The year 2023 ended in a very muted manner for Derrick May – performing a DJ set on a skywalk at a Detroit steakhouse alongside Kevin Saunderson, D Wynn, and Insane Who Sane. May played a rather slow set for an hour, and even got to meet local celebrity Moorish Mudd – but it was a stark contrast from his glorious appearance in South Korea just four years earlier.
So far, 2024 has continued in much the same vain – with DJ bookings being notable only by their near total absence. Not to be deterred, however, there is one thing for Detroit’s most occasional DJ to look forward to – and that’s the forthcoming Belleville Three tour featuring himself, alongside Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson.
Exactly how organisers have been getting on with planning dates for the tour is shrouded in mystery – with everyone involved apparently sworn to secrecy. Indeed, Derrick May’s unofficial PR person and plank lover Mike Weston is reported to have said “We don’t want those f***ers at Ears To The House or Michael James finding out where the tour is heading, because they’ll have a f***ing field day”.
Nonetheless, it’s curious that as of the time of publication, not a single date from the Belleville Three tour has actually been announced. Given that a large number of festivals typically begin announcing lineups and selling tickets during the month of January, the total absence of any dates suggest a number of theories.
The kindest reading of the situation is that the Belleville Three tour is meant to be an event in its own right, and won’t be involved with any big festivals – maybe so they keep more of the money they make. A less charitable interpretation might be that the festival world wasn’t touching this one with a bargepole.
So what’s the word on Detroit’s streets on all this? A regular source admitted they didn’t know all the details but said, “The signs aren’t great right now. Juan isn’t in the best of health, Kevin’s schedule is pretty busy for the year, and Derrick didn’t help things by annoying his friends a few months back. The year might be new, but it seems that everything he touches is still turning into s***.”
One such event that the aforementioned Kevin Saunderson is confirmed for is the Movement Electronic Festival in Detroit – and we may have a few things to say on that later…