May in Detroit is a special time. The weather finally breaks, we emerge from our cold weather slumber and gear up for summer, and most importantly, the Movement Festival invades heart plaza and helps us to appreciate Detroit for one of its greatest gifts to the world besides Motown and the automobile: techno. Last year, we at Detroit Techno House assembled an all-in-one survival guide to ensure that you got the maximum enjoyment out of your Memorial Day Weekend. This year, we keep the momentum going, and add to the original survival guide with some additional pointer and tips to ensure techno bliss, along with a few reminders from last year to keep you primed up for the weekend.
1. Prepare for the Worst: Michigan weather tends to be fucked to put it bluntly. Wild temperature swings and unexpected precipitation are the norm. Be prepared with appropriate footwear, rain gear, a hoodie/jacket, and maybe a change of clothes. You never know, you might get rained on or “raver slimed” by a sweaty dude who’s been marinating in his own filthy juices all day in the sun.
2. Study Your Schedule Carefully and Plan: This years schedule is phenomenal, and tends to lean heavily on some amazing Detroit based artists of both past and present. Give yourself a chance to catch some of the artists that make this city such an amazing Techno destination.
3. Don’t Believe the After Party Hype: Every year, we see more and more after parties pop up, with amazing global talent that often even eclipse that of the festival itself. Heck, I know some people that just make the after party loop every year and skip the festival altogether. That being said, don’t get caught up in the hype of who can throw the biggest most packed out headline of an after party. You may end up paying $50-100 bucks just to end up at an overcrowded venue with no room to dance and it takes an hour to get a drink. Some amazing nights were had in past years just hitting several smaller, low key events where the vibe made up for the hype and headliners.
4. Work Out Your Late Night/Early Morning with Detroit Local Delicacy: After a day and night of hard partying, nothing redeems the soul like a Detroit-style coney dog. Locals, you know what I’m talking about. Out-of-towners, get your ass to Lafayette or America Coney Island, clog your arteries and revive your spirits with this Detroit specialty.
5. Wander Detroit, Even for a Short Time: Obviously, use common sense with this one. Everyone wants to explore the ruins, but street smarts go a long way if you want to attempt that endeavor. Detroit is a city that is rebounding fast. Despite the negative aspects that a majority of media would like to focus on, there are tons of cool things to see here. Just a few miles from the festival, Detroit boasts Belle Isle, an island park that straddles the US and Canadian border that can be an amazing relaxing escape from the fervor of the weekend. See the outsider art of the Heidelberg Project. Or grab some authentic Polish food in Hamtramck. Detroit has many wonderful secret places; take a moment to check them out.
6. Get Lost: Even if its only for 15 minutes, lose your friends and wander by yourself for a bit. It always makes for an interesting festival experience.
7. Keep It Clean: You’re about to spend potentially 12+ hours dancing to great music with a large crowd of people. Not heeding the at-least-once-a-day shower rule is NOT an option. Ain’t no one want to smell that rave funk on you.
8. Check Out a New Artist: Taking some time to listen to an artist you’ve never heard of before can be magical. Every year I make it a point to spend some time digging some new talent I’m not familiar with. I have yet to be disappointed.
9. Pace Thyself: It’s not a race. More of an endurance contest. Don’t lose your mind so badly Saturday night after-partying that you’re down for the count Sunday into Monday. Drink some water, have some chill sessions, and don’t blow your load too early. Monday is oft overlooked by many a Movement attendee, and it tends to have some of the weekend’s best talent.
10. Let Go: It’s a music festival with an amazing vibe. Leave your life drama at the door and enjoy yourself all 3 days. It’s hard not too.