Fifteen years ago, as rain poured on Hart Plaza and curious spectators trickled in to hear the rumblings of techno music transport them to otherworldly places did Carol Marvin and her Detroit Electronic Music Festival founders bite their lips, anxiously anticipating the sea of flesh that would writhe and dance that coming weekend? Did they slap themselves on the back, like, "We did it"? No, they listened to the sound of their pulse speed up to the rhythm of the music and fervor of the city that had long since been catching up to itself.
As the birth of DEMF gave way to Movement Electronic Music Festival, the festival has grown into its adolescent years and is now revisiting that spirit that carried it from its initial inception. The city too finds itself with one foot in the past and the other in the present. While both newcomers and locals travel to the fest each year, it's important not to forget those roots. A brash group of people set on performing music that defined a city for them and attracted thousands to a raucous reverie where memorable moments happened at a heartbeat.
More transplants have relocated to the city as result of the kind of spirit that shines at Movement, your humble narrator included. To see Detroit through our eyes is to revisit those moments that make the best "remember when" Movement conversations. It has also captured the bigger names that one might associate with festivals on the West Coast. Tellingly, Snoop Dogg — excuse us, DJ Snoopadelic — and Skrillex have jumped on the bill this year to associate themselves with a festival that in its very first year had the current house band for the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, backing up local rap icons Slum Village. Can you imagine that show?