Hundreds of bands and acts from many countries want to show what they can do at the Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival. They play in neighborhood clubs, network in the industry and hope for a great career.
What the Berlinale is to the film industry, the Reeperbahn Festival is to the music industry. At least that is the claim of the Hamburg Club Festival, which is now in the starting blocks again. From Wednesday on, almost 300 acts from 38 nations are expected on the stages in the Hanseatic city in the cult district of St. Pauli.
From indie to electronic, rock, punk and pop to jazz, hip-hop, rap and singer-songwriter performances, visitors to the Reeperbahn Festival can once again look forward to a varied look at the current, national and international music landscape.
700 individual programs
For festival director Alexander Schulz, this means a festival program that almost harks back to old times. However, only almost. “With a total of over 700 individual programs for trade visitors and the public, the scope corresponds to around 70 percent of the 2019 edition,” said Schulz of the German Press Agency in Hamburg. On the one hand, the program is not that extensive, at least compared to the pre-Corona period – there were still 600 concerts, in 2022 there will be around 330. On the other hand, the visitors would not have bought their tickets many months in advance – as is usually the case. The reasons for this are probably the uncertainty caused by the corona pandemic and that many people have to save in view of rising energy prices. In addition, there are currently – also due to the many catch-up concerts – so many cultural offers that one or the other is simply overwhelmed, Schulz continues.
Partner country USA
The Reeperbahn Festival will once again come up with draft horses such as Mine, Anna Calvi and Tom Walker as well as many promising and still largely unknown bands and artists. Some of the concerts will also be streamed.
This year’s partner country of the festival is the USA. This is reflected less in the music than in the conference. “That’s simply the most important music market for us,” says Schulz. All important associations, organizations and companies from North America are represented at the Reeperbahn Festival. “This is remarkable for a European industry get-together, and extremely attractive for the local music industry,” says Schulz, not without pride.
At the same time, the networking between artists and decision-makers is one of the pillars of the festival, alongside a look at the latest musical developments. It is not for nothing that the club festival is financed to a large extent with funds from the city and the federal government. The Reeperbahn Festival is intended to show the latest, pick up on new things and basically always be one step ahead of the future of the industry. The balanced and diverse relationship between artists was successfully initiated and practiced years ago.
Young Talent Award: Bill Kaulitz in the jury
Festival boss Schulz hopes that the Tokyo Hotel singer Bill Kaulitz and singer and drag queen Pabllo Vittar from Brazil will be part of the six-member jury for the young talent award, the Anchor Award, this year, which will give additional attention outside of the music expert scene. “It’s also simply about more media reach and attention for the international talents in our competition,” he explains the decision. “Bill Kaulitz and Pabllo Vittar can be helpful as a catalyst for their career start.” In addition to the two, the jury includes Tony Visconti, Tayla Parx, The Hives singer Pelle Almqvist and Joy Denalane.
According to the current status, there will be no corona restrictions. The ticket prices are still similar to last year. “We already determined that in August 2021. We were therefore unable to react to the cost increases of the past few months.” The festival will cost almost 12 million euros in 2022, around 8.4 million euros of which will come from the city and federal government. Schulz is hoping for around 40,000 visitors over four days, including around 3,000 trade visitors from 40 countries. (dpa)