Surprising, exciting and unique: Mannheim is an urban cultural hotspot with an extensive festival programme that ranges from electronic music to rock, theatre and film.
Music is in Mannheim’s blood – and culture fans from across the world gather to celebrate the summer, life and of course music in the UNESCO City of Music. It runs through the city like a red thread, from the Musikpark to the Pop Academy, and from the SAP Arena to the newly opened downtown clubs, as well as on the Maimarkt showground – where festival season is launched every year, at over 120 BPM.
BPM is ‘beats per minute’: the measure of the pulse that elite international DJs drive to keep fans of electronic music from across Europe dancing through the night. Alongside world stars such as Sven Väth or Solomun, local Mannheim heroes like Steffen Baumann, Sebastian Dresel and Nick Curly will also be on the decks on 7 April 2018. Ever since 1994, the Time Warp Festival has attracted over 15,000 visitors to Mannheim from all over Europe each year.
Audio-visual delights collide with thrilling soundscapes. From 20 to 30 April at the “Jetztmusik Festival” in Mannheim, electronic music meets film, literature, dance and the performing arts. Music fans can also look forward to a wide range of workshops, seminars, lectures and panel discussions that range far and wide over the complex world of electronic music. An invigorating programme that stimulates all the senses.
With temperatures rising, the Cosmopop music agency invites you to Mannheim’s hip Jungbusch district, where you’ll find cult location Hafen 49 anchored between redbrick romanticism and container wrecks. The shores of the Mannheim harbour basin reverberate with Ibiza flair as ravers from all over Germany gather to dance here in the sunset. The season will be officially opened with the Hafenfestival on 28 and 29 April 2018. More than 40 DJs will be rocking festivalgoers in Mannheim’s party zone – including Grandmaster Sven Väth and popular acts like Loco Dice, Jamie Jones and Kölsch.
Fans of hard-driving rock head to the Mannheim Maimarkt showground from 30 May to 21 June. For the third edition of the “Zeltfestival Rhein-Neckar”, top acts will include major legends and lesser-known rockers such as Daniel Wirtz, Limp Bizkit, Judas Priest and Megadeth, as well as Johannes Oerding. Fans of full-on live music should put a big mark next to the Maimarkt showground – because this is also the venue for Mannheim’s legendary Maifeld Derby festival.
From 15 to 17 June, newcomers and established acts from the worlds of indie, mellow pop, alternative and folk will be performing at the Maifeld Derby. Even local Mannheimers often prefer crawling into a tent at night instead of going home. Rightly so, because the Maifeld Derby has become one of the top festivals in the whole of Germany. The easy-going atmosphere is legendary – as are this year’s top acts Editors, Eels, Nils Frahm and The Kills.
Another ground-breaking initiative is the lovingly curated “Schwindelfrei” Theatre Festival from 28 June to 1 July, where international and regional artists premiere unusual productions. Among other things, the motto “Performing Privilege” will be inspiring a search for the fashion codes of social advancement, power structures and the question of whether we would really be willing to share our own privileges.
From 12 to 22 July, we will be right in the heat of the Mannheim Summer festival. Centred on the National Theatre, this year’s festival will celebrate the triumph of a love of life and art over prejudice, stupidity and violence. Classic stagings, modern improvisations, world music or pop – the leitmotif for 2018 is the idea of the Enlightenment. To the sounds of Beethoven and Mozart and inspired by the diversity of European culture, the city of Mannheim itself becomes a stage set, in which a futuristic continent of passion, exchange and diversity is formed.
As the nights get longer again, we once again welcome Enjoy Jazz: an international festival dedicated to exploring the world of jazz and beyond. Since its foundation, it has matured into one of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals. Festival director Rainer Kern tirelessly works to book acts who are actively exploring and pushing the boundaries of the genre. The result is perhaps the most multifaceted concert series in the region.
And every time you think you have seen and heard everything with Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau and all the other Enjoy Jazz regulars, you find yourself being surprised by newcomers and discoveries alike. The festival runs this year from 2 October to 17 November.
The International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg has been providing surprises for 66 years now. The world’s seventh oldest film festival is a magnet for cineastes and attracts around 60,000 visitors to Mannheim each year. Major careers have been launched here, including those of Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders.
From 15 to 25 November 2018, fifty world art house premieres will be shown again this year. As for all other festivals, the rule here is to get tickets in good time – demand can quickly outstrip supply in the celebrated festival city of Mannheim.