By Scott Hunter | @dangerfiasco
DETROIT, MI – United We Dance. Former electronic music festival returns with a new vision, and new counterpart.
On November 20th 2013, Carol Marvin announced that she, together with AETDetroit, will bring back the former free event Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF). In a landmark announcement at Ford Field, Marvin also introduced a second paid event, the Federation of Music Technology, or FEMT. Both events will run simultaneously over the Fourth of July weekend in Detroit’s Campus Martius Park and Ford Field.
Marvin created DEMF in 2000 and was the figurehead of the production for three years before the city decided not to renew her contract. Paxahau productions stepped in and renamed the event “Movement – Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival”. Paxahau also changed the once free event in Hart Plaza to a pay to enter event. However, to the many who still came to dance, it was still DEMF.
“People said in the beginning that we would fail. But we knew. Even in the beginning we knew. This is the most popular music in the world.” Marvin stated about the origins of DEMF. “People will come. They will come to Detroit. They will dance. They will have a great time. And that’s what happened.” Marvin added.
The reboot of DEMF and the new FEMT shares the optimism of the original planning days. Adriel Thornton, Festival Music & Production Director was with Marvin in the early days, and recalls the struggle to name the new project. “I remember saying that Detroit had to be in the name somewhere. I pitched electronica, as it was a big music scene at the time. Carol told me it was too broad. We wanted this to represent Detroit, and give back to the world. She took my idea, shortened it, and here we are.” Thornton recalled.
DEMF kept the theme alive of giving back to the world by insisting that the festival be free to everyone. “The beauty of a free festival is that it allows everyone to come. Free from financial barriers. We wanted this to be a gift from Detroit, to the world. A free festival does just that.” Marvin stated.
The Detroit Electronic Music Festival will present major dance music headlining performers on five main performance stages within Campus Martius Park and on adjacent Detroit streets. One stage will be solely dedicated to the best of Detroit Techno. The International and Main Stages will feature top DJs from 20+ countries of the world. Top clubs from the world’s major cities will be sending a selected DJ to act as an ambassador of their country and electronic music industry as part of The DEMF World Club & DJ Ambassador Program.
The Federation of Electronic Music Technology, held in Ford Field Stadium, will be a technologically advanced presentation. “We are excited to be part of what should become another benchmark in Detroit’s rich music tradition,” said Kelly Urquhart-Kozole, Detroit Lions Vice President Events. “Ford Field’s industrial design and Detroit aesthetic make it a natural venue to host an international audience for this innovative exhibition of electronic music technology.” The FEMT will feature an air-conditioned environment with a main stage on the stadium field and five more performance spaces in various locations throughout Ford Field. In addition, artist lectures & panels, educational arts & technology labs, studio tutorials and techno-based exhibitions will be hosted.
Another highlight of both festivals will be the international digital arts installations brought to the United States for first-time by the event’s Curator of Festival Arts Programming, Olof van Winden, Founder of Today’s Art in The Hague, Netherlands. “Technology commands every part of our landscape. The use of technology in the arts is default. But technology can also be a downside. It can be used as the end, rather than the means.” Said Van Winden. “Today’s art is not defined by machines. Today’s art is defined by those who use machines as their voice. This is the background I will use for shaping the curatorial process.” He added.
Detroit techno trailblazer Juan Atkins joins Marvin as Associate Producer and Artist Program Director for AETDetroit. Atkins, a crucial component on the musical landscape, is excited to bring the production to light. “We wanted to concentrate on Detroit first. This is where it started, and it’s important to keep the theme going.” Atkins stated. “I’m humbled. I just started playing music, and now I get to bring it to the world.” He added.
Atkins will also present two of his own long shelved projects. Model 500, the solo project of Atkins, will perform in an advanced 3D presentation. Cybotron, Atkins original techno outfit from the 80’s and beyond, will make their long awaited public performance debut.
FEMT tickets are on sale now. Weekend passes are $300; Priority FEMT Access VIP Weekend Packages are $1,500. Proceeds from the Federation of Electronic Music Technology finance DEMF, making it free for all to enjoy.
WXOU has been named an Official College Radio Partner for DEMF/FEMT and will have your exclusive updates as they happen!