Detroit Techno Fest On Its Way

DJ Kevin Saunderson has signed a two-year contract with an extension option to produce Detroit’s massive techno festival, beginning Memorial Day weekend.

The festival had fallen into doubt. Co-producers Derrick May and Raymond Owens parted ways after 2003’s free event, which draws about 100,000 people to the city. May and Saunderson put last year’s fest together on short notice, with Saunderson being one of the featured DJs at the event, held every year at Hart Plaza.

May declined to be a part of this year’s party, citing heavy financial losses and stress from producing a show that’s considered a cultural showcase for the city, according to the Detroit Free Press.

This year’s festival will be named “Fuse-In Detroit: Electronic Movement.” There are still logistical hurdles, according to the paper, and Saunderson is considering a scaled-down version to make next year’s festival more financially feasible. There is also talk of making this year’s party a ticketed event in the $5 to $10 range.

The late start puts Saunderson – a DJ who has had international hits – in a mad scramble for sponsorships, the Free Press said.

“He wants more live acts, a wider variety of music,” festival publicity director Barbara Deyo told the paper. “Kevin really wants to show the crossover between genres, and broaden the festival’s horizons.”