New Exhibition at Detroit Historical Museum Celebrates 20 Years of Electronic Music Festivals

Vishnu R. Nair Music Festival
Stock photo courtesy of Vishnu R. Nair.

The Detroit Historical Museum highlights the 20 years of Electronic Music Festivals with a brand new exhibit that can be visited in-person or virtually. This exhibit will run from September 26 until next year’s Electronic Festival in 2021.

At the end of May for the past 20 years, electronic music fans from around the world have flocked to Detroit for one of the biggest urban parties on the planet. Although the festival was paused this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Detroit Historical Museum wants to recognize it’s two-decade milestone anniversary with a photography exhibition highlighting each year of the festival.

Each photography exhibit will highlight each year of the festival and will be curated by Detroit electronic music community insiders Rita Sayegh and Tim Price. The exhibition, 2000/2020: Celebrating 20 Years of the Electronic Music Festival in Detroit,will open in the Rober and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery on Saturday, September 26. This exhibition will continue to run through next years’ festival in 2021.

Each photograph on display will capture the joy of Detroit’s famous festivals by focusing on the people who make it important. In addition to the framed photographs, the exhibit will include a living wall of fan photos from the festival’s 20 years and the names of the fans who contributed them. This area is expected to continue growing as Detroiters learn about the exhibition and add their memories. 

For those who cannot visit the museum in person, there is a virtual exhibit that will accompany the physical exhibition so it is accessible to fans across the globe. 

Tracy Irwin, Detroit Historical Society Chief Exhibitions and Enrichment Officer and one of Crain’s Detroit’s 2020 Notable Women in Design, was the lead designer of the exhibition, working with guest curators Rita Sayegh and Tim Price. She noted that the exhibition will be as unique as the fans who come to the festival each year. “We really wanted to tell this story from the point of view of the people who make Detroit’s festivals so dynamic,” Irwin says. “From fan photos to a display that gives visitors a backstage view of the action, this exhibit is going to be a lot of fun for anyone who loves the music or the festival.”

Saturday, September 26 will also be the first day of the Detroit Historical Museum’s Lunchtime Techno series, featuring tunes by DJ John Collins, food by Guerilla Foods and Cold Truth Soft Serve and pop-up record sales by Peoples Records. For three Saturdays in a row, visit Legends Plaza at the Detroit Historical Museum (facing Woodward Avenue) at lunchtime for a new lineup of DJs, food trucks and socially-distanced fun. View the whole lineup of Lunchtime Techno guests at detroithistorical.org.

If you’re interested in sending your images in to be part of the exhibit, please send them to casieb@detroithistorical.org and tracyi@detroithistorical.org. Please include the image as 300dpi TIF or JPEG file, your full name, the names of everyone in the photo, and the year the photo was taken.

5401 Woodward Ave, Detroit. 313-833-1805. Detroithistorical.org. COVID Hours: 10am-5pm, Thursday-Saturday and 1pm-5pm, Sunday.