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Pair of new electronic festivals get get Detroit dancing during Fourth of July weekend

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

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DETROIT -- Promising "another celebration that is for the whole world to enjoy," the founder of the original Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) will be bringing it back -- and more -- for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Ford Field, Carol Marvin, who launched the DEMF at Hart Plaza in 2000, announced plans for two large-scale festivals July 4-6 in downtown Detroit. The new DEMF will be a free festival featuring more than 100 artists on five stages along with other at exhibits and installations in and around Campus Martius Park.

At the same time, the Federation of Electronic Music Technology will take place at Ford Field, with more than 50 artists performing on another five stages, with more installations and an educational component that will include lectures and panel discussions. $300 weekend tickets and $1,500 VIP passes go on sale Friday, Nov. 22, via the festivals' web site, www.demf.us, and associate producer Adriel Thornton said that other ticket options would be available closer to the festival.

The Federation festival will feature the first-ever live performance by Cybotron, the duo of Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins -- who's also a festival associate producer -- and Rick Davis. Atkins will also perform under one of his other pseudonym's, Model 500, while Detroit's Underground Resistance will perform "something unlike anything they've ever done before," according to Thornton.

The rest of the lineup will be announced during the coming months, with Thornton explaining that "we're going to focus on the best of the past, present and future of electronic music." Atkins, meanwhile, promised that "we're definitely going to make this the biggest and the best electronic festival in the world, the definitive electronic festival. This is Detroit. This is where (the music) started."

Marvin said that after starting DEMF as a free event, she was particularly happy to be bringing a free electronic festival back to the city. "A free festival invites the whole world to come together and enjoy a gift from Detroit that is Detroit," she explained.

Michael O'Callaghan of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, meanwhile, said Wednesday that he's "excited about the potential" of the festivals to bring visitors to Detroit and predicted it will become "a great annual event for the city."

The new festivals may compete with the annual Movement Electronic Music F.festival on Memorial Day weekend in Hart Plaza, which grew out of the original DEMF concept. Representatives of Paxahau, which produces that event, attended Wednesday's announcement and said there was no relationship between the two entities. Paxahau also issued a statement say that the company "is already working with excitement" on the 2014 edition of Movement, which will take place May 24-26, and also addressed any confusion over the two festivals, since Movement is still referred to by many as DEMF.

"The event has been known under a few different names but has always possessed the same unifying spirit -- a celebration of the music and culture we all love, held in the heart of the city that gave the world Techno -- Detroit," the statement read.

Organizers for the annual Concert of Colors, which held the festival over the Fourth of July weekend last year, said they're currently determining this year's date but that it will definitely not be at the same time.

Web Site: www.demf.us

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