I’m in Leipzig, Germany at the moment. Last night I went to Bimbotown, which is both a nightclub and a physical manifestation of everything that’s right about this city.
It’s an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town, absolutely enormous, and full of industrial machinery and detritus. Despite it’s size, there’s no big empty space like in an English club – most of the main room is full of coffee tables, armchairs and sofas.
Around the edge you get these crazy contraptions made of old hydraulic systems. Most of the sofas and armchairs buck like a startled horse at random intervals. The bar stools leap into the air when people on the other side of the room press buttons. There’s a coffee table that walks.
There’s a convoy of beds that drive themselves around the entire club, occasionally dissapearing through a hole in the wall to emerge somewhere else a few minutes later. We took a ride on one and it carried us across the dance floor, bumping people out of the way.
I tried to tell people how crazy this was, and how impossible this would be in the UK or the US. We have a nanny state, and it doesn’t take well to this kind of thing.
A couch descends from the roof, about to land on someones head, and a guy just taps her on the shoulder to let her know. In the UK there would have to be safety barriers, alarms, helmets and safety stewards. You have to cling on to the sofa if you’re riding it – in England there would have to be harnesses.
The way it’s run wouldn’t work here either – the people who organise it live in the place, and run this night once a month to make some money. In the UK this place would have been commercialised to death, opened every night and been ruined within a year.
If you come to Liepzig, then time it so you can go to Bimbotown.