Thursday, June 3, 2010

DEMF 2010 Villalobos Hoax! Full Story

OK, so if you were at DEMF 2010 you must have heard the rumors that Villalobos was in Detroit, and that he was going to play after all. Sigh! Sadly this didn't happen at all.

The exact origins of this rumor will never be known, but using my techno journalism skills, I will try and find out.


Disbelief was the prevailing sentiment in Detroit. No one wanted to believe that Villalobos had actually canceled. When you don't want to believe something is true, it's easy enough to convince yourself that it's not. Even though the official press release saying he had canceled was sent out days before the festival started, people were still holding on to some hope that he would magically show up.

The Infamous Text Message

Thanks Peter of JQM or for this lovely screen shot.

Whether Eli purposely sent this out to create mass hysteria (if he did he is a genius), or he himself was confused and actually thought he saw Villalobos, my suspicion is that this was the text that started a giant game of Telephone.

Masomenos vs Villalobos

So apparently Mr. Villalobos has a techno twin and he was at DEMF: the male half of Masomenos! Just look at the evidence, you can come up with your own conclusion.

The Real McCoy - Ricardo Villalobos

Adrien de Maublanc of Masomenos

JQM man
himself could also be a Ricardo impersonator

The similarities are uncanny, especially if you include the fact that there were thousands of people walking around all fucked up with blurry vision. I can see how he can easily be confused with Villalobos. Hey it happens, and it makes perfect sense he would have an artist pass to the festival and access to back stage areas if he is playing at one of the after parties.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

Then we have a pranksters like Dirty Bird's Justin Martin, who sent out photo tweets that he actually spoke to Villalobos, which only added fuel to the fire.

Message: @mrjustinmartin got to talk to villalobos about his amazing press tour of non-gigs in Detroit #demf

Rumors Flying

This is just a small sample of what I heard from different people, including some very "credible" sources:
"Villalobos landed in detroit!"

"He was spotted on the Beat Port stage."

"Villalobos landed but wasn't allowed to play, because the already terminated his contracts."

"Paxahau sent a private jet to Berlin to get him. But when he landed in the he got turned away by immigration."
That last one was my favorite.

Between Twitter, Facebook, word of mouth, blogs like this and LWE (which I love) and half of your friends that swear they saw Villalobos, the rumors spread like wild fire.

We all help spread the insanity, and the joke was all on us.

And that's how the biggest hoax in techno history went down and it was hilarious.


  1. you have to add that Pete of JQM looks alike Villalobos as well. People would come up to him and ask him for the autograph...LOL

  2. excellent research :) and charlie is the one that tricked me into posting the tweet. what an amazing game of telephone!

  3. they have no soul!

  4. The hoax was that he was playing @ DEMF in the first place...duh

  5. YES!!!! I didn't get any tweets, but was at the Beatport stage and aw it all unfold... pseudo-Ricardo talking to Cassy while she was spinning (apparently asking her if he could spin), Carl Craig coming on stage for only a few short moments and speaking only with Adrian (again, looking like Ricardo was asking to spin, and Carl shaking his head like, "I'm really sorry, but there's nothing i can do"...).. we were all convinced that was what was happening. I never got any tweets or facebooks about it, it was all what my own eyes saw... it was very convincing!!

    I told some well-connected (in the techno scene)friends of mine who i saw on the boat party and asked what they thought of Ricardo being there on stage. they laughed b/c htey knew it wasn't him, but I was unconvincable, thinking htey jsut didn't happen to see him. So, they introduced mne to Carl Craig so I could ask him personally, and he confirmed it wasn't him. I later met Adrian and we shared a laugh about it, and Monday before the festival, saw Cassy in the lobby of the Marriott and told her what we all thought.
    AMAZING festival this year, and this practical joke (and getting to the bottom of it myself!) was def one of the highlights.

  6. some people say it was all a publicity stunt, some say it was true they tried till the very last minute to get him in, others say he is banned from the USA ... the only thing we know to be true is the madness that followed.

  7. Hey, hey, forgot a crucial detail to the story here! There isn't just ONE faux-Villalobos out there, but TWO. Yes, yes, you read that right. It's triplets baby. And numero 3 is Peteone of JQM himself. He helped spread the mass hysteris by just...being Peteone of JQM. Guess showing up is all you need to do sometimes =))))) Pshhh...

  8. Official Word from Eli:

    @soulclap:@missdigital amazing research! to clarify, i actually wasnt on the flight, charlie was and actualy tricked me into tweeting

  9. why thank you for the addition. very quick on your toes I must say. i'm impressed :)))

  10. Sweet KISS T-shirt, faggot.

  11. @ masomenos:

  12. I think I saw one of the Villalobos doppelgangers on the train back to Chicago after demf. I was wearing a Detroit shirt from the fest and a couple times when I walked past he was glancing up like "no I'm not, don't f*in ask."

  13. well I was right there by the VIP entrance with those Irish chaps PSYCOTRON... the amazing thing was they were actually just talking about this all thing : R.Vill not coming becasue of him being all hmm.. what ?..whatever ! then about 2min after this techno-gossip here he comes ! No Joik, it was him..coming in with a trolley, was 4feet away !.. thing is , and this would corroborate the aforementioned gossip..he looked like he hadn't eaten in weeks.. swear !!!