Motor Detroit Co-Founder Steven Sowers has Died - Selector

Motor Detroit Co-Founder Steven Sowers has Died


Steven Sowers, a co-founder of all-important techno club Motor Detroit, passed away on July 30th, 2020 according to reports on social media. His cause of death has not been disclosed at the time of writing.

Sowers’ death especially came as a shock to his friends and business associated as he was known to be in overall good health. Detroit artists like Terrence ParkerAlan Oldham, and Drivetrain paid their respects on social media.

Remembering Steven Sowers

Prior to Motor’s grand opening (under its original name, Motor Lounge), techno had little in the way of dedicated clubs in the city. Alongside Dan Sordyl, Sowers founded the club in 1996. The space they used was technically in Hamtramck, a small city almost entirely surrounded by Detroit, after 1995 riots hurt nightlife in Detroit proper.

In addition to such seminal Detroit techno figures a Derrick MayKevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins, Motor bookings ranged from Kraftwerk to Smashing Pumpkins according to Red Bull Music AcademyBillboard named the club #13 in their 2015 article, “The 25 Greatest Dance Clubs of All Time.”

Tom Thewes, a co-founder of Detroit Electronic Music Festival (now known as Movement Electronic Music Festival) once said, “Without the Help of Steven Sowers, the owner of Motor Lounge Detroit, not only would we have not had been able to have a successful festival, but there would not have been a festival at all. Motor Detroit Laid the foundation and groundwork for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.”

Steven Sowers also worked in real estate and fashion as well as writing and taking photos for auto racing publications.


  1. Robin Lynn says:







  2. Dan Sordyl says:

    I met Steven Sowers in the 80s when he and I were working together at Saint Andrews Hall. We became good friends/Brothers and spent a lot of time together. Some of the things that people don’t know about him is, he was a very successful maybe even a state champion wrestler in high school. He owned two hair salons before Motor opened. One of them was the first Aveda salon ever in Michigan. He was vegan most of his life and a member of PETA. Steven never wore leather shoes are used any animal products. We started Motor together in the 90s and drifted apart a couple years after it opened. Although he was only at Motor for the first two years, he Help to lay the foundation/direction that would later be called one of the top 20 dance clubs in the history of the world by billboard magazine. Even though our partnership didn’t work out and we ended on bad terms he was once my brother and once your family you’re always family. He was a super smart dude, marketing promotion guru and Motor never would’ve been as great without his influence!

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