By Maddie Corson
With basses pounding at eardrum-breaking levels and the stench of sweat, cigarettes, marijuana, and beer in the air, Movement Electronic Music Festival gave a whole new meaning to high energy. The festival, which locals refer to as DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival), ran from May 28 to May 30, starting each day at noon and ending at midnight.
Now in its 12th year, DEMF is held at Hart Plaza, right along the Detroit River, overlooking Windsor, Ontario. With five stages and a lineup of 105 DJs and artists including Fat Boy Slim, Green Velvet, Paul Kalkbrenne, and Skrillex, DEMF is a celebration of electronic music that occurs in the American birth city of techno music.
The DEMF scene this year offered the ultimate people-watching experience. The ages range from adults in their mid-50s to toddlers wearing headphones to protect their fragile ears. The eye-catching fashions consisted of anything bright and neon. Ecstasy-driven ravers were in full attire, sporting minimal clothing, furry legwarmers, fishnets, tutus, and pacifiers to top it all off. Wrists were adorned with plastic beaded bracelets that are typically worn by children. In the rave world, these bracelets are known as “kandi” and are collected and traded.
Videographers and photographers roamed the venue, capturing people and moments. Sara Thornton, who lives in the suburbs outside of Detroit, is a student at Columbia College and a veteran DEMF attendee. When asked what she thought about the festival, Thornton replied, “I think the atmosphere and the people have a lot to do with the experience. I love the DEMF scene because everyone is very accepting—it feels like a community.”
This sense of community is what keeps electronic music-lovers and people-watchers alike coming back to the festival year after year.