This year’s Movement Music Festival will feature UFO-themed art installation, gear showcase

Things to consider before heading to Hart Plaza

click to enlarge If you haven’t been to Movement Music Festival in a while, there are some changes in store. - Jacob Mulka
Jacob Mulka
If you haven’t been to Movement Music Festival in a while, there are some changes in store.

If you’re heading to this year’s Movement Music Festival, you likely already know all about the lineup, which includes more than 115 acts across six stages, and probably even already have your eyes on a few afterparties. Here are a few more things to know before you head down to Hart Plaza.

This year’s fest will maintain a similar layout as it did in 2022, which was the first time it returned since COVID-19 led to its cancellation downtown in 2020 and 2021. JARS Cannabis returns as the festival’s cannabis sponsor, but it now sponsors the Waterfront Stage this year.

The festival’s long-standing Underground Stage was moved last year, citing safety concerns following the tragedy at Astroworld Festival in 2021, to a little-known disused food court area in Hart Plaza that wound up being a major hit thanks to its larger space. (Seriously, how has that additional space been tucked away back there this entire time? The futuristic-looking Hart Plaza is truly a mystery.) The former Underground Stage space, meanwhile, will once again be used to host ‘Respect the Architects’ educational exhibition that recognizes and celebrates some of the Detroit electronic music community’s heroes and history. The exhibition was curated by Underground Music Academy, Resident Advisor, and Detroit Techno Foundation.

“Much has been written about the first wave of Detroit techno artists and as pioneers of one of the most impactful genres in the world,” the Underground Music Academy said in a statement. “This list is designed to shine a light on the unsung heroes who ghost-wrote classic records, created the structures, spaces, and scenarios that allowed techno to grow beyond the wildest dreams of its inventors, and the mentors who have supported and inspired the subsequent waves of Detroit techno artists in finding their sound and place in the musical world.”

It adds, “If you recognize these names we hope you will join us in telling their stories and celebrating their impact, if you don’t — we hope you take the time to listen and learn about the people who built Techno City.”

Other features include the Movement Studio presented by Sweetwater, located near the Detroit Stage, which will showcase the latest electronic music gear and offer attendees hands-on demonstrations and even a chance to win the equipment on display to help them become Detroit’s next hottest DJ.

The festival will also see the return of its artist residency program, in partnership with local arts organization 1XRun. This year’s artists-in-residence are Detroit artists Amy Fisher Price and Kelly Golden, who are collaborating on an installation dubbed Detroit Techno City, which will be located near the Pyramid Stage.

Reached by phone in the days before the festival, Fisher Price and Golden are at work in a studio bringing their vision to life. They describe the piece as “an immersive alien-themed rave installation” that will combine Fisher Price’s preferred medium of textiles with Golden’s use of paint. Fisher Price is working on a scene depicting an interstellar rave made from assembled pieces of fabric measuring about 22 feet by 25 feet, while Golden is creating painted wooden cut-outs that will include shapes like an alien and a UFO that festival goers can walk around and take photos with. It’s the first time the two artists and friends have worked together professionally, they say.

Golden says they were approached by 1XRun for the project, who they sat down with to hash out some potential ideas. They then visited Hart Plaza to take measurements of the available space, which sits in a recess on the opposite side of the Pyramid Stage, and tried to imagine what festival attendees would want to see.

“It was just sort of, like, picturing ourselves at the festival and sitting in that amphitheater and thinking, ‘What would we want to be looking at?’” Golden says.

She adds, “We just wanted to do something fun that everybody thought everyone could really get into. The whole thing was just sort of meant to create a different world that people could transport to for a little bit.”

As a longtime Movement fan, Golden says she’s honored to be a part of this year’s festival. “I for one am super-excited to be doing this,” she says. “I’ve gone to Movement a ton and always have a blast.”

Fisher Price meanwhile says she has not yet attended, but is looking forward to her first time this year. “I’m really excited to go this year and be a part of it,” she says.

Festival goers can use the handy pull-out Movement guide in this week’s issue, but with so many moving parts be warned that schedules and set times are subject to change. They can also download the official Movement 2023 app on their iOS and Android smartphones for the latest information, and can also use it to create their own custom schedule, learn about the artists, view the festival map, and much more. (Also, be sure to check out for the full list of items that are and are not allowed to be brought into the festival grounds.)

The best advice, however, is probably to embrace the unexpected. Maybe you’ll stumble upon your new favorite DJ.

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