May 17, 2021
Event organizer Melissa DiVietri holds the Spirit of Detroit award inside Mexico City based art installation, Los Trompos. The installation consists of eight colorful, large-scale spinning tops that people can sit and swing on, and will be present Still Loading Art and Music Festival.
With the weather warming and COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out, outdoor events like the Woodward Dream Cruise and Arts, Beats & Eats are making a comeback. Eastern Market is in full swing with Flower Month. There’s only one thing missing in the city that proudly wears the title “the birthplace of techno music”: techno music.
Movement Electronic Music Festival, one of the longest-running music festivals in the country typically held every Memorial Day weekend, is a haven for Detroiters who are a fan of these entrancing rhythms. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, but there’s hope on the rise in the form of the upcoming Still Loading Art and Music Festival.
Still Loading takes place May 22nd to 23rd at Detroit’s Beacon Park. The festival will feature installations and music from local artists and is organized by DI Techno, a local events agency. Founded in 2015, DI Techno is dedicated to supporting local art and creative mindsets who “build community and voice their passions in art and music.”
This festival will feature art installations, a film tent, two performance stages for techno, tech-house, deep house and minimal music, and an array of food trucks and coffee options. Entrance is completely free and open to individuals 18 and up. One of the largest installations, Los Trompos, is coming all the way from Mexico City and is sure to attract attention. This massive structure consists of eight colorful, large-scale spinning tops that people can sit and swing on.
Melissa DiVietri, Founder of DI Techno, is an abstract artist herself, and a disability advocate. DiVietri was born in Jackson, Michigan with a rare condition called sacral agenesis that resulted in her missing the bottom portion of her sacrum, or the structure that connects the tailbone to the base of the spine. This disability never stopped DiVietri from pursuing her passions, though.
In everything she does, DiVietri creates and celebrates opportunity for all. She’s on the other side of 14 surgeries for her condition but, if anything, that’s encouraged her to push herself harder. She juggles her roles as a DJ (going by the name DJ Missy DI), abstract artist, and Founder of DI Techno with grace. She empowers women and people with disabilities from all over the world to grow beyond their perceived limitations.
“It started when I was young. Doctors told me I would be constrained to a wheelchair but I thought ‘no, this isn’t going to happen to me.’” DiVietri said in her 2020 TEDxDetroit Talk. “No doesn’t mean no forever, it simply means no for now.”
True to DiVietri’s mission, Still Loading will be completely ADA-compliant, including platforms for individuals in wheelchairs (can’t miss out on those awesome views) and LED walls specifically designed for individuals with visual impairments.
The cancellation of Movement doesn’t have to mean the end to summers listening to techno music in Detroit. Still Loading promises to be an exciting way to kick off the summer with mesmerizing displays and hype beats, in a format that is accessible to all. What could be better?