Review – Time Warp’s 30th Anniversary

Not many brands can last 3 years, let alone 30 years, but The 30th anniversary of the Time Warp festival in Mannheim, Germany, was an electrifying celebration that built on three decades of experience and added plenty of extra magic for the special occasion. This is one of the most recognised techno brands in the world, and for good reason – not only does it welcome just about every major artist in the genre Bech and every year – not just to Germany but to other events everywhere from New York to Sao Paulo – but it also deals in high-grade production. 

A real underground culture has always defined the industry-leading Time Warp and this year was no different with dancers once again leaving attendees in awe. The staggering production offered an extra sensory element to proceedings that took the whole thing up a notch or two and is no doubt part of the reason the festival attracted an estimated 30,000 ravers over the two weekends. Spread across six floors, each offering its own unique vibe, its own carefully curated lineup, its own mesmeric lights and layers and of course beefy sound systems, this year’s event was being called the best yet by plenty of the people we spoke to who had travelled from all over Europe to attend. 

One of the standout sets from the weekend was the captivating back-to-back session between Hector Oaks and Anfisa Letyago on Friday. They took no prisoners and set the tone for an unforgettable weekend. Sven Väth’s performance on Saturday was another highlight, captivating the crowd with his legendary presence and masterful mixing as he worked through all sorts of colourful techno, curveballs and classics. 

The diversity of the lineup is also a testament to Timewarp’s dedication to always moving the scene forward and giving new stars as much of a chance as the legends. Each floor offered something special and Floor 6 emerged as the unofficial LGBT floor, featuring sets from DJ Gigolo, Patrick Mason, Clara Cuvé, and Sara Landry, all of whom created a vibrant soundtrack but also an inclusive atmosphere. Floor 3 on Saturday showcased an impressive lineup of house music, with Jamie Jones, Marco Carola, Seth Troxler, and Stevie Martinez delivering standout performances throughout the night, all of which culminated in an epic back-to-back session. Last but not least, a Time Warp regular Richie Hawtin played a superb closing set on Sunday afternoon on Floor 2 that provided the perfect conclusion to the festival.

The weather added an extra layer of excitement to the festival, with glorious sunshine and temperatures reaching 27 to 28 degrees Celsius on Sunday. This was a rather unexpected element as it is more common for rain to fall at this time of the year in Mannheim and so it added amped-up magic to the special anniversary edition. Overall, this landmark edition of Time Warp was a testament to the enduring vision of the founders and the higher-than-ever appeal of techno while the all-important and diverse community of dancers also helped solidify its position as one of the world’s premier techno events.

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