide with another event, Federation of Electronic Music Technology (FEMT), which will be held inside Ford Field.
Keeping the spirit of the inaugural festival alive, DEMF will be absolutely free to attendees, who will have the opportunity to see about 100 artists divvied amongst six stages over the course of the holiday weekend. Back in DEMF’s first years, respected artists (and Detroit luminaries themselves) Richie Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, and Eddie Fowlkes graced the decks; this time around, techno pioneer and fellow organizer Juan Atkins assures that the line-up will have a “Detroit focus,” but international artists will also be featured. Though the line-up is largely unknown, three monstrous acts have already been revealed: Atkins projects Model 500 and Cybotron, and legendary Detroit group Underground Resistance. Already, the amount of talent set to take the stage is worth a very steep price tag.
DEMF is not to be confused with Movement, the electronic music festival taking place over Memorial Weekend in Detroit’s Hart Plaza. Many fans still refer to Movement as DEMF, but Paxahau, the organizers behind the fest, are keen on clearing any confusion between the two. According to the Movement Facebook page, “This event has been known under a few different names, but has always possessed the same unifying spirit – a celebration of the music and culture we all love, held in the heart of the city that gave the world Techno – #Detroit.”
Given that techno was born in Detroit, it’s refreshing to see festivals that are determined to focus on the sound that put the city on the musical map. Attendees will essentially be giving back to two communities: Detroit itself, which will presumably profit from the increase in tourism, and the dance music collective, who will pay homage to the genre that helped pave the way for new genres and generations of music lovers.
“Detroit needs a really big party right now,” Marvin declared. And if there’s anything dance fans can do well, it’s put on a party.