Movement Festival 2024 Honored Longtime Legends and Rising Stars in the Birthplace of Techno

Despite some challenging mid-festival weather, Movement 2024 once again showcased why fans from all over the world descend upon Detroit year after year.

The festival’s producers, Paxahau, hosted another entry in the historic festival’s saga over Memorial Day Weekend. While many of today’s large-scale festivals feel like glorified selfie stations, Movement seems one of the few remaining events that’s actually about the music.

With a more mature crowd than the average fest, it was easy to get immersed in the sound without trains of discourteous people shoving you during every set or influencers doing influencer things around every corner. And speaking of the music, this compassionate, techno-loving crowd was rewarded with one of the finest lineups on the festival circuit in 2024.

An attendee dancing at the 2024 Movement Festival in Detroit.

Sylvia Jarrus

The word “legendary” is overused these days in music circles, but over on the Movement Stage, attendees were able to witness headlining performances by some true electronic music legends.

On Saturday, Solomun closed out the first night of Movement with a masterful two-hour set. Richie Hawtin took over the wet but energetic second night with a special live DEX EFX X0X performance while the big beat pioneer Fatboy Slim sent fans home with a smile with arguably the best set of the weekend. Also featured on this large concrete amphitheater were Dom Dolla, Stacey Pullen, LP Giobbi, Jaguar, Seth Troxler and many more.

Fatboy Slim performing at the 2024 Movement Festival in Detroit.

Katie Laskowska

While the Movement Stage is clearly the “main stage,” the Pyramid and Stargate amassed some of the largest crowds of the weekend. The former featured a unique, pyramid-like area right on the Detroit River, creating a large but intimate atmosphere with sets by Honey Dijon, DJ Minx, Kevin Saunderson, Floorplan, Carl Craig and the second Fast & Furious star of the weekend, Idris Elba. It was also the only stage to host curated stage takeovers on all three days of Movement.

Elsewhere, the Stargate Stage was designed to feel like a block party inside the festival. With a long but narrow dancefloor next to the Michigan Labor Legacy Monument (should-be sci-fi movie prop), this stage had festival-goers the closest to the streets of Detroit with scenic views of the city. Chris Lake, Jayda G, Skream, Channel Tres, Masters at Work and Gorgon City had Stargate consistently overflowing into the festival grounds all weekend long.

In a dark, damp corner beneath the festival’s grounds, the Underground Stage delivered the heaviest sounds of the festival. Despite chilly weather above ground, shoehorned bodies in motion raised the temperature and enhanced the warehouse-ready sounds of Julia Govor, Speedy J, 999999999, Skin On Skin and EDM.com Class of 2023 star Indira Paganotto.

Indira Paganotto performing at the 2024 Movement Festival in Detroit.

Katie Laskowska

While Movement primarily caters to fans of techno, the festival featured artists from plenty of other genres. The Waterfront Stage is where attendees could find most of them.

Nestled right next to the river, this stage featured experimental bass from Claude VonStroke’s alter-ego, Barclay Crenshaw, hours of drum & bass from Goldie, Special Request and more during the “30 Years of Metalheadz” stage takeover; and even hip-hop from Detroit native Tee Grizzley and hip-hop icon Ludacris.

Dedicated to the birthplace of techno, the Detroit Stage featured a lineup comprising entirely artists from the Motor City. Fans here got to experience the sounds of Detroit by virtue of performances from Huey Mnemonic, Terrence Parker, DJ Cent, Fabiola, DJ 3000, DJ Psycho and more.

Ludacris performing at the 2024 Movement Festival in Detroit.

Katie Laskowska

VIP ticket-holders were treated to elevated amenities at Movement Festival 2024, including a separate entrance that led you to a VIP section with a pop-up stage, various programming and exclusive vantage points overlooking the mainstage. It was a stellar option for fans looking for a more seamless and easygoing festival experience as the VIP section offered private bathrooms, a route through the back of Movement that wasn’t surrounded by large crowds, and plenty of places to sit comfortably.

About halfway through the second night of Movement, downtown Detroit got battered by severe thunderstorms, which caused the festival to evacuate and shut down. The gates opened back up around 10pm and organizers were able to keep the party going an extra half-hour past the scheduled close time.

While the delay unfortunately led to some musical cancellations, Movement’s organizers made it up in a huge way. All single-day Sunday ticket holders were granted free access to Monday’s festivities in an effort to make up for the lost portion of the second night of the weekend.

In addition to the music, Movement offered some art exhibits for fans to take in. Once again, the “Respect the Architects” exhibit was displayed in the old home of the Underground Stage beneath Hart Plaza, displaying portraits and biographies of many of the pioneering artists that helped techno become the international sensation it is today.

As the sounds of Movement reverberated around you, it was a surreal experience to stroll between sets and learn about these historic artists while your feet were on the hallowed grounds of one of its most iconic stages. This combination of rich history and modern-day performers was the ideal way to understand just how much Detroit has influenced the music industry.

You can learn more about Movement here.

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