Movement Detroit Elevates Itself To Major-Leauge Status

Movement Detroit has finally reached the point where it’s no longer just a Detroit-level festival. With the shifts of culture over the years from DEMF to Movement, the major-market acts, and its attendees, Movement has started to feel less Detroit and more major league, even with the Detroit-centric spotlights.





Day 1 boasted headliners such as Solomon, Ludacris, Dom Dolla, Skream, and more, with the most packed set seemingly being Ludacris for night one, with direct support from Detroit’s own Tee Grizzley. JARS, who managed the Waterfront Stage, packed their stage pit with eager VIPs to catch a glimpse of the legendary Atlanta Rapper, who pounded through his catalog with some of his most iconic songs including snippets of “Act A Fool,” “Area Codes,” and “Yeah!”


The Detroit acts that we were able to witness included the previously mentioned Tee Grizzley, Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale, Mona Black (who had her first placement on the Movement lineup this year), and DJ Holographic. Some of the other highlights of the day included PartiBoi69 and Jyoty, who both nailed their sets and had the crowd vibing right on the riverfront.


We also attended the official Movement Detroit Afterparty at Spot Lite, which had Kevin Saunderson and friends on the lineup for Inner City, and we wouldn’t have had that any other way. Something about seeing a Kevin Saunderson set, especially for me, who got my start in the electronic scene by photographing Saunderson at a club my first night on the job just felt right and a full circle moment.





We can’t overlook the fact that the rain derailed our coverage plans for Day 2. We had been looking forward to The Blessed Madonna, DJ Godfather, and more, but we made it back inside just in time to catch Idris Elba go B2B with legend Kevin Saunderson, which more than made up for the rain delay, and was our favorite set of the weekend.


Other highlights from the day were local Teknono, The Saunderson Brothers, T. Linder and DJ Seoul from Detroit Techno Militia fame, Ladymonix, Delano Smith with support from SillyGirlCarmen, and national act I Hate Models locking down the Underground Stage.


We attended another official Movement Detroit Afterparty at the Russell Industrial Center which included I Hate Models, Richie Hawtin, Ellen Allen, and more, and had the room shaking in both the Expo Hall and Building 6. There were food trucks and good hangs outside in the parking lot as well, giving people a space to decompress in between breaks.


Day 3



Day 3 rocked with artists like Hiroko Yamamura, VTSS (who was initially going b2b with Boys Noize, who unfortunately dropped due to sickness), Gorgon City, Chris Lake, Seth Troxler, DJ Minx, Honey Djion, and the king to close out the night, Fatboy Slim.


Out of all the sets on Sunday, Fatboy Slim had to be the most rewarding for fans. Some of the photographers were even brought to tears in the beginning of his set, as notes from “Praise You” dropped, before he slid into an a cappella version of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Once he got cooking, everyone was vibing to the set, and he was proclaimed as one of the best of the weekend.






Talking with other festival-goers who have been to Movement Detroit multiple times admitted that the vibe felt differently this year. We don’t know, however, if that was due to the attendees or the acts that came in. From our perspective and many years covering the festival, it has begun to feel less like a Detroit-festival and starting to compete with outside festivals, especially with gaining people on the lineup like the recently Coachella-played Dom Dolla.


While there were still quite a few Detroit acts on the lineup, including Detroit Defected, KMS Records, and House Your Life, there was a lot more of a feeling of people attending the festival to say they attended, more fashion-oriented attendees looking for social media content, and more.


While we don’t mean for that to come off negative by saying that, but many agreed that it just didn’t feel the same compared to previous years, and that could be because some of us have been on site when it was still DEMF; those bare-boned days with heavy emphasis on Detroit locals and the music, and less about the overall culture and image of the event.


If we had to pick our favorites for this year, we choose Idris Elba x Kevin Saunderson, Fatboy Slim, and DJ Holographic as the winners of the weekend. Movement Detroit will return next year during the Memorial Day Weekend, so mark your calendars for 2025, and we’ll see you in Hart Plaza.

Ami Nicole is a Concert + Festival Photographer and Music Journalist who has covered multiple artists of all genres in digital media and in Radio to 60+ stations across the U.S. Some of the acts she's photographed include The Smashing Pumpkins, My Chemical Romance, Billie Eilish, Snoop Dogg, Bring Me The Horizon, Shinedown, and more. See her full portfolio on

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