Why You Must Attend Movement Detroit

I first made plans to attend Movement Detroit in 2013, in search of something new to try. It was a pretty last-minute decision, so I booked a flight and hotel room and went solo. 2018 will be my sixth consecutive year heading out, and here’s what makes it one of my preferred festivals.


This. Is. A. Huge. Deal.

Running daily from noon to midnight, it’s a long day (x3) for festivalgoers like me who plan to dance all day. The fact Movement allows re-entry automatically puts it at the top in terms of festival benefits. I always choose a hotel within walking distance, so being able to do the small things like running back to recharge my devices, take a dip in the pool, make some phone calls, change my outfit, etc. is a much-appreciated luxury.

The crowd

Something I’ve always noticed about Movement is the mature crowd. Sure, it’s all ages so there will automatically be a lot of younger people there, but compared to other festivals, this crowd stands out in particular and is part of the reason I keep returning.

Me, with some of the Sunday Schoolers group


VIP ticketholders have access to some great amenities. Worth the extra money, for sure! A VIP Weekend Pass includes the following (I’ve bolded my favorites):

•Access to Main VIP Area (space above and behind the Movement Main Stage) where you’ll find:
-Dedicated entrance that helps expedite your entry to the festival grounds
-Expansive variety of stylishly decorated, furnished areas for relaxation and lounging
-Exclusive VIP Bars, featuring discounted drinks premium drink choices
•Deluxe, private air-conditioned bathrooms (including ADA-accessible option)
•Complimentary chair massages
•Discounted cell phone charging and locker rental option Variety of engaging art installations
•VIP-only viewing platforms for multiple stages

•Room reservation access to the Official Movement VIP hotel (while supplies last). 
•50% off select Official Movement Merchandise (while supplies last)

There is also the Club313 Weekend Pass, which includes ALL of the amenities that VIP attendees receive, in addition to:
•Exclusive viewing areas of the Movement Main Stage and the Pyramid Stage
•Private top-shelf bar, featuring dedicated servers and staff
•Several premium selections
•Very limited bottle service seating available (reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

VIP and Club313 can be purchased here!


World-renowned + local artists

Of course one of the attractions of a major festival is seeing your favorite international artists, but a place like Detroit has so many talented artists right there! It’s very cool to be exposed to the ones who keep the scene alive in the city I’m visiting. If you haven’t seen the full lineup, check this out (and get more info on everyone here):

Extra experiences

12 hours is certainly a long day, and sometimes you need a quick break from dancing. The vendor area is always fun to pass through and browse merch, clothing, accessories, audio gear, music, and more. I love the Movement Studio, located by the underground stage, which showcases industry leaders in electronic music production/performance hardware, software and other accessories. (Also great for networking if you’re in the industry.) When wandering between stages, you’ll probably stumble upon some cool live art. Also importantly, there has always been a great selection of food trucks; my favorites include wood-fired pizza, chicken and rice bowls, and baked potatoes.

Photos: Jake Mulka, Ryan Draybuc


Lots to explore outside of Hart Plaza

Piggybacking off my re-entry point, this has allowed me to explore downtown Detroit throughout the day! Whether it’s a meal or snack at a local establishment or just checking out the area’s vibe, I’ve been introduced to something new every time. Some of my favorites: Motown Mash at Detroit Water Ice Factory, dinner at Maru Sushi & Grill, Astoria Pastry Shop, people-watching at the Campus Martius Park, taking photos around Renaissance Center, and tasting different foods at the various food trucks stationed downtown.


My annual Motown Mash dessert

The party doesn’t end

Want to keep dancing once midnight hits? There are plenty of afterparty options.


You’ll keep coming back

So you’ve got my reasons, but what about other festivalgoers? I surveyed a bunch of people who have been attending for a bit, and wanted to share their reasons for returning.

Want to add your reasons? Contribute here.