Last year, dance music press doyenne Annabel Ross found herself in one of her favourite places in the whole wide world – at the centre of everyone’s attention. According to the doyenne, who doesn’t like being called a doyenne, the big bad wolf that is Carl Craig had demanded that she wasn’t allowed to review Detroit’s Movement Festival – otherwise, he would pull out himself.
On the face of it, the story seemed credible. Shortly before this happened, the Russian Nina Kraviz had pulled out of the festival – the exact reasons were unclear, but it’s believed to be related to her choosing to remain silent over the Ukraine war. Paxahau – Movement’s organisers – couldn’t risk losing a second big name, could they?
In addition to that, there was bad blood already there – our Detroit sources tell us that Carl Craig was furious with the way the press, and Ross in particular, had treated his friend Derrick May when multiple sex abuse allegations emerged against him in 2020. Two of our own sources were adamant that the story was true – whilst Paxahau boss Sam Fotias declined to comment when Ears To The House reached out to him.
So what really happened? A few weeks ago, we received new information that casts doubt on the original claim – so we decided to investigate. And our findings are that, quite simply, Carl Craig did not threaten to pull out of Movement Festival in 2022 – and nor did he insist that Annabel Ross was banned from reviewing it.
We reached out to a source with close knowledge of Movement Festival, and they said “This story has got a whole life of its own, but it’s not entirely right. I don’t know the full story, but I’ll try to fill in some gaps. Mixmag submitted an application for Annabel Ross to get a press pass a while before the festival. The DJs who play aren’t told who’s doing the reviews, but it tends to be the same people each year.”
“I do remember there was some internal discussion within Paxahau about Annabel Ross doing it, but they quickly concluded she wouldn’t use her article to settle scores. Soon after, I remember hearing that she wasn’t coming. Her pass was never revoked or anything, and none of the artists playing ever said anything about it. She’s actually quite well liked at Movement.”.
So, how did Ross end up withdrawing from reviewing the festival, then? This remains something of a mystery – especially since Mixmag refused to comment at all on their involvement in the story. Ross herself stands by the claim, with her own Medium article still proudly pinned to the top of her profile on X, formerly Twitter.
Two other sources have corroborated the claims that Carl Craig wasn’t involved – and although one other name was mentioned as possibly having something to do with it, this wasn’t something which we were able to verify ahead of publication. Their identity shall remain a secret – at least for now…