No Rain on our Parade: a Movement 2024 Recap

No Rain on our Parade: a Movement 2024 Recap

Oh Movement, we miss thee! 

Downbeats joined the annual pilgrimage to techno's Detroit birthplace for yet another inspiring year of the legendary festival. It's easy to understand why Movement is renowned as one of the most distinguished dance music events in the United States. Hart Plaza becomes a place where underground dance music, hip-hop, and bass fans gather in harmony, and every generation is represented. Pure passion for music unifies the crowd, lending to a mature, respectful atmosphere. Few things beat the pleasure of seeing young children cutting rugs alongside elderly folk to the likes of I Hate Models, Carl Craig, and more. 


Photo credit: Katie Laskowska

The excitement emanating from Hart Plaza was palpable from the moment we walked in on Saturday. Festivities had just begun an hour before our arrival, and surrounding us were various friend squads of friends assembling to map out their plan of attack for the next 10 hours, and we were pleased to see many popping in high quality hearing protection akin to what we offer with our ear plugs.

We made a beeline to the Stargate stage, where we were greeted with a masterclass in genre mixology by AceMoMa accompanied by scenic views of the Michigan Labor Legacy Monument. The duo's intricate blend of house, hip-hop, and a sprinkling of techno had the audience jamming from start to finish. Followed by an equally delectable and grooving set by Jayda G, we felt well primed for the rest of the weekend.



Photo credit: Tatsumi Cline


Elsewhere, the party continued to heat up as more and more bodies filled the space. A cloud of sweat already began to form over the dungeonesque Underground stage as we strolled to the Movement stage for a sampling of Detroit's own Stacey Pullen. Barclay Crenshaw captivated the Waterfront Stage with a sunset serving of hefty bass and breaks. Techno and Movement OG Carl Craig drew a crowd to the Pyramid stage that rivaled those of Ludacris and Solomun, whose energetic set was one of the most talked-about of the weekend. Collin Bender was another highlight, bringing a rare live performance to the underground stage that left Speedy J with big shoes to fill.  

We awoke on Sunday questioning our life decisions after spending the morning in a warehouse rabbit hole at DVS1's Wall of Sound party with Re/Form. Was it a good idea to hit the afters on all three days? Time would tell; but at that moment, all we could think about was the sensual magic to come from the likes of Anané, Avalon Emerson, Floating Points, Héctor Oaks and more.


Photo credit: Matt Christ


Alas, Mother Nature had other plans for us. A light drizzle began to coat the venue as we entered, which swiftly transformed into a proper storm and subsequent order to evacuate the grounds. The festival's worst nightmare, no doubt, rainclouds brought with them a silver lining: a moment for everyone to shine. Partygoers united to keep the vibe going across their hotel rooms and and Airbnbs. Meanwhile, the seasoned crew at Paxahau were busy working miracles to close out the evening on a high as the storm began to break. The teamwork on all accounts and the trust between promoter and participants was inspiring to see. By 10pm, doors had successfully reopened and over 10,000 showed up for a dance in the rain to powerhouse showings from Kevin Saunderson, Idris Elba, Richie Hawtin, 999999999, James Blake and Masters at Work (Louie Vega & Kenny Dope). 


Photo credit: Jake Mulka


Monday arrived and we could barely stand, as is often the case during Movement weekend. Nevertheless, we persisted—after all, we had to be there to witness Monday's redemption arc. The festival's closing day was rife with incredible soundtracking and a scheduling conflicts, which required us to muster our maximum festival endurance.

It was all well worth it. Hart Plaza felt supercharged as we traversed from the Pyramid stage, where DJ Tennis and Gerd Janson threw down beats to match the picturesque sunset, to the Underground stage, where the British Murder Boyz entranced us with innovative, industrial-tinged live mixing. Our shuffling around continued into the festival's closing, where we happily settled on Goldie after a just a few minutes of watching his fully kitted band translate his drum 'n' bass into an even more musical medium. 


Photo credit: Stephen Bondio


Amid the sea of tired, yet overjoyed faces around us, the only thing left to feel was gratitude. Movement reminded us once again how powerful music is in bringing people together, and how lucky we are to be equipped with fully functioning ears to hear it. 


Featured Image Credit: Chris Lavado

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