March 2012 saw a diverse selection of Cape Town’s electronic music scene come together in celebration of Detroit Techno and EDM for the first time in Africa.

A year later in 2013 the festival expanded and grew into bigger and launched a series of development workshops, Satellite events, and a 3-day festival the team film team explored the process of presenting an annual festival and gave viewers an in-depth look into the multiple facets of how South Africa’s electronic music scene had begun.

The the CTEMF gave the film God Said Give Em Drum Machines producer’s, Jennifer Washington and Kristian Hill, a platform to explain how Detroit Electronic Music Festival’s celebration of Detroit Techno provided a template to bring Detroit Techno to South Africa. This festival was a celebration of African House and Techno artists and it gave birth to the documentary short, Electric Roots, which became a Cannes Film Festival selected film.

This festival attempts to capture and showcase how Detroit Techno reached global artists and shaped House Music trends in South Africa and more importantly impacted the South African artists that are now shaping trends globally.

CTEMF 2013

The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival 2013 was held on the roof of the Breakwater Parking Garage on The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

This video called DISCOVERING SOUTH AFRICA, explores Richie Hawtins life-changing trip: built around a new platform launched for electronic music titled Bridges For Music. (video by Valentino Barrioseta)

“Its about using the positive messages of the genre to inspire and enlighten the under-privileged — harking back to the values that defined house music from the beginning — One Nation Under a Groove.”

In this video recap video and in the film Electric Roots, Hawtin meets new generations at clubs, festivals, townships and on the dancefloor. Hawtin is the first ambassador for Bridges for Music, and the foundations are set for a positive future for keen new musicians, and also a new home for underground electronic music to develop in parallel. Learn more at

The second annual Capetown Electronic Music Festival took place February 15th-17th 2013 at the V&A Waterfront. The film team from the documentary God Said Give Em Drum Machines team traveled to South Africa to document the event in an attempt to document the Detroit Techno diaspora and to interview the festival headliner Richie Hawtin. For 3 days we got the opportunity to see and film top-notch South African DJ/Producers, at work and behind the scenes. They had a gorgeous location, awesome crowds, and the performances were nothing short of amazing. But, my favorite part so far was an offsite workshop Bridges for Music sponsored. The festival promoters also brought big-name DJ/Producers: Richie Hawtin, Black Coffee, and Neskerone out to a community center in Langa Township just outside of Capetown to talk about the birth of DJ culture and its roots in Detroit Techno. Neighborhood kids with limited advantages got a chance to meet these key figures and learn a thing or two during a live DJ demonstration and informative Q&A sessions. The exchange of information and ideas was both inspiring and insightful. There was a great response from all in attendance and I got to see with my own two eyes how these types of events greatly impact such communities.


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