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Published: Thursday, 5/26/2005

Annual techno music fest this weekend in Detroit

BY RHONDA B. SEWELL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
This year's festival  is called Fuse-In. It was formerly titled Movement, and in its beginning years, the event was widely known as the DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival).
This year's festival is called Fuse-In. It was formerly titled Movement, and in its beginning years, the event was widely known as the DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival).
HO Enlarge

DETROIT - Get pumped, techno, hip hop, and electronica heads. It's back.

Re-named, once again, and for the first time charging admission, this year's sixth annual Detroit Techno Festival in Hart Plaza runs from noon to midnight Saturday through Monday, Memorial Day.

This year's festival is called Fuse-In. It was formerly titled Movement, and in its beginning years, the event was widely known as the DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival).

Some 125 musicians and DJs are expected to perform this year on four stages. They will include Mos Def, Slum Village, Ritchie Hawtin (Plus 8 and Minus DJ/artist), Green Velvet (aka Cajmere, a Chicago house music producer), Ken Ishii (Japanese techno artist), and guest artists from Germany, England, and the Netherlands.

New this year is a dedicated Hip-Hop stage where Slum Village, Athletic Mic League, and Onebelo will appear. On Monday, rapper/actor Mos Def (The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy) will headline on the Main Stage.

Food, beverages, souvenirs, and CDs will be available for purchase from 75 vendors.

Jay Dolata, Fuse-In spokesman, says this year the festival was challenged by a lack of funding and lower-than-projected sponsorships, which is why a cover charge was necessary. Detroit city officials approved an entrance fee.

Event producer Kevin Saunderson, one of the architects of the Detroit techno sound, says charging fans a fee to get in will produce "a good-quality festival with a world-class lineup of performers."

The fest will charge $10 per day or $25 for the entire weekend. An estimated 600,000 fans attended last year's event, and in past years festival estimates have numbered audiences at 1 million.

"We are committed to building on the integrity and the legacy of Detroit music," Saunderson said.

The inaugural fest in 2000 featured about 70 electronica artists such as DJ Spookey, Stacey Pullin, Juan Atkins, and Saunderson.

The electronic sound can trace its early roots to 1977, almost 40 years ago, when the German group Kraftwerk released its "Trans-Europe Express." Ten years later, in 1988, Atkins submitted the song "Techno Music" to a compilation that Derrick May was organizing for Virgin Records. The title stuck and both the compilation and the genre took the name "techno" from Atkins.

Other highlights include a rare appearance by the Underground Resistance, credited as the first Detroit-based act to play techno live. Toledo DJ Dennis Cox performs at noon Sunday on the Waterfront Stage.

Tomorrow, one day before Fuse-In officially kicks off, the People Mover, Detroit's public transportation train, will host two preview "Fuse-In DJ Spins" at the Joe Louis Arena Station. The spins, free with a ride on the People Mover, will feature Detroit DJs from noon to 2 p.m. and DJ Jan D from 4 to 6 p.m. (Information: www. thepeoplemover.com).

Tickets for the Detroit Techno Festival, Fuse-In are $10 per day, or $25 for the entire weekend, Saturday through Monday. Advance tickets are available through www.Wantickets.com or by calling 1-866-WANTIXX (926-8499). Cash-only tickets are also available at Cobo Hall, near Hart Plaza. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

There are no parking accommodations at Hart Plaza, and limited metered spaces downtown. Organizers recommend using any downtown parking garage.

Directions from Toledo to Hart Plaza: Take I-75 north to U.S. 10 south (Lodge Freeway). Take the Lodge until it ends at Jefferson Avenue. Hart Plaza is directly to the right. Information: www.fuse-inDetroit.com.

Contact Rhonda B. Sewell at: rsewell@theblade.com

or 419-724-6101.



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