It’s that magical time of year in Detroit when hundreds of thousands of travelers from around the world descend upon the city to pay their respects to the techno gods. That’s right, the Movement Electronic Music Festival returns after a mostly two-year pandemic hiatus Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30 for its 40th year.
While the official festivities take place at Hart Plaza, any Detroit club kid will tell you that the best Movement experiences happen at the many off-site pre-parties and after-parties —when bars, restaurants, cafes, and other food and drink establishments are transformed into late-night shrines for the electronic dance music devout. Last year, a scaled-down “Micro Movement” was organized featuring dozens of acts that performed at small venues, outdoors, to limited capacity. This year, the festival is back in full force, so here are just a few parties taking place at cafes, bars, restaurants, and more.
Spkr Box: Josh Greenwood, owner of longtime Capitol Park coffee shop/techno oasis Urban Bean Co., closed his spot during the pandemic to work on its next iteration, Spkr Box, a cafe and bar. The reimagined space opens its doors over Movement Weekend and with it comes an extensive facelift, including upgrades to the spot’s window panes, a small second-level bar, upgrades to the DJ booth, a new sound system, a liquor license, and food sourced by Village Hand Pies. In addition to running the cafe, Greenwood has been a mainstay in promoting the local techno scene for decades, so reopening plans include a lineup of parties over the long weekend, including “The Juice Is Loose” party from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 27, DJ sets by the from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday, a drum and bass-themed party at 2 p.m. on Sunday, and an after-party on Tuesday. For more details on the lineup, check out Spkr Box’s social media updates. 200 E Grand River
Spot Lite: This east side bar opened its doors in 2021 and has quickly become a favorite for its open, industrial vibes, coffee, cocktails, and consistent lineup of music acts and artist exhibitions. Now with the full-scale techno fest activities underway, Spot Lite is hosting a number of events, starting with a yoga warmup session from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 25, followed by The Detroit I Love official Movement pre-party, a vendors market from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27, followed by the daylong Underground and Black Party from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 and the Detroit Love Party taking place 11 p.m. through 7 a.m. (May 29), and much more. For more details about purchasing tickets and more, visit Spot Lite’s Facebook page. click here. 2905 Beaufait St #4
The Skip: This open-air bar is great for frozen cocktails, street food vendors, and people-watching. For Movement, the bar and surrounding Belt Alley will also host a series of events in honor of Movement, including dancing and drinks during the installment of the popular Jerk X Jollof on Saturday, May 28, and the city-hopping Do Over party will be on hand from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 29. Check out The Skip’s social media announcements for more details. The Belt
Barda: This award-winning Argentine restaurant in Core City will hold regular dinner service from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., but from midnight to 4 a.m. Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30, the crew will take over Core City Park for its Terminal Velocity Movement after-party for a night of DJ sets, cocktails, and beers. For more details, visit Barda’s Instagram page. 4842 Grand River
Nathan’s Deli: Renowned Detroit artist Sheefy McFly will host Deli Rave, an unofficial two-night after-party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on May 28 and May 29 at Nathan’s Deli in downtown. On top of a lineup of DJ sets, Sheefy will be selling exclusive art and merch, and guests can expect plenty of corned beef on deck. Tickets are $10 at the door and women get in free before 11 p.m. For more info, visit the artist’s Instagram page. 581 E. Jefferson
Grand Trunk Pub: Of course, everyone has to eat to maintain that Movement energy and one longtime favorite for sustenance just a few blocks away from Hart Plaza is Grand Trunk Pub. Brunch will be on hand at the spot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, featuring classics like a breakfast enchilada, Belgian waffles with fruit compote, and the Grand Trunk Pub reuben. 612 Woodward Ave