Attending this festival has been a dream of mine for years ….and in 2011, I finally made the trek to Detroit Rock City for 3 days of electronic music in Hart Plaza. My friend Brian, who was born and raised in Detroit, gave me a grand tour of the city. Friday morning started with a stop at an absolutely delicious crepe shop, ‘Good Girls Go to Paris.’ Bananas and Nutella in a crepe?! Yes, please!! After a sumptuous breakfast we soaked in some culture at the Detroit Institute of Art, a beautiful museum featuring amazing and awe inspiring Italian, American and modern works. We ended the night at a Tiger’s game (10 rows up from the field) in Comerica Park where I tried my first Coney Dog. And I have to say, it was pretty damn delicious!

Saturday began with a bike ride down the Dequindre Cut to Eastern Market…by far the largest Farmer’s Market I have ever seen. Multiple warehouses, people everywhere, restaurants and of course, karaoke (every farmer’s market has karaoke, right?!). After our bike ride, we walked down to the festival which backed up to the Detroit River. It was quite the sight, especially considering Canada is just on the other side!

We started our day at the festival with a quick meetup of friends and a tour of the stages. We grabbed some drinks and got ready for the most amazing back to back sets I’ve ever seen: Tortured Soul and Kerri Chandler. Halfway through the TS set, it started to rain…and I tend to be a bit girly when it comes to rain, but the house music pumping out of the speakers spoke to me so much that I danced my heart out, rain or shine. Kerri started off his set with sultry woman singing, ‘in the rain’ and the crowd went wild. It was my first time to see Kerri, and it was an epic set. Ah, vacation and house music. What a lovely combination.

Sunday started off at the Made in Detroit stage to the tunes of Al Ester, a new dj to me but amazing none the less. Everyone nearby was groovin and enjoying the music…especially the guy next to me. We exchanged smiles and once Al laid down a track with a swing yet somehow also a Caribbean feel, the guy next to me put out his hands. He started swinging and turning me around…I had a blast!! He even showed me a new dance move. Gotta love house heads! A little later, I ran into my friend Julius the Mad Thinker and scored a copy of his latest mix, Now in Stereo 4. I waved goodbye to my dance partner, recieved a air kiss back and off we went to explore the festival. We toured all the stages, jammin out at each one including a bangin set from headliner, 69 (Carl Craig), at the Vitamin Water stage. We left the festival and walked to Greek Town to step in to the Now In Stereo party at Exodus Lounge featuring artists that will be playing at the yearly retreat in Playa del Carmen, Mi Casa Es Su Casa party for the house music obsessed (that’s me!).

Monday, the final day of the festival, started off at Movement, the underground stage. Chicago House legend, Boo Williams, took stage with Glenn Underground. I had the pleasure to meet Boo a few years ago when he played here in Houston and I was lucky enough to get a quick hello and hug from him after his set! Next up was the Red Bull stage to hear the 4 piece band, Little Dragon. I fell in love with sultry, quirky, dreamy and sometimes-chunky, sound immediately. Unfortunately, right after their set I lost Brian and my phone stopped working. Not died. I couldn’t turn it on and was in a bit of a panic. As a result, I missed Green Velvet‘s set, but did hear a little of the anthem, “Flash” as I was wandering trying to find Brian. I found him just in time to head back to the Vitamin Water stage for festival headliner, Fat Boy Slim. I was beyond excited; I’d never heard him (Norman Cook) spin live before. He owned the stage with his magnetic and contagious energy. And the video images playing behind him were unique, slightly strange, yet also motivating: cartoon creatures, white words on a black backdrop writing out lyrics to a track one word at a time and his macbook desktop which eventually showed the crowd on the giant projector behind him. He built the crowd up, jammed and grooved with us and then let us down easy by playing some classical music as his final track. That was definitely a first, as well as a great ending to my first weekend in Detroit and my first Tech Fest. Come back with me in 2012! Let’s share the dance floor!

Full Lauren Ignited photo coverage here.


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