Grandma Techno Rocks The DEMF

grandma-technoOne of the interesting stories to come out of this year’s Movement 08 is the story of Grandma Techno, Patricia Lay-Dorsey.

She’s not a biological grandma – though she looks the part. She’s in her 60’s, gets around in a mobility scooter – and she rocks. She’s a social activist, a blogger, an artist, she’s got an awesome tattoo – and she loves that techno music.

“They call me Grandma Techno,” she explains. “I’ve been coming to this festival every year since the beginning, and I love the music—it’s just fantastic.”

Here’s Grandma Techno’s poetic take about the Detroit Electronic Music Festival & electronic music:

Electronic music belongs to the shadowland of dreams. That’s why the Underground Stage at Movement ’08 in Detroit was pulsing with life day and night. Lights of blue, magenta, green and red colored all the same, a rainbow of humanity joined by the thumping bass beat of our hearts.

On her blog, she wrote about her experiences at Movement 07:

If you’re a fan of electronic music you’ll know what I mean when I say these DJs mix it up like magicians behind the decks. But if you don’t know the difference between house and techno, or to be more specific, how slamming, dark, minimal, futuristic, soulful, funky, hooky and ambient electronic music sounds, just trust me–it’s ALL great to dance to. With that pounding bass beat, you pretty much trance out, at least I do.

And there was something else that made me trance out yesterday, and that was the LOVE that these thousands of young folks poured out on this white-haired, scooter-riding woman they call “Grandma.” It was bizarre! I was a mini-celebrity. Many of them remembered me from last year. Said they’d danced with me, had taken pictures of me, admired me, wanted to be like me when they got to be grannies, etc. One fellow even said, “You’re the coolest chick here!”

So more pictures were taken, most with starry-eyed boys and girls with their arms around me. I was showered with gifts–3 bracelets, 1 necklace, 1 t-shirt, 1 waterproof bag, untold numbers of kisses, hugs and I-love-you’s.

Every time I needed to get in or out of my favorite of the five stages–the always crowded tented area called the Beatport stage–there were big strong fellows ready to clear my way. It was like the parting of the Red Sea!

Grandma Techno also took some fantastic photos of the event:

2 thoughts on “Grandma Techno Rocks The DEMF

  1. How cool it is to google my DEMF nickname–Grandma Techno–and find this link! Thanks for giving me a smile. Just a few clarifications: I’m only (!) 66 not in my 70s, I’ve only been to four festivals not all of them, I’m not a biological grandma just one in spirit, and my primary website (as of now) is

    In addition to loving electronic music, I love taking photos. So when I wasn’t dancing at Movement 08, I was snapping away. I’m still editing/posting my photos from the weekend, but you can see the first two galleries at

    My photos from Movement 07 are at

    Thanks again & I’ll see you at the Detroit clubs…

    Grandma Techno

  2. Grandma Techno – thanks for the feedback. I updated the article.

    Thanks for the links, too, that gives people that many more ways to check out what you’re up to!

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