Sand World

by Amanda Hayward
Contributing writer

Story3_pic1On May 1, “Sandwelt,” or Sand World 2013, introduced itself to Ludwigsburg for the first time, and the display will continue until Sept. 31.

Sand World was an idea that started small and grew large. Now, thousands of people visit Ludwigsburg to see 17 amazing sand sculptures created by 17 famous artists from all around the world.

People come to Sand World not only to admire famous works of art. They come to relax, eat and enjoy some of Sand World’s live musical entertainment, hands-on workshops and tours. These are just some qualities that make Sand World 2013 stand out from other sand sculpture exhibits, and it’s a perfect place for everyone, said Michael Benz, managing director of Seven City Event and Entertainment GmbH.

“People really like it from young to old to families and singles,” Benz said. “People really feel like they are in a vacation atmosphere and not just in their front yard.”

Story3_pic2Entering Sand World, visitors will be surrounded by a unique ambiance and “beach feeling” with palms and sun chairs, Benz said. Guests then have a chance to relax at the beach bar or take a tour and attend a workshop led by one of Sand World’s skilled artists, who will explain step-by-step how they created these magnificent exhibits. They will even hand the special tools over to you for one-hour, allowing you to create your very own sand masterpiece. Children from ages 3 and up also have a chance to show off their creativity in a workshop designed just for them, only the tools are smaller and made of plastic, of course. Parents can drop off their children for one-hour and take some time to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee or listen to live music while the artist takes over the rest.

“What is so special about it (the workshop) is they (the children) get to know the sand, the work and the art,” Benz said.

The mastermind behind Sand World is managing director Peter Streibel, who knew some famous sand sculptors who knew other artists. Streibel managed a similar exhibition three years ago on 1,000 square feet compared to this year’s exhibit on 8,000 square feet. Streibel, a friend of Benz, shared his idea and together they made it happen. After carefully hunting for the perfect location, they decided Ludwigsburg was the right place because “it’s a really good city and very nice for the families,” Benz said.

Located right in front of the largest preserved residency in Germany, Ludwigsburg Castle and Palace, Sand World been a great success. So far, more than 50,000 visitors have come to Sand World, and about 7,000 of those people came on opening day. They anticipate around 200,000 visitors by the end of the first season.

Story3_pic3“I think we are doing well so far,” Benz said.

Some of the best artists include Michel De Kok from the Netherlands, a European champion last year at a sand sculpture festival, and Rich Varano, a Florida native, who previously worked at Disney World Orlando and is now “one of the most famous sand sculptors in the world,” sand sculpting for the past 40 years and winning several world championships.

Given a Baroque-style theme and various tools, the artists use their imaginations and run with it, creating anything from hunting scenes with dogs and horses to characters with gigantic hats. It takes about two weeks for a single artist to transform the sand into a work of art with the size averaging about 5 meters high and 4 to 6 meters wide. The largest sculpture is 10 meters high.

Sand World 2013 is looking forward to more seasons, and there is already talk about holding another exhibit next year in a different location, Benz said.

In the next five weeks or so, Sand World is planning a special event, “Sandwelt at Night,” where the sculptures will be illuminated at night.

For more information on Sand World’s upcoming events and ticket pricing, visit their website at

All photos provided by Michael Benz, managing director of Seven City Event and Entertainment GmbH.