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Tuesday, 26 May, 2009 0:34 AM
Movement dances on despite upgrades; increased admission price
Photo credit: James Canning / Paxahau
The Vitamin Water main stage at the 2008 Movement festival.
DETROIT -- On a warm Memorial Day weekend that saw weather interrupted only by brief rain, visitors gathered at Hart Plaza to enjoy Movement Detroit: 2009. An annual music festival dedicated to highlighting electronic music, Movement includes a gathering of renowned artists in that genre from around the world.
Among the more renowned names taking part in this year’s festival include Marc “MK” Kinchen, Flying Lotus, and Afrika Bambaataa. Although the weekend schedule displays a listing of nearly 80 artists spread across four stages (their names being Glaceau Vitamin Water, Beatport, Made in Detroit, and Red Bull Music Academy) over three days, there tends to be concerns over aspects of the festival’s evolution.
One of the more glaring changes at the festival, mentioned by several volunteers and attendees, is the matter of admission costs. Last year, it was recalled, ticket prices for a single day at Movement were $20 per person. This year, a single day’s admission price rose to $30 and stood at $60 for the entire weekend. “$30 is a steep price,” said Despina Avgostis, who is volunteering at the festival through her church, St. Nectarios.
“Think of how much more publicity we could get if it were free,” said Kay Johnson of Indian Village, alluding to a period in the festival’s history when admission was free. “Especially with the economy, I have lots of friends who want to go but don’t have money.” Such a rise in price may be related to greater waits, as another festival goer put it. “Last year I walked through in five minutes,” said Kevin Hency, who was visiting from Annapolis, Maryland. “[This year] I had to wait in line 30 minutes.”
There was also expressed lament among several goers over the matter of performance-related variety limits. “It just breaks my heart that Paxahau (the festival’s producer) didn’t bring in junglists,” said Recycle Detroit volunteer Jen Maybee, implying that a limited number of genres made up most of the lineup. “I am a junglist.”
Another expressed changed observed by Avgostis this year was the relocation or omission of certain booths compared to years past. “I don’t know whether they wanted to get more people in so they took away some of the booths.”
Despite such issues related to variety, pricing, and deduction, it seemed as though Movement maintained a sense of activist intention through its booths and other features. Recycle Detroit had booths set up around the festival grounds to enlighten guests on local recycling endeavors, even going so far as to signify what should be disposed in provided bins around the area.
Such an endeavor around the grounds, according to volunteer J.R. Deleon, has garnered a reasonable amount of interest among people visiting from elsewhere. “People come up and say, ‘I can’t believe this is happening in Detroit,’” he said.
Even for concession operators like Avgostis, it serves as a sound means of providing goodwill while enjoying the music. “We’re all about fundraising and charitable works, so we enrolled in festivals [because we get] the best of both worlds.”
Another feature, located amid the trees left of the Vitamin Water stage, was a series of linen sheets wrapped around several trees. Entitled the Analog Social Experiment, this area allowed passerbys to leave messages on sheets that were dedicated to specific themes, including LOVE, MUSIC, and WTF (the latter being for random messages).
Among the most mainstream booths spotted around the venue were trailers operated by representatives of Camel Cigarettes and Playstation 3, the latter providing guests with glimpses of yet to be released games such as Infamous, as announced by mic.
Even with the option of having a place to go to provided by the booths and stages, there was still enough extracurricular activity to found wherever one was at: from hacky-sacking to jump-roping to just plain dancing; even to chess tables! All that could be absorbed gave justification to the festival’s name, because it was all about Movement.
Related Story: Mayor and Paxahau Announce New International Movement Festival Partnership and Information About Stage Lineups
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