Still Loading Art & Music Festival Comes to Detroit This Weekend

The free event is designed to be both accessible and inclusive
Melissa DiVerti - still loading
Melissa DiVerti, a disability activist and artist who founded the agency that’s organizing Still Loading, will share her art at the festival this weekend. // Photograph courtesy of Still Loading

The organizers behind Still Loading want to make the festival experience more accessible. Setting up in Detroit’s Beacon Park this weekend, the new two-day art and music event has a focus on inclusivity, offering a lineup of free performances, installations, activities, and more while eliminating barriers for individuals with disabilities.

Taking place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on May 22 and 23, Still Loading will feature art installations and demonstrations from 17 artists and two stages set up for shows with more than 40 techno and house artists, including DJ Godfather, Mike “Agent X” Clark, and Metawav. The festival will offer access to an ADA platform for attendees with mobility limitations, an LED wall for those with vision limitations, ramps at entry points, and drop-off sections. The 18-and-older event will not be selling alcohol, but two food trucks with healthier menu options and drinks from Great Lakes Coffee Co. will available.

Still Loading was created by DI Techno, a Detroit-based all-female agency that has been working on event planning, festival staging, artist booking, and more since 2018. Melissa DiVietri, a disability activist and abstract artist who is sharing her own work at Still Loading this weekend, is the founder of the agency. The 32-year-old Michigan native was born with sacral agenesis, a rare condition that affects the lower spine, and she spent half of her life in a wheelchair before moving to forearm crutches. According to a press release, the concept of acceptance has served as an inspiration for her.

The idea for Still Loading came about last spring when DiVietri, who splits time between Detroit and Medellin, Columbia, connected with Downtown Detroit Partnership CEO Eric Larson after a security guard asked her to stop playing music in Capitol Park one weekend. Larson recognized DiVietri from her TEDx talk on overcoming challenges while living with a disability in the city, and the two coordinated with DTE Energy to conceptualize an event that would take place in one of the city’s parks.

While there is no cost for general admission tickets for Still, donations — which will benefit DI Techno — are welcome. Guests must register ahead of time through Eventbrite to attend.

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