Another Detroit techno festival – but guess who’s missing?

The dance music scene in Detroit is something we write about a fair bit here at Ears To The House. Partly because it’s a place where you can get away with almost anything, so long as you’re one of the locals – and partly because those people we write about don’t like the attention. Which just ensures we write more about you, but we digress.

Anyway, this bizarre misguided loyalty is why the disgraced Derrick May continues to get work within the city yet rarely seems able to get a break elsewhere. In some ways however, Detroit has moved with the times – and realised that few people are better at promoting their own music than themselves. And there’s no denying Detroit has produced a lot of talent.

The Movement Electronic Music Festival took place from May 28th to 30th – and as ever, it was an opportunity to plug the tired, mostly untrue story about the Belleville Three. Naturally however, no journalist thought to pose the question of why Derrick May – one of the founding members of the so-called Belleville Three – wasn’t playing at Movement this year. His association with the event goes back to its humble beginnings, after all.

In August, the Charivari festival takes place in the city. Happening between August 11 and 14th over three stages, currently confirmed names include Moodymann, Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Steve Crawford and the very talented Karizma. The full lineup will be announced nearer the time, as is typical with most festivals these days – perish the thought that customers know what they’re paying for at the time of purchase, eh?

Anyway, Charivari returned last year after a pandemic enforced break in 2020. Derrick May wasn’t playing, even though he did attend the event. Incidentally, a highly connected source in Detroit tells Ears To The House that Charivari is an event that “Derrick used to look down on. He was asked to play a few times and always said no”.

The same source also tells us that “You won’t be at all surprised to find out Derrick didn’t get the phone call this year”. Won’t stop the likes of Atkins peddling the Belleville Three myth yet again, though…

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