This year’s Movement Festival 2013 by Paxahau definitely didn’t disappoint, equipped with five technologically spruced up stages (Red Bull Music Academy, Beatport, Underground, Made in Detroit and the Electric Forest) and over 121 artists booked over a three day period. This time there was a noticeable absence of the neon-clad creatures that often give electronic dance music a bad name. Could it be they were at the Electric Daisy Carnival here in Chicago? Or perhaps they were mostly sequestered in the Electric Forest, we’re not quite sure.

The Red Bull Music Academy Stage, now in its 6th year at the festival, made its transition as the main stage. With heavyweights such as Carl Craig, Dave Clarke, Moodymann, Richie Hawtin, Francois K, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, it was a curiosity to see how some artists of equal (or sometimes bigger) notoriety ended up playing on the neighboring stages.

The one time I got to check out the Underground Stage, it was beyond packed with Nina Kraviz throwing down a deep and dark Techno set. While it was a little too dark for me, she was technically sound and had hundreds of adoring fans hooked on her every mix, and she was segued by Steffi with an even more banging 4 on the floor sound.

Nina Kraviz at Movement 2013
Nina Kraviz at the Underground Stage

The Beatport Stage was set alongside the river with a breathtaking view, especially after sunset. Sunday, undoubtedly the biggest day of the festival, I got to catch Art Department’s eclectic and slightly bizarre set with Kenny Glasgow doing a very intoxicated psychedelic dance that entertained the crowd to no end.

Art Department at Movement 2013
Art Department at the Beatport Stage

Dennis Ferrer followed with his signature electric and high voltage show, and the highlight was when he played Mike Dunn’s ‘Freaky Motherfucker’ to a newer generation of kids that cheered at every overly suggestive lyric.

Louie Vega at Movement 2013
Louie Vega before the MAW set


The evening’s grand finale with Masters at Work’s Kenny Dope and Louie Vega was nothing short of inspiring. Opening up with 10 second teasers of some of their biggest songs from the ’90s, they had the crowd hooked from beginning to end. Witnessing my House heroes from over 25 years up on that stage was the absolute highlight of Movement for me.

Overall the Made in Detroit stage was by far my favorite because it not only featured Detroit’s finest, but it also had the Housiest feel to it. The hosting city has such a plethora of great talent that I honestly could have parked myself there for all 3 days and would have been completely content. The other cool thing about this area is it has been unofficially christened as the place to be by the growing dance community. Filled with cyphers of dancers practicing all styles of dance, you are guaranteed to be sonically and visually entertained.

Made in Detroit Stage, Movement 2013
Made in Detroit Stage
Alton Miller at Movement 2013
Alton Miller at the Made in Detroit Stage

The only damper to the festival was Day 3, when mother nature took her course and blew an overcast and gloomy day. With rain coming in and out and going heavy towards the end of the night, only the bravest of the brave toughed it out. We caught some of Cajmere’s uber funky set at Beatport, Buzz Goree’s techy goodness at the Made in Detroit Stage, and Francois K’s surprisingly darker set at the mainstage before finally bowing out to the rain gods.

Eli from Soul Clap at Movement 2013
Eli from Soul Clap

With Miami’s Winter Music Conference on the downswing, more and more people will be migrating to the ever growing list of festivals popping up in every corner of the globe. But – guaranteed – Detroit’s Movement Festival will be a mainstay that will continue to prosper for many years to come.