DETROIT (WWJ) – Besides the obligatory Redbull, hula-hoops and glow sticks, the Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit is all about the techno.
And, of course: “The biggest thing is the people,” said James Johnson, in town for the event from Colorado. He’s been working at the festival for five years.
What’s the draw?
“The atmosphere, the tone of Detroiters,” he said. “In such a dangerous city, it’s the only time you can bring a hundred thousand people together a the same time, and everybody’s got a smile on their face.”
Tens of thousands of people flooded Hart Plaza on the riverfront over three consecutive days.
Techo star Kevin Sonderson’s son Diaz, who travels to electronic music festivals across the globe, told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson that something sets Movement apart.
“It’s the foundation of almost everything. My dad is one of the founders of techno music in general…and this is the first real, big music festival,” he said. “Techno was made in Detroit, and like…you can’t just be a techno fan and not come to the place where it started.”
Popping the cap on the three hundred-fiftieth can of Red Bull served by Monday afternoon, event supervisor Frank Frontiero was posed the question: What’s the deal with all the energy drinks?
“It kinda goes with this music,” Frontiero said. “And the younger generation, they like it, usually mixed with vodka. Redbull and vodka is the hit…Around here it gives you beats and wings, the whole thing. It’s just a good time.”
Another hot item, selling out Monday: light-up wands.
“They like to dance with the glow sticks, you know,” said David Deza of Blo Hooka Bar, “so people can see how they’re dancing, and the moves they make, and stuff like that.”
Other hot sellers include, he says, include glasses, goggles, rave sticks, foam sticks, gloves, LED hats, LED belts, Skittles and Sour Patch Kids candy.
Organizers say 107,000 people attended last year’s festival, which got its start more than a decade ago as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. The annual event includes a half-dozen outdoor stages, more than 100 artists, dozens of official afterparties and an interactive technology center featuring the hottest gear in the industry.