For a decade and counting, Detroit’s Paxahau has curated Movement Festival as a beacon for techno aficionados. Even beyond the festival proper they collaborate with promoters across the city on official after-parties, so as to coax the techno-tourists to explore far outside the festival’s Hart Plaza home. You'd be remiss to skimp on exploring the richness that Detroit has to offer, but there's quite a bit of ground to cover so we've enlisted the help of a native to help us navigate the busy weekend.
We challenge those with enough stamina to jump aboard the new Q-Line to explore Midtown, grab an empanada in Mexicantown, spend brunch commiserating with other insiders, and generally imbibe on the goodwill of the renaissance city. Come Tuesday, May 30, we trust a new league of Detroit disciples will be singing the region’s praise.
PLACES TO BE
Physical Therapy 3 w/ Matthew Dear, ADULT., Mike Servito & More
Location: Marble Bar
Date/Time: Friday May 25th, 6:00pm EDT
Cost: $25.00+ via Resident Advisor
Stacked with Michigan-bred talent like Matthew Dear, Shigeto, Mike Servito, and ADULT., Marble Bar and Freakish Pleasures’ Friday night Pre-Party serves as a prime destination for a casual introduction to the Detroit’s unadulterated techno community. Conveniently situated just south of Detroit’s New Center area, the venue lacks any pretentiousness and is an easy jaunt from hotels situated near Mid/Downtown. With an early start time (6pm EDT), we recommend securing tickets now or arriving early to beat the late-arriving locals.
Soul Clap’s House of EFUNK 2017
Location: TV Lounge
Time: 11pm EDT
Cost: $30.00+ via Resident Advisor
After you escape the madness of Downtown traffic Saturday night (or wisely just take the People Mover to your parked car), head up Grand River to the iconic TV Lounge. The multi-stage venue always draws a healthy crowd, but very few parties can pack an indoor/outdoor space like Soul Clap’s annual House of EFUNK. If it's a drink you fancy, maybe grab an extra because you will definitely be fighting a packed house all night long! Already dense with the talents of Stacey Pullen, Roy Davis Jr., Kyle Hall, and Overdubs (Live), attendance will stay high through the morning hours in anticipation of the special guests that always seem to arrive.
Location: Granadier Club
Date/Time: Saturday May 27th, 10pm EDT
Cost: $20+ via Resident Advisor
Dance for a purpose during Discwoman’s third party in Detroit. 10% of proceeds from the event, which features ABBY, Juana, Ash Lauryn, and Volvox, will go to Ruth Ellis Center and their mission to benefit LGBT homeless youth across Detroit. Visuals for the two-room party will be curated by Signe Pierce and Rachel Roze. The party celebrates freedom of self-expression, self-care, and PLUR.
Day/Night with Omar-S
Location: El Club
Date/Time: Sunday May 28th, 2am EDT (SUNDAY AM)
Cost: $20+ via Ticketfly
If the flier holds true, this party is an absolute marathon at 36 total hours. Commencing with modular synth experimentation, the party will transform into early-Detroit electro as Sunday progresses. Set to continue through 2pm Monday, this could even serve as your launching point for Memorial Day shenanigans. Have we mentioned that sleep is at a premium during Movement weekend?
Adam Beyer Presents Drumcode
Location: Masonic Temple
Date: Sunday May 28th, 11pm EDT
Cost: $30 via SeeTickets
Detroit’s Masonic Temple is a cavernous example of the city’s former prestige and world-renowned architecture. The complex as a whole features three theaters, three ballrooms, and even a swimming pool. While Adam Beyer, Nicole Moudaber, and Keith Kemp might only be taking over the Fountain Ballroom with their dark pulsating techno, the rest of the industrial catacombs are open for revelers to explore.
Need I Say More X
Location: The Old Miami
Time: Monday May 29th, 7am EDT
On any given weekend the Old Miami is a dive bar filled to the brim with talkative regulars. But come Memorial Day each year, Seth Troxler and friends transform the venue’s backyard into an intimate, all-day dance party. No matter when you arrive, a line will be waiting for you. That said, bring a snack and take this opportunity to re-fuel as you await admittance. Depending on when you arrive you’ll likely run into dozens of respected artists – try to keep your cool!
Location: Tangent Gallery
Time: Monday May 29th, Noon
Price: $15.00+ via Resident Advisor
Immediately following the long-running No Way Back Party, the 6th festival edition of the Industry Brunch is equal parts after-after-after party, networking event, and family reunion. Sure, other cities have 24-hour liquor licenses and day raves, but few parties match the camaraderie felt during Movement weekend’s annual Bruch. Unlike the above party at Old Miami, this event promises loads of extra room to boogie, and even space to pause and rest those tired legs.
Places to eat/drink
Temple Bar – Have you seen ‘Detroiters’? If so, you are already familiar with the interior of this iconic watering hole. Having weathered the best and worst Detroit has had to offer, Temple Bar draws its character from that history, the bar staff, and regulars shooting pool in the back. As the expanding entertainment and stadium district encroaches on Temple Bar, there might not be many years left to experience the pub in its current form. Extra points for an amazing bar dog and drink specials.
Evie’s Tamales – Load up on tamales for you and the squad at this Mexicantown staple. Located not far from El Club, Evie’s could even serve as much needed nourishment after the Day/Night party.
Slows Bar BQ – With a prime location on the Michigan Ave. strip, Slows Bar BQ has seemingly been on a wait since first opening over a decade ago. As their menu includes textured vegetable protein (TVP), vegetarians need not be scared away by the meat-heavy menu. Recommended as your Friday night feast ahead of the frantic weekend.
American Coney Island – No trip to Movement is complete without a stop or two at American Coney Island. A ten minute walk from Hart Plaza and open 24-hours, the location is a prime spot for a quick lunch (Movement does allow in/out privileges for weekend attendees) and a late night bite before you head back to the hotel or your chosen after-party.
Places to go
Belle Isle – A short drive east of Downtown, Belle Isle is the perfect free location to decompress come Tuesday afternoon. Housing a conservatory, aquarium, and nature zoo, the 982-acre park has plenty of opportunities to get one’s head straight before jumping back into real-world obligations.
Greektown Casino – Even if you are not into gambling, Greektown is worth visiting for the complimentary parking alone. Just find a spot, hit the People Mover, circle Downtown, and you’ll be at Hart Plaza without breaking a sweat.
Eastern Market – Take Gratiot Ave. Northeast out of Downtown Saturday afternoon and head toward the Eastern Market before weekend festivities commence. You’ll be able to check out local vendors and craftspeople, grab some caffeine from Germack, and explore some of the best graffiti in Michigan.
Heidelberg Project – Having survived a few arsons and city demolition attempts, Tyree Guyton’s public artwork in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood continues to expand and draw crowds. An embodiment of the resourcefulness and DIY artistic abilities of the region's residents, the Project shifts the perspective of Detroit for all whom visit.
African Bead Museum – Occupying nearly an entire city block, the African Bead Museum houses 18 outdoor installations to explore during the afternoon hours in Detroit. Visitors are also encouraged to visit Olayami Dabls’ bead gallery and spend a few dollars in an effort to keep his artistic community thriving.
Fisher Building – The world has already seen enough of Detroit’s ruin porn. The newly revamped Fisher Building, first designed by Alfred Kahn, attests to the ongoing beautification of the city.
Words by Derek Staples -- techno-tourist turned Detroit-transplant.