Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Detroit Electronic Music Festival
The Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) was a hugely successful electronic dance music showcase held on Memorial Day weekend in Detroit from 2000 to 2002. Featuring performances by musicians and DJs, and emphasizing the progressive qualities of techno culture, the free festival quickly became the biggest annual music event in Detroit and the biggest electronic music festival in the United States. Patterned on high-profile dance festivals in Europe, the DEMF attracted a substantial number of international fans.
It launched a tradition that was carried on by Movement (2003-2004) and Fuse-In (2005-).
The DEMF was sanctioned and financially supported by the City of Detroit, a politically surprising move in an era when American civic leaders often negatively associated electronic music with drugs and rave culture. The festival was held at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, and was the first high-profile acknowledgement and celebration of the city as the birthplace of techno music. The DEMF went off with few hitches and no reported crime, and was applauded by city leaders and tourism officials as a vital injection of youthful energy into the aged city.
The festival was launched in May 2000, surpassing expectations by drawing an estimated one-million-plus visitors during its three-day run. Subsequent festivals drew even bigger crowds, though some in Detroit -- including media observers and local businesses that saw little economic boost -- disputed the attendance figures.
DEMF attendance estimates, based on visual estimates by police and city officials:
- 2000: 1.1 to 1.5 million
- 2001: 1.7 million
- 2002: 1.7 million
By its second year, DEMF weekend emerged as a full-scale explosion of techno music events around Detroit, with independently organized and even impromptu parties packing clubs and makeshift venues early into each morning.
The DEMF was founded and produced by Pop Culture Media (PCM) under the command of firm president Carol Marvin, a former sponsorship organizer for Detroit's Montreux Jazz Festival. Programming and artistic direction was contracted to Detroiter Carl Craig, an internationally acclaimed techno DJ and recording artist. Craig was fired days before the 2001 DEMF amid a budgeting and deadline dispute, lending controversy to the 2001 and 2002 festivals as many attendees galvanized support for Craig. Marvin came under increasing fire from fans who believed Craig had been unfairly dismissed.
In January 2003, city officials turned down PCM's request to renew its contract for Hart Plaza, awarding Memorial Day weekend control to Detroit techno musician Derrick May. (That same year, Pop Culture Media announced plans to organize festivals in Detroit and elsewhere under the DEMF trademark, though by 2005 no events had yet taken place.)
With the DEMF name trademarked by Pop Culture Media, May dubbed his festival Movement and held his inaugural event in May 2003. Movement received largely positive reviews from fans and critics, and attracted crowds that appeared on par with the previous DEMFs. (2003's official attendance estimate of 630,000 came with a concession by city officials that DEMF figures had been overly generous.)
The second Movement festival took place in 2004, but despite its public success, the event faced significant financial losses and its fate became uncertain.
In February 2005, May announced his resignation as festival producer, and the festival once again changed hands. Fellow techno veteran Kevin Saunderson announced plans for a Movement replacement to be called Fuse-In Detroit, to be staged Memorial Day Weekend 2005 . Negotiations were underway with city officials to possibly transform the free festival into a paid, ticketed event.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details