DEMF 2011

Words and video by: Telegraphy

With soar feet and a warn-out pair of dancing shoes, I have just survived Detroit's Electronic Music Festival (just). With a terrible ringing in my ear (even though I did wear ear protection) I can most humbly say that I had a blast at Movement 2011.

What ever name is given for this gathering of hipsters and geeks (Movement 2011, DEMF 2011, Tech-fest) you can rest assured that this event had all the makings of a world class music festival. Did I say "world class music festival". Maybe the reverberating bass of the underground stage misaligned my ear-canal and I didn't hear myself right or maybe it is a "world class music festival". I certainly can't prove it, mainly for the shear fact that I haven't traveled outside of the continental U.S. to see and compare other festivals. I'm dirt poor folks. But, evidence of foreigners creeping around the dance floors sends a pretty good message that this festival is becoming known world-wide. I have seen a number of, shall we call them to be politically correct, "groups of foreign tourist" - with camera's might I add.

Another growing trend (besides it's outrageous ticket prices) is it's collaboration with local artists. A few of them put up installations around Hart Plaza. More about this on a later posting. But for now, I'm going to concentrate on my original intention for attending, which is photographing freaks and geeks. As I entered under the front pearly white archway of the festival grounds late on the first day, it became clear to me that this venue had became to corpritizted. Successfully scaring away the hardcore electronic music nerds. Was it the over priced daily and weekend passes? The complete banning of any bottled water products on festival grounds or the lineup of over rated beat-butchers with expensive software better known as DJ's? For what ever the reason, the crowd had a definite deficiency of hardcore ravers, music nerd and the likes. In my opinion, people that were around back when this festival was free ether move away, wised-up or grew old.

No, my fine fussy friends - I'm not mudsling Movement 2011 or as my ninety year old grandmother says, "I'm not hate'n " I'm just pointing out that Paxahau (that's the promotions company and the soul organizer of this event) has become the "Microsoft" of electronic music festivals, monopolizing and growing. What I am trying to convey is the assumption that Detroit's Electronic Music Festival was better off being a free event. A event where the organizers concerned themselves more to the quality of DJ's acts rather then taking oaths to corporate gods.

Anyways, off of my Palmolive soap box. Changes I sighted at this years event were: 1) The underground stage with it's new DJ's both appearance. The video art was projected right onto a white elongated stage, which gives great ambiance. 2) The half !@#$%^ "Beat Port stage", with it's half the original length tent. The crowd all bunched together under the half tent like a herd of cattle, trying as they may to grab some cool and satisfying shade away from the hot sun or trying to keep dry from the Memorial Day rains. In any event, someone in upper management screwed-up. 3) An installation at the front gate of a Rube Goldberg machine. This multi stage mechanical wounder built by the finest nerds Detroit can offer, (hey I can say that, because I'm one as well) executes a complex problem solving action, same as it's original inventors device(Rube Goldberg), which is, nothing. But this one hands out Movement 2011 fliers that nobody wants.

After spending $80 for a weekend pass and lets not forget, as the ticket lady assured me at the ticket stand in a unsatisfying rough voice, "Don't look at the $80 sign up-top; it's actually $83. Three dollars is for processing fees". What ever amount of money I spent that weekend, I will always remember this installment of Movement 2011 as the one where I remembered the good old days of free music festivals and free expressions.

No comments:

Post a Comment