Chicago will host its first house music festival (Move!) in July
The local authorities are supporting Move! Festival
Lady D will DJ at Move! Festival
House diva Barbara Tucker will be at Move! Festival
America is full of contradictions: it is the 'land of the free', but its civil liberties, as we know from Guantanamo Bay, are laughably insecure.
New York is billed as 'the city that never sleeps', but in the last few years a war on nightlife has led to the closure of tens of the city's nightclubs and bars.
Clubbers are vilified by the media, and in 2002 the Senate tried to pass the infamous Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act (or R.A.V.E. Act), which if it had become law, made landowners responsible for their patrons drug use.
But now Chicago's local authorities have given the thumbs up to the city's first ever house music festival.
Move! House Music Festival
Illinois' Department of Economic Development and the Bureau of Tourism are supporting Move!, a two-day international house music festival which takes place for the first time this year on 22nd and 23rd July.
Move! will feature some of the world's most famous house music DJs and acts, as well as celebrate the city's long and fruitful history with the genre.
Unbelievably this is the first time that the city has organised a house music event of this kind.
DJmag.com caught up with Move!'s Festival Director Randy Crumpton, Artistic and Creative Director Frederick Dunson, and performing DJs Terry Hunter and Lady D to debate America's stance on club culture.
DJmag: Why is the Illinois Department of Economic Development supporting Move!?
Randy Crumpton: "I guess one of the main reasons would be because of State Representative Ken Dunkin's love of house music, and the State seeing the Festival as a viable event to help promote tourism in the city of Chicago, as well as the state of Illinois."
Do you think that it's important to get the support of local government for dance music events in America?
Frederick Dunson: "Dance music needs to be supported as the viable art form that it is, and the city (of Chicago) supports all of the other genres of music like gospel, blues, jazz, Latin and even country, so why not house music? And especially in Chicago where it was founded and cultivated."
Why has it taken such a long time for Chicago to get its own house music festival?
Frederick Dunson: "I think that Chicago needed a catalyst to do something like this.
"Summer Dance was the spark to ignite the fire and fuel the hunger for a festival.
Dance music needs to be supported as the viable art form that it is
Frederick Dunson, Move! Festival
"Then the idea was born to do a festival where there would be the intermingling of society spanning the spectrum of humanity... black, white, straight, gay and everything in between - everything that house music represents harmony, peace and love!"
Terry Hunter: "I blame it all on the press.
"They're so busy thinking everywhere else is hotter - New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and so on.
"Enough is enough we have to take what's ours otherwise if we don't they will just keep passing us by.
"Don't get me wrong I have a lot of friends in all those places but I want my city to shine as well."
What impact will the festival bring to Chicago?
Lady D: "Hopefully it will have two effects. Firstly, it will draw numerous attendees and I think that's the main thing.
"I hope thousands and thousands show up, the way they do for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Movement.
"If we get record crowds, the impact will be tremendous.
One of Move! Festival's glamourous hosts
"It could signal the upswing for house, getting bigger venues and introducing music lovers to more current versions of house that are being played.
"Some people are still stuck on classics.
"I love classics and I play them in my sets but I think that people need to be informed as to current and future house music, and if people really come out and enjoy the show, I'm sure more of the larger clubs will open their nights up to house.
"At the moment only medium and small capacity venues showcase house music."
Terry Hunter: "I think it will be major because Chicago has had a nasty cloud over the city for so many years.
"We started this music and yet we seem to be not respected by the industry.
"The heads know the deal but the insiders don't."
"So, with a festival in our city I think people will wake up and hopefully see what Chicago music has to offer and keep some of our home grown talent right here in the city, and make power moves without moving elsewhere."
Will Move! be a street parade, like Loveparade?
Frederick Dunson: No... So much is going on that weekend in the city that logistically it would not be feasible. Perhaps in the future...
How did you get into DJing, Lady D?
Lady D: "I was dating a guy who was DJing and became friends with a girl who had decks - she couldn't play very well, but we used to mess around and she thought I should play out.
"One day, she booked me for a gig in a popular club and a lot of people came in that day to hear me, a promoter saw me and started booking me for events, and then it just went from there."
Is being a woman a key to your initial success?
Lady D: "Hell yeah. It was a big factor.
"I guess that I was the first one, in the underground house scene at the time.
"The first one who wasn't intimidated and actually came out and just did it."
Did you face instances where people would not take you seriously in the record industry because you are a woman?
When you have at least one person willing to stick their neck out it helps, then you can do what you do best, prove your worth and get on with it
Lady D, on female DJing
"Well, sure, but not on the regular. Being a credible DJ helped me a lot in the recording industry.
"When I was named A&R at AfterHours, there was a bit of a stir amongst the producers but I had the respect of the founder of the company.
"When you have at least one person willing to stick their neck out it helps, then you can do what you do best, prove your worth and get on with it."
How does it feel being the only woman DJ on the Move! line-up?
Lady D: "It feels great! When I saw the line-up I thought, 'for real...it's only me?'
"And I looked at the list again, and then once more, and I saw Barbara Tucker, and Dajae and the other female performers but no other women DJs.
"It took my breath away and then I just felt very relaxed and I knew that it felt proper in some way."
Move Festival 2006
Move! Festival takes place on 22nd and 23rd July 2006 at Charter One Pavilion, Northerly Island Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Derrick Carter, Danny Tenaglia, David Morales, Jocelyn Brown, Frankie Knuckles, Lady D, Terry Hunter, Barbara Tucker, Dajae, Steve Hurley, and others will be playing over the two days.
Tickets start at $35 for a one day pass, available from www.ticketmaster.com
Check www.chicagohousemusicfestival.org for more info.
www.myspace.com/djladyd is Lady D's Myspace.com page.
www.myspace.com/djladyd for Terry Hunter's Myspace.