Detroit and Hart Plaza hosted another Movement Music Festival in 2022, and the Memorial Day weekend festival delivered on its high expectations.
Movement Music Festival just celebrated its much anticipated return to Detroit over Memorial Day weekend. The house and techno festival hadn’t taken place since 2019, and Movement 2022 was definitely worth the wait.
Located at Hart Plaza downtown, Movement is an annual tradition that takes over the entire city. The festival goes all day, and the afterparties around Detroit go all night.
Movement Music Festival dates back to 2000, and it attracts international house and techno talent unlike any other event.
The lineup features both local legends like Claude Vonstroke, Carl Craig, and Jeff Mills as well as touring DJs like ANNA, Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Chris Lake, and Maceo Plex. The festival grounds are split into several main stages around Hart Plaza, a downtown park that seems to be set up perfectly for a music festival. Both the Pyramid Stage and the main Movement Stage have several elevated viewing areas permanently built into the architecture, but the Stargate Stage had the most impressive production this year.
The Waterfront Stage allows for views of the Detroit River and Ontario, Canada. The festival hosts a wide variety of acts here like Griz, Duck Sauce, 2 Chainz, and LTJ Bukem and Goldie. While some artists like Skrillex and Nina Kraviz were taken off the lineup, Movement still delivered with three days of stellar house and techno selections.
One of the best parts of Movement Detroit is the hard-hitting techno at the Underground Stage.
Located in an underground area of Hart Plaza, this stage had a brand new setup in 2022. Built with a minimal, techno-ready design, the Underground Stage always has some of the most creative music at Movement. It’s a great place to both see familiar artists and discover new ones while getting lost in a dark basement of techno. Blawan, Kobosil, and 999999999 at the Underground Stage were some of my highlights of the festival, as expected.
While Movement was an amazing time, the Detroit nightlife was really what stole the show for me this weekend.
The overall experience that Detroit provides has always been my favorite part of Movement. Other cities have afterparties (and festivals) that end early, but there really aren’t any limits on the parties that happen after Movement ends at midnight.
The legendary OK, Cool event at TV Lounge went from 10 PM until noon with three stages of music. Spot Lite hosted the Detroit Love party with Carl Craig and Seth Troxler, a record shop that played music and sold vinyl until 6 AM. Magic Stick, Masonic Temple, and Russell Industrial Center always throw some of the biggest official afterparties of the weekend.
Detroit is full of venues that work perfectly for an after hours performance after a festival, especially for Movement’s style of music. What other city can you pass by a building downtown like Leland City Club and hear techno radiating from the walls at 7 AM? Detroit has electronic music deeply embedded in its culture, and it embraces that to the fullest every year on Memorial Day weekend.
The amenities at Movement Festival make the event a pleasant experience for all kinds of fans of electronic music.
Hart Plaza’s grounds are relatively small. The walking distances are minimal, a massive change compared to EDC Las Vegas the weekend before. The overall experience is manageable, and the various stages all have solid production and sound quality. Crowds are friendly, and Movement attracts a much more mature crowd than the average festival.
The VIP benefits at Movement are definitely worth the money. There’s an entire secret stage in the VIP area, upgraded bathrooms, a separate entrance, exclusive vendors, and a bar with discounted drinks. The elevated viewing area at the Movement Stage was worth it alone. GA is really all you need though, and there’s a few secret bathrooms around Hart Plaza that have running water all weekend.
Movement is a special festival that has a vibe unlike anything else I’ve attended.
It will be hard for me to ever skip a weekend of Movement again. Movement is basically a can’t-miss festival if you enjoy the energy at Carl Cox‘s Megastructure at Ultra. There might be other events on Memorial Day weekend like Summer Camp, but Movement is definitely the move for house and techno heads. I can’t wait to return in 2023.