Time Warp Mannheim 2010 REVIEW (incl photos & videos)


Active Member
Below is a review of my first visit to Time Warp Mannheim – enjoy! :D

Friday 26th March – Cocoon Frankfurt
Decided to make the most of the weekend by heading to Frankfurt on Friday night before Time Warp. Took the 19:50 Lufthansa from LHR and were in our hotel (Le Meridien Park) near the station in Frankfurt by 11:30. Cab to Cocoon took about 20 mins and cost 20 euro – at 12:30 there was a small queue, although advance purchase of tickets counted for nothing as everybody was in the same line.

Club is awesome - beautiful and interesting décor, rocking sound system, and plenty of space to sit. Relaxed atmosphere, but most people were quite dressed up, including plenty of rather attractive ladies! It was filling up, but still room to dance - Tobi Neumann was on the decks – first time I’d seen him and very impressed – funky pumping tunes – really got me dancing. Swayzak followed with a ‘live’ set which was very poor. Then Sven stepped up to rock it for the remaining hours. Left about 5:30am with the place still pretty full and the main room at full throttle. Loads of cabs outside for short trip back to hotel.

Saturday 27th March – Time Warp
Slept for 5 hours after Cocoon, then had a wander round the city and met up with friends at their hotel – Adina Apartments – very nice. Grabbed some dinner, then checked out of our hotel at 9pm. Train to the airport to drop our stuff at left luggage, then 30 min train to Mannheim (cost 45 euro return – free with Time Warp ticket if you take the regional trains – 1h 20m). Taxi straight to Time Warp location – about 15 mins/15 euro. Got there about 12:30.

Time Warp location unlike most other dance ‘festivals’ I’ve been to. A set of several large exhibition halls, all within a fairly compact space, with some outside area between them. Three main rooms were awesome – massive space, great production. Also a couple of smaller rooms, then a massive food hall, chill out area, 1000s of lockers, etc.

We headed to Floor 3 for more of Tobi Neumann – similar set to the night before at Cocoon, but again really enjoyed it – definitely a DJ I’ll be looking out for in future! 2:00am became 3:00am due to the clock change. Next it was Sven Vath on Floor 2 – one of the huge rooms with space for 1000s of clubbers. A great set followed with the usual addition of random dancers, acrobats, etc. Sven’s reputation, enthusiasm and tune selection (despite some dodgy mixing) meant the atmosphere was amazing. Tune of the weekend was a trumpet riddled track he played both at Cocoon and Time Warp - Die Vögel - Blaue Moschee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em5AGC1gk94.

Left Sven an hour early to go to Floor 3 for 2 hours of Marco Carola from 06:00-08:00. Banging tunes and awesome atmosphere as always, as well as some attractive women joining Marco in the both. Then it was back to a rammed Floor 2 for the most hyped performance of the festival:

08:00 Sunday 27th March – Plastikman Live
This performance had been hyped up to extreme proportions prior to the festival. What followed was one of the greatest multimedia experiences of my life. Firstly, all festival attendees had been asked to download a ‘SYNK’ app on their iPhone prior to the event. Once in the expanse of Floor 2, iPhone users could select a special WiFi network (see below).


Everybody then waited with bated breath. The massive curved video wall on stage fired up with a visual representation of a sound wave as the first beats rang out from the sound system. The sounds began to build and build. Suddenly, the video wall went blank to reveal Richie Hawtin standing at a live console behind it. Cue huge roars from the crowd. This is when the full experience started to unfold.


The iPhone app kicked into action, showing the BPM, bars, beats, name and section of the track Hawtin was playing (see below). This may seem quite weird, but a massive proportion of dance music fans now produce themselves and to see what Hawtin was doing live I think is great idea. The on-screen visuals continued with bouncing balls, sound waves and various other symbols, all in time with the Plastikman back catalogue.


The iPhone app then began to enter different modes. Firstly, the screen went black, then the coloured blocks on stage appeared in sync on the iPhone screen – a cool touch – see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4HGUfF-rvk. This was followed by more BPM/beats, before switching to a live video stream from within the stage – very impressive!

The fun and games continued, before a massive on screen countdown reached zero and everything went off. This was not the end however. Richie then appeared from behind the video wall, stood at a lector with some kind of midi controller and preceded to play Spastik as the last tune of the set (which had lasted closer to 2 hours rather than the original hour billed).


Whilst some people were obviously very annoyed that Hawtin did not play a 5 hour DJ set, and that musically this wasn’t top drawer, personally I think it was brilliant. If you wanted pumping techno tunes from a world class DJ, there were 15 hours of that. This was a world-first multimedia experiment that pushed the boundaries of what modern technology can achieve. I agree that you don’t want to be looking at your iPhone during a gig, but at the same time it really adds something to the experience if used in the right way. Can clearly see DJs broadcasting live track listings to your iPhone in future, with links to iTunes to purchase the tracks. Or live feeds from all stages so you don’t miss a thing.

10:00 Sunday 27th March – Reboot, Dubfire & the Back to Back
Reboot then played live in Floor 3 for an hour and it was much more of a traditional experience – laptops, controllers, lasers, etc. He rocked the crowd with his hit tunes and remixes, including a mass sit down which got everybody going, despite the fact sunlight was now strong outside.

11:00 returned to Floor 2 for the end of Dubfire who finished of brilliantly – some classics mixed with up-to-date tunes and finishing on Grindhouse – magical. It was now entering the remaining hours and it was time for the greatest party of all – the back to back session.

Originally billed as Villalobos Vs Carola Dice, it was only a matter of time before Sven also joined in the action. Seeing 4 of the worlds best DJs playing together and having fun like they were at a mate’s house party was brilliant. Bottles of spirits were being passed around the booth as each stepped up with a different tune. The image was completed by loads of people on stage dancing away and Hawtin, Dubfire, Reboot, Magda and various others getting into the booth – truly emotional!



They played for the next 3 hours and it was a sensational atmosphere. We left just before 3, grabbed one of the 100s of cabs outside back to Mannheim station. Train to Frankfurt airport, picked up bags, 18:10 flight back to London and then to bed before work on Monday.


All in all, a great weekend. Everything brilliantly organised, not too expensive, great atmosphere and really not that difficult to get to. Def worth going to Cocoon on Fri night and getting back on Sunday evening was easy – no time off work required! :D