New Deal For Detroit Techno Fest

DETROIT, MI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The City of Detroit has completed a deal with DJ Kevin Saunderson to produce Hart Plaza’s annual techno party.

The 2-year deal, with an option for an extension, will also bring a new name to the Memorial Day weekend show, “Fuse-In Detroit: Electronic Movement.” This year may also see a $5-$10 admission charge to the fans, of the traditionally free fest.

The agreement, reached on Tuesday, February 23, following two days of negotiations, ensures that the groundwork is in place for the festival this spring. There are still some obstacles for Saunderson and his team, including Ade Henderson-Mainor of Submerge Recordings, who will serve as festival director, and Scott McIntyre, who will handle market. The group plans to scale down this year’s event to focus on 2006.

Saunderson co-produced the last year’s festival with fellow techno star Derrick May. May decided this past fall to step down from the festival business, citing financial losses and stresses of producing the event.

Saunderson submitted his own proposal to the city in September and began discussions with officials in January.

The late start leaves Saunderson in a scramble for sponsors, vendors and artists. He told the Detroit Free Press that he will rely on support from fans to ensure that the festival, a tradition since 2000, won’t skip a year. Fund-raising events are in the works, including large parties in Detroit and Ann Arbor.

According to the paper, Saunderson said his long-term vision for Fuse-In includes diversifying the musical offerings, including an increased emphasis on live performances to accompany the lineup of dance DJs. He said that despite the financial struggles endured by the festival in the past, it continues to be perceived around the world as a touchstone event. –-by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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