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WHP | XXL 7.10.23 Review

WHP lineup was insane for XXL
WHP lineup was insane for XXL

In the ethereal interlude between the cease of day and the beckoning of night, I found myself amidst an eclectic congregation of techno aficionados. We were pilgrims, drawn to the enigmatic embrace of The Warehouse Project, a sanctuary where beats echoed the untold narratives of souls and melodies painted vivid tapestries of transient moments. XXL, not just an event, but a revelation, was our chosen odyssey - a journey where every note was a star illuminating the expansive galaxy of the Manchester night.

With Warehouse Project truly in full swing, this event has been on my radar for a long time. Techno, a language that I've only spoken for 3 years, has encapsulated my essence with its booming bass and nonstop beats, feeding the insatiable appetites of techno enthusiasts like myself.

XXL unfolded its mesmerising panorama with luminaries like, Lessss, Nina Kraviz, Reinier Zonneveld, I HATE MODELS, 999999999, Charlie Sparks (and more) who tantalised our auditory pathways.

XXL at WHP - ravers dancing
XXL at WHP - Techno haven 📸 by @rt.shoota

Here are our top ones of the night:

Patrick Mason started us off - flinging out slick techno beats, we grabbed our drinks, tied our tops round our waist and let the music take us in. Our warm up. "Elevate" truly lifted our souls and we were ready for the tango of WHP.

Wiggling our way through the old train station we found ourselves in Archive where we met so many friendly ravers - friends for life now. They only wanted one thing - Lessss. Her set made us sweat and pump. This is what we wanted, this is what we lived on. Her hard hitting beats, industrial crankiness was adrenaline fuelled. "Infinity" was the highlight of the set for sure, the crowd went mad and she remained cool in the heat. Awesome. Check out her Boiler room set below to grab a taste of what she brings to the table.

Walking up behind the stage in Concourse is a right of passage for WHP - creeping in for the middle of I Hate Models set was a memory I will forever cherish. He certainly goes for it and my, the sound was 🤌. Disgusting, filthy, dirty techno filled me - I became one with the bass and it was in this moment with the lights, the drops, and the energy I understood Techno culture. It brings people together, its hypnotic and brilliant and I Hate Models live was something out of this world. When he flung down "Lazy In Hell" I became feral. It was brilliant - he mixes so effortlessly whilst dancing and breathing with the beat. A performance for sure.

I Hate Models playing WHP in Concourse - 📸 by @rt.shoota
I Hate Models commanding the crowd in Concourse - 📸 by @rt.shoota

As the set came to an end, the brilliant Charlie Sparks came onto the scene, taking over he came in hard. Blonde tipped hair bouncing all over from the start... we looked in awe. Ravers whistling, clapping hands, fanning the air; they were hungry ~ hungry for beat. "Acid Donut" was on my list to hear and boy did he deliver, filling Archive with an insatiable desire for his set.

Charlie Sparks playing XXL night at WHP- 📸 by Jody Hartley
Charlie Sparks keeping it alive - 📸 by Jody Hartley

As the night merged into the early hours of morn, the party was still going strong. Reinier Zonneveld in the Depot was packed, the lights, the smoke and the ominous thumping was all that were keeping us going. As soon as he played "Dance With The Devil (The 6th Gate)" a string of whistles and hollering erupted, people became hypnotised and for good reason. "The gates are open"... Fellow ravers roared.


A heartfelt salute to the dedicated Paramedic team deserves special mention. As the relentless heat became unbearable and my head spun, all I yearned for was a breath of fresh air. In the midst of this ordeal, a panic attack gripped me. Thankfully, there was welfare, amid the vibrant ravers who, without passing judgment, extend their caring support. Whether it was providing water, lending a listening ear, or simply offering their company, the committed members of their team managed to soothe any distress. With their assistance, the panic attack subsided, and the booming music became more manageable.

It is paramount to underscore the significance of these safe havens. Another cause of concern is The Home Office's refusal to implement drug testing at festivals and events of this nature only obstructs the progressive mindset they ostensibly aim to suppress. Sacha Lord, the owner of WHP, has voiced this concern on multiple occasions, labeling the absence of such facilities as "dangerous and stupid" to not have these facilities. We are 1000% in agreement with this - F*** the Home Office. The Warehouse Project not only delivers exceptional entertainment but also embodies a welcoming and forward-thinking ethos that deserves admiration. A heartfelt thank you to the welfare team, and a special shout-out to Brendon and Abby for their unwavering support; otherwise, I might have been overwhelmed by the relentless thumping of Sarah Landry's beats.


Sarah Landry, a woman who is a must on every Techno playlist. Her dark and inherently fun mixes are something to adore, she pulled us deeper into the musical abyss with my fave "Peer Pressure" and "Chaos Magika" from her most recent album 'COVEN, Vol 3'. Dirty, filthy and soul cleansing for sure. Because of my little trip down to welfare my XXL night finished. With the bass still circulating through my blood I went to bed that night with flashes of ravers having the time of their lives.

Every artist, a storyteller; every set, a chapter; every beat, a word – together weaving the ineffable narrative of a night when Manchester wasn’t just a city, but a living entity pulsating to the ubiquitous rhythms of techno. In the silent aftermath, the soulful reverberations of a night woven into the timeless tapestry of music, promise a return.

As always we will see you at the front


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