Detroit Historical Museum Looks Back at 20 Years of Electronic Music Festivals in the City

The museum’s new photography exhibit showcases images from the last two decades of the annual event
detroit electronic music festival
Photograph by Doug Coombe // Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Museum

Over the past two decades, Detroit’s electronic music festival has grown from a grassroots volunteer event to a professionally produced spectacle. And this year, the festival — previously known as Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) and now Movement Music Festival — even went virtual with a lineup of performances from Carl Craig, Claude VonStroke, Dez Andrés, and more that were accessible to people all over the world.

To mark this 20-year history and the impact the annual event has had on the techno community, the Detroit Historical Museum is launching a new photography exhibit called 2000/2020: Celebrating 20 Years of the Electronic Music Festival in Detroit. The exhibit opens on Sept. 26 and runs until the next Movement Music Festival in spring 2021.

Curated by local “electronic music insiders” Rita Sayegh and Tim Price, the exhibit highlights the last 20 years of the festival through framed photographs and a “live wall” of fan photos. The collection of fan photos will continue to grow as more electronic music lovers share their images with the museum.

detroit electronic music festival
Photograph by Doug Wojciechowski // Courtesy of Detroit Historical Museum

“We really wanted to tell this story from the point of view of the people who make Detroit’s festivals so dynamic,” says Tracy Irwin, chief exhibitions and enrichment officer for the Detroit Historical Society. “From fan photos to a display that gives visitors a backstage view of the action, this exhibit is going to be a lot of fun for anyone who loves the music or the festival.”

The exhibit will be based in the museum’s Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery, and access to 2000/2020: Celebrating 20 Years of the Electronic Music Festival in Detroit is included in general admission. For those who can’t visit in person, the Detroit Historical Museum is providing a virtual exhibit online.

The opening of the exhibit coincides with the launch of Lunchtime Techno, a new event series featuring a lineup of DJs, food trucks, and activities that will take place at the museum’s Legends Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Sept. 26 to Oct. 10. On Sept. 26, guests can enjoy music by DJ John Collins, food from Guerilla foods and Cold Truth Soft Serve, and a pop-up record sale from Peoples Records.

Due to the pandemic, the Detroit Historical Museum is open with abbreviated hours. Additionally, the museum is operating with timed tickets to ensure social distancing, and visitors must make a reservation online to secure a time block. Guests who are 5 and older are required to wear masks.

For more information on the museum, submitting photos to the exhibit, and safety protocols, visit detroithistorical.org.  

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