Here are a half-dozen local artists to check out at Movement Festival

Motor City Six

click to enlarge DJ Beige performs at Movement Festival on Sunday. - Paul Lee
Paul Lee
DJ Beige performs at Movement Festival on Sunday.

Movement Festival is back, and you can feel it in the air. “Techno Christmas” is officially happening, and after multiple false starts and years of pandemic-induced limitations, it’s almost hard to believe that we will once again be gathering this year in Hart Plaza over Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate the city that birthed techno.

Dance music was born on the fringes, in dark underground clubs and grungy DIY spaces, and yet Movement Festival still serves as perhaps the most globally significant music event in Detroit. It’s an incredible platform for local artists, and for the lucky few that are able to share a stage with some of the biggest names in dance music, it is a momentous occasion on both a personal and professional level. We spoke with a few of the artists that will be playing this year about what it means to them:

Jerk x Jollof

3-5 p.m., Saturday, May 28, Waterfront Stage

Originated in Ann Arbor and established in Detroit in 2016, Jerk X Jollof is committed to developing and nourishing a connection between Afro-Caribbean talent, culture, and influence within and beyond the United States. “We’re grateful to Paxahau for giving us a slot at the festival in 2022,” says member Brendan Asante. “It’s always a great feeling to dance outside with other people during the day to afrobeats, soca, and dancehall — being able to spin these vibes at Movement will definitely give a unique sonic twist to Hart Plaza that day.”

HouseParty Detroit wsg BlaaqGold

6-9 p.m., Saturday May 28, VIP pop-up

Houseparty was created in 2012 by brothers Jhouse and Masquenada, who wanted to create an environment where Detroiters could hang out and pay homage to great music while also showcasing fellow local DJs, producers, and performers. “Movement has always been a heavy event but this one feels special,” says Nabeele Najjar, aka Masquenada. “The impact that [Movement] has had on music culture runs deep, so it feels great to be a part of the return of an event that we believe impacts millions of people.” Blaaqgold adds: “My personal narrative is often crafted through sound, so I just hope to tell a story that all who listen can resonate with.”

Rebecca Goldberg

6:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 28, Detroit Stage

Rebecca Goldberg, aka 313AcidQueen, has established herself as one of the most consistent and versatile artists in the local dance music scene, whether it’s banging a dark techno set at an underground party, or doing a Janet Jackson vs. Madonna night with the legendary DJ Psycho. “After a couple of long years on hiatus, the return to Hart Plaza for the Festival is more meaningful than ever,” she says. “Being one of the Detroit-based artists on the lineup I hope to showcase the energy and spirit of the city, which is ingrained in my music.”

Ke Thu

6-7 p.m., Sunday, May 29, Detroit Stage

Ke Thu is one of the most productive and promising live techno acts in Detroit. With a string of solid releases on labels at home and abroad such as Detroit Underground, PITS, and Symbiostic, plus a brand new video premiering in preparation for Movement, the duo has proven themselves worthy of the momentum and praise that they have received. “Growing up in SE Michigan, our Memorial Days have been synonymous with going to the festival downtown,” says member Steven Stavropoulos. “[Tim Barrett and I] wrote a fully original set for the festival, and this one in particular is special because it's a true representation of everything ke thu has done musically and stylistically over the years.”


7-8 p.m., Sunday, May 29, Detroit Stage

Beige has become a household name for fans of Detroit dance music. Having established their series “Chaotic Neutral” on NYC’s The Lot Radio, releasing their recent mixtape Amen Vol. 1, and playing at venues such as Market Hotel, Jupiter Disco, and Good Room, Beige has steadily expanded their reputation across the U.S. and beyond. “Movement has been a mecca of dance music culture for me even before I moved to Detroit from the Bay Area seven years ago,” Beige says. “I attended my first Movement only a month after I took my first DJ workshop, and it did not even cross my mind in a million years that I would one day be playing there. It’s pretty surreal, so I’m just going to try to do it justice. I rarely plan my sets, but whatever I do, I want to play something that only I could play, in a way that only I could play it.”

Deon Jamar

7-8:30 p.m., Monday May, 30, Detroit Stage

Deon Jamar is the people’s DJ. His Healin’ Session series is one of the most respected and intentional parties in Detroit right now, and his dedication to immersing himself in his craft is evident in every mix that he plays. Under the mentorship of Theo Parrish, he continues to come into his own as an artist. “For me, playing movement fest is bittersweet because I've never attended the festival,” he says. “I usually frequent the after parties, particularly Music Gallery. It does feel good to be recognized as someone deserving of that platform. My goal is to help bring joy and release to any and everybody who needs it! I hope whoever is in earshot of the music I play feels better than before they got there.”

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