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DEMF 2004 countdown.


TRIBE Promoter

looks like it's a go...... I want to go this year. I missed it lastyear and stuff..... comercial or not, it's a welcomed excuse to go to detroit.

i miss that town.

Techno fest team builds on success

Leading DJ is upbeat about the '04 version

February 14, 2004


The team behind the Movement techno festival will now admit it: Last February, they were scared.

Having just been handed the reins of Detroit's most popular music event after a midnight-hour decision at city hall, Derrick May and his staff were in a mad scramble. There were moments when they weren't sure the show would go on. International fans -- the visitors who had helped make Memorial Day weekend a Detroit showcase -- canceled travel plans.

Flash forward one year. Thursday afternoon at May's office near Eastern Market, it was a decidedly different atmosphere -- calm, crisp, efficient -- as a team of six worked phones and computer keyboards putting together the pieces for Movement 2004.

The free festival, which last year drew 630,000 fans, will take place May 29-31 at Hart Plaza.

With three months to go, some uncertainty continues. But after all, since the Detroit Electronic Music Festival launched in 2000, Memorial Day weekend has been a reliable source of backstage drama and financial ups-and-downs, despite the mammoth attendance and critically applauded performances.

May says he's feeling upbeat. Several potential sponsors, including one of the major auto companies, are expected to decide by month's end whether they'll link up with Movement 2004 -- an opportunity pitched by organizers as a way to connect with a hip, young and well-funded demographic.

Event insiders, who say the festival requires a budget of about $1 million, describe initial response as, in the words of one, "really, really strong."

"I have big dreams for this festival," said May, known internationally as a techno DJ pioneer. "Now we have to come up with the big budget to match them."

At a time when many other Detroit cultural institutions are fighting for their fiscal health -- the Labor Day jazz fest, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra -- Movement faces some of the same challenges. Last year's festival failed to turn a profit, despite help from dozens of artists who donated their stage time to help the event survive.

A festival team led by director Derrick Ortencio has been working since last year's event ended. But the action kicked into high gear in December. A snazzy DVD and sponsorship kit have made their way into executive offices across Detroit. More than 200 artists have been contacted for possible inclusion in the lineup of 70-plus acts. A Hart Plaza schematic sits in the Movement office as planners craft a high-tech venue design that will likely include five stages.

If sponsorships take root in the next two weeks, festival details will be announced in early March.

"It's night and day from last year," said Ortencio. "Everything's just that much easier, with the experience and knowing what needs to be done. We've spread out duties. We're working with a better time frame. We're able to dot I's and cross T's, unlike last year, where there was so much room for error."

May said Movement won't get out of the red this year. But he characterizes this year's event as a stepping stone in a five-year plan to transform the festival's creative bent -- and to make it profitable.

May's deal with the city, signed in January 2003, included a three-year Hart Plaza commitment with an option for two more.

Managers in Detroit's Recreation Department were unavailable for comment Friday. Shahida Mausi, the festival's liaison to city hall, described city officials as enthused by festival progress.

Organizers won't divulge specific artist names, but say fans can expect a lineup that pays the usual homage to Detroit techno with a diverse slate of international acts sprinkled in. Marquee names remain in the running, they say, though one rumored headliner can be ruled out: the German group Kraftwerk.

"It would be easy for us to just fall in line, but we've got to push the envelope," said May. "The concept this year is to put more emphasis on bands. We're not turning our backs on DJs, but we do want to show the graduation of electronic music."

Other plans include a Movement CD compilation with performances from some of last year's acts; a five-city tour this spring featuring some of the 2004 fest participants, and possible Movement parties later this year in London, Paris, Singapore and elsewhere.

"We're in serious discussions with sponsors, artists and promoters about taking the Movement banner overseas," said Ortencio.

At the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, fresh off a year-long national campaign promoting Michigan music, hopes are high for Movement 2004.

"We're really glad to see it growing in a positive direction," said spokeswoman Michelle Fusco. "This is one of those events that puts Detroit on the map."

Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM at 313-223-4450 or mccollum@freepress.com
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Dirt Dawg

TRIBE Member
YOU read ma fucking MIND BIACH!!!

I'm sitting here at werk figuring out how I'm going to work it this year.

I'm def.'n staying at the Ren Cen, going to get Jiggy for a few days.

I've been all over the world, but there is somthing about Detroit and it's ppl that I always look foward to, and miss when I'm gone.


TRIBE Member
4 years in a row, if I can convince the fiance to end the honeymoon a little early to go to Detroit.
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Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
^^ haha, okay you win the Special Achievement for Dedication to Techno Award for 2004.

I'd like to go this year. I've even got people I can stay with in Windsor.


TRIBE Promoter
I definitely want to stay downtown in detroit.......
Anyone wanna hookup a hotel cru?

Definitely I'm going, maybe ma girl.

its the first time in along time I've had the chinggy to actually go and have a good time. well planned $$$ if I save it up now.


TRIBE Member
A festival team led by director Derrick Ortencio has been working since last year's event ended

FTWDK - Mr. Ortencio is non other than Toronto's/Detroit's own DJ Dez (He's also my favorite brother in law, in law!.. MUCH LOVE! haha)

He worked his butt off on last years DEMF and I'm positive he's been doing nothing short of the same this time around... Should be a blast..

Next time he's in town at Element or anywhere else for that matter... give him and his team some props for taking on such a MASSIVE responsibility and throwing down one of the most important annual events in the North American Electronic Music Industry.

Looking forward to this...
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TRIBE Member
Ive gone the past 3 years, and I think im calling it quits. That being said, Dave Clarkes set, underground last year was AWESOME! I had goosebumps. And I did get to see my favourite dj EVER at a warehouse jam...the uncomparable TERRY MULLEN!



TRIBE Promoter


I highly suggest if you're going to get a hotel room BOOK IT NOW! the radission downtown detroit is apparently fully booked according to hotels. com

so if you're going that route.. BOOK IT EARLY! like now....as in today.

oh and have the room on your credit card since they bill you for it NOW and not when you check in...


TRIBE Promoter
downtown hotels....

when i talked to the guy,.... all the $77 rooms at the Ramada Inn Downtown Detroit were booked. I just checked.. .now they've got a block at $103 so I THOUGHT the hotel was all booked up... but I guess only a block of rooms were booked up.

either way... book it early if you want a deal.

Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
i'm prettry sure i'll be going this year, if everything pans out

wouldn't it be easier to stay on this side of the river for a hotel?
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Destro Sanchez

TRIBE Member
hotel Pontchartrain is RIIIIIGHT across the street from the festival

$100 US a night.

plus it's one of the few hotels where you don't need wristbands and all that shit to go up and down to your floors...

(but it may be booked, keep trying back til you get a room)


TRIBE Member
apparently this year instead of using the entire hart plaza like previous years, they are going to branch off certain stages into "nodes" 5-10 min walks into the city in all directions

somewhat of a dumb idea in my opinion ... i liked being able to walk from stage to stage often
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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by zoo
apparently this year instead of using the entire hart plaza like previous years, they are going to branch off certain stages into "nodes" 5-10 min walks into the city in all directions

somewhat of a dumb idea in my opinion ... i liked being able to walk from stage to stage often

Ya I have to agree with that, but I think it is better maybe for the downtown ?


TRIBE Promoter
The idea is to still have events at hart plaza as usual but they want to have nodes of the event thorughout the city and thorughout windsor - giving the chance for more artists and other collectives to take advantage of the time.

Why is this a dumb idea?? it helps to promote the arts more, it is spreading the wealth around. iT gives more people oppertunity.

that sounds dumb to me :rolleyes:


TRIBE Member
it's dumb because many of the 'nodes' will be empty and have very few visitors [who's going to cross the border for windsor when most of the party is in detroit]

and a 10 minute walk downtown turns into a 20 minute walk to each node outside hart plaza, which means less music and more walking

i love walking as much as the next guy, but really, hart plaza is big enough

last year had what, 4 stages ... and they left certain areas totally unused

they could fit 6+ stages in hart plaza and still have room for all the vendors

although i'm interested in seeing how they pull this off ... they are rumoured to have video feeds of all the stages at each stage so you can see what you're missing

... who's going to want to visit the 'nodes' that are empty rooms?


TRIBE Promoter
i am not going to speculate to much right now...
i am excited because i see more oppertunities for more people.

It will be interesting to see how sucsessful it will be.
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