The first time I went to Movement I was probably 12. Maybe older, maybe younger. I was in Detroit with my mom, uncle, and a few of their friends for a tattoo convention and the festival happened to be going on at the same time. This was back when it was free, so we decided to walk over and check it out. At this point, my uncle and his friends were seasoned Movement vets but my mom and I had never been. I remember it was cold and rainy so we spent most of our time in the underground stage area. It was the first time I’d ever seen anyone break dance IRL.
Fast forward a few years to 16-year-old me and my friends going to the festival on our own. My friend’s dad got us a suite at the Marriott and we felt like total ballers. One day, I wore hot pink tights with a zebra print dress and yellow converse and got to dance on stage with Afrika Bambaataa. By the end of the weekend; I had crowd surfed on an air mattress, my friend sprained her ankle, and I witnessed my first strobe induced seizure. This year will be my 8th Movement experience but my first year attending as a semi-fully-functioning-adult. Throughout the years, I’ve made a lot of really stupid mistakes and I’m sure there are more to come!
The following is a not so comprehensive list of tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way / advice I always forget to follow:
WEAR A FANNY PACK:
Or a small backpack. It gives you the freedom to groove to the maximum without having to worry about setting your purse somewhere and forgetting about it (I did that one year). I prefer fanny packs because they’re easier to access / harder for people to steal from.
I always forget to bring them but you shouldn’t. By the end of the day, the bathrooms are covered in vomit and urine and they’re often lacking toilet paper. Baby wipes also come in handy when you need to be refreshed after sweating your tits off in the middle of a crowd, or need to clean yourself when a drink is inevitably spilled on you.
BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST:
Bring a pad or tampon or whatever it is you may be into. If you don’t need it, I promise someone else will and y’all can vibe on that. I’ve made so many friends through tampons, you have no idea! I know that sounds weird but it’s 100% true.
GET HIGH ON THAT DRATION:
Please please please drink water. Whether you’re drinking, drugging, dancing, or none of the above, STAY HYDRATED. Rather than spending $5 on a plastic bottle and throwing it on the ground, you can bring an empty camel back or refillable bottle. Or just buy a few water bottles and refill those (you’ll find cold running water in the underground bathrooms).
EAT FOOD, EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO:
If you’re trying to save money, keep some snacks in your hotel or car and go back every few hours to replenish yourself. Try and eat some healthy shit like nuts and fruit. Things that give you energy but won’t make you feel like complete garbage. It’s really hard to dance after eating 3 chimichangas. Trust me.
USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM:
Avoid going anywhere alone, especially at night. When you get to the festival write your friends numbers on a piece of paper. Your phone will die and you will lose your friends, I promise. I like to pick a designated meeting spot just in case. If you aren’t familiar with the area, write down the place you parked your car. Your home girl said she’d remember but she probably won’t. I never do.
The festival itself doesn’t stop until midnight and I highly suggest you check out at least ONE after party. This means you could potentially be out and about for 12 hours straight, running on little to no sleep. Make sure you don’t go too hard during the day and miss out on the night. Those tequila shots you took at 3PM are never a good idea by the time it’s 6. Or if you just don’t give a fuck, go as hard as you want to and take a disco nap. If you make it to Monday night without feeling dead, please come find me so I can personally congratulate you.
This year’s line up is also STACKED with female artists, along with a few female led after parties. When you’re at the festival, be sure to check out these ladies:
ANJA SCHNEIDER || MONDAY,5-6:30PM || MAIN STAGE
ECTOMORPH || SATURDAY, 8-9PM || OPPORTUNITY DETROIT
ELLEN ALLIEN || SUNDAY, 9-10:30PM || THUMP (MADE IN DETROIT)
HEIDI || SUNDAY, 6-7:30PM || BEATPORT
HITO || MONDAY, 2-4PM || BEATPORT
J.PHLIP || MONDAY, 7-8:30PM || RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY
LA FLEUR || SATURDAY, 3-4PM || THUMP (MADE IN DETROIT)
LOREN || SUNDAY, 3:15-4:30PM || OPPORTUNITY DETROIT
MAGDA || SUNDAY, 7:30-9PM || BEATPORT
MIJA || SUNDAY, 4-5PM || UNDERGROUND
NINA KRAVIZ || MONDAY, 8:30-10PM || UNDERGROUND
REBECCA GOLDBERG || SUNDAY, 2-3:15PM || OPPORTUNITY DETROIT
REZZ || SUNDAY 2-3PM || UNDERGROUND
SONJA MOONEAR || SATURDAY, 3:30-5PM || MAIN STAGE
STACEY “HOTWAXX” HALE || MONDAY, 1:30-2:45PM || THUMP
THE BLACK MADONNA || SUNDAY, 6-8PM || RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY
TINI || MONDAY, 4-6 || BEATPORT
Pre & After Parties:
PRELUDE || FRIDAY @ NORTHERN LIGHTS, 7PM || FEATURING LOLA B. AND MORE
MOBILE DISCO #002 || FRIDAY @ MOTORCITY WINE, 2PM – 2AM || FEATURING LAFLEUR AND MORE
GIRLS CONE VINYL 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY FUNDRAISER || SATURDAY @ MIX BRICKTOWN, 11AM – 8PM ||
DIRTYBIRD PRESENTS: WHO’S AFRAID OF DETROIT 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY || SUNDAY @ THE MASONIC TEMPLE, 11PM || FEATURING J. PHLIP AND MORE
DISCWOMAN || SATURDAY @ UFO FACTORY, 9PM || FEATURING STACEY “HOTWAXX” HALE, AURORA HALALA, VOLVOX, AND MORE
TRIP 2 DETROIT || MONDAY @ POPULUX, 11PM || FEATURING NINA KRAVIZ AND MORE
(you can find an official list here http://www.movementafterparties.com/)
Photos Courtesy of Jacob Garvin, Kiley Valdez and Cara Valdez