Hamburg’s 2020 Reeperbahn Festival is setting the bar for live music events during the pandemic

Hamburg’s club festival taking a hybrid format from 16 to 19 September 2020

Hamburg’s 2020 Reeperbahn Festival is setting the bar for live music events during the pandemic

Hamburg, 07 September 2020 – As the world’s first music festival of its size, this year’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg will be held despite the pandemic. In full compliance with the hygiene and social distancing rules that are currently in place, up to 2,300 visitors will be able to enjoy live music each day from 16 to 19 September. The programme includes a total of 120 gigs on some 30 live stages in the clubs, theatres and open-air venues in St Pauli, Hamburg's popular entertainment district. With this redesigned event format, Hamburg is setting international standards for the music industry, while at the same time showcasing towards the end of the open-air season how cultural events can be staged under real conditions, and especially indoors. As the Hamburg Senate places great emphasis on helping the live music community through these difficult times, Hamburg is supporting the 2020 festival in its new, pandemic-proof format with additional funding to the tune of 500,000 euro. What is more, independent of the festival, two Corona relief funds comprising a total of 3 million euro have been set up to provide further help to the city’s music clubs as well as open-air events.

With 120 concerts and about 40 programme items from the areas of Arts, Word, Film, and Discourse, the Reeperbahn Festival 2020 will comprise only a fifth of the previous years’ programme volume. And yet, even in its new pandemic-proof format, the festival continues to be a trend-setting music event and a driver of social change. Just like in previous years, many newcomers alongside some of the most creative national and international bands will be presented in the clubs of St Pauli. Highlights in 2020 will include Akua Naru (DE/USA), Tom Gregory (UK), Dillon (BR/DE), Tina Dico (DK), Bukahara (DE), Daði Freyr (ID/DE), the Anchor Nominees Arya Zappa (DE), Ätna (DE), Efje De Visser (NL), Tuvaband (NO), Suzane (FR) and L’eclair (CH) as well as the world premiere of Gisbert zu Knyphausen and Kai Schumacher’s cooperation on 200 years of German songwriter tradition at St. Michaelis Church.

All music lovers who won’t be able to join the event in Hamburg will be able to enjoy a great choice of concerts free of charge and streamed live at Plus, this year’s affiliated Reeperbahn Festival Conference, one of the world's leading industry events and an important meeting place for stakeholders from the music industry, will be taking place in a fully digital form, with about 100 talks, sessions and panel debates as well as more than 200 speakers.

The Reeperbahn Festival is setting trends for the music industry

Whether it is a political stance in all areas of artistic creation, gender equality, new consumer habits due to changing media use or the most exciting new bands and artists: the Reeperbahn Festival reflects the spirit of the times and the music world’s current challenges. Moreover, it is the place where innovative trends are created and discussed. And this will certainly be true for this year’s festival too, if only under different conditions owing to the pandemic. Thus, the Reeperbahn Festival highlights the ways in which the ongoing crisis is affecting the entire music landscape.

Leading by example, the Reeperbahn Festival addresses key questions the cultural and live entertainment industries, many young bands and artists as well as venues and visitors are currently facing – and will most likely be facing in the foreseeable future. Over the course of four days, audiences will be able to experience the conditions under which cultural events can be implemented at this point in time, and it goes without saying that the health of visitors and all stakeholders involved takes centre stage.

The pandemic-proof Reeperbahn Festival: a hybrid of live and digital

Paying tribute to the requirements of a pandemic-proof implementation, the Reeperbahn Festival 2020 will be a hybrid event featuring a live programme in front of a physical audience as well as digital components. The reduced scope of the live concerts will be counterbalanced by an expanded digital programme, enabling all those who won’t be able to join the event in Hamburg to experience the festival’s comprehensive digital version, with a volume of live streams and on-demand videos that exceeds that of previous years.

While the festival’s Concert, Art, Word, Film and Discourse components will continue to be hosted live in the clubs of St Pauli, the programme for trade visitors will be moved entirely to the virtual sphere. The digital programme for trade visitors will ensure that the music world can maintain its lively exchange. Participants can look forward to some 100 talks, sessions, master classes and panel debates aired from three live studios on the Reeperbahn, with more than 200 speakers alongside numerous opportunities for digital networking and events. The Reeperbahn Festival Conference Digital 2020 platform will be available to all registered trade visitors from 10 September.

For tickets as well as further information on the programme, please visit

ANCHOR: the Reeperbahn Festival Music Award

One of the Reeperbahn Festival’s (live) highlights will once again be the presentation of the ANCHOR Award to up-and-coming musicians on Saturday, 19 September. Reviewed and selected live on stage by music greats such as producer Tony Visconti and ex-Spice Girl and successful musician Melanie C., six nominated artists and bands will be competing for the prize. Prior to that, the nominated artists will showcase their talent in front of a live audience on the festival stages. To learn more about the award, please visit

The music city of Hamburg takes pride in supporting its music scene

In an effort to make the Reeperbahn Festival pandemic-proof and to facilitate the comprehensive digital programme, the City of Hamburg is supporting the 2020 event with further funds of 500,000 euro – in addition to previous funding to the tune of 410,000 euro. Complementing existing funds for helping Hamburg’s cultural scene through the current situation, this unprecedented scope of public support for the city’s arts and cultural industries once again highlights the importance of live music for Hamburg at large.

Dr Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s Minister for Culture and Media, commented: “This year’s Reeperbahn Festival is sending a clear and important signal to the entire music scene, illustrating that – and how – club culture can actually take place in times of Corona. This year's Reeperbahn Festival will once again present itself as a forum for some of today’s finest and most exciting bands and artists, thus highlighting its relevance as a festival internationally. I would like to thank all those who have contributed their courage, creativity and manifold support to ensure that this year's Reeperbahn Festival can once again be held in Hamburg.”

Whether it is the Beatles, who, exactly 60 years ago, laid the foundations for their world career in the clubs of St Pauli, or the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg as one of the world's leading concert halls: Hamburg is living up to its role as an international music hub and is setting the course for the future, especially during these challenging times. In addition to the support to the Reeperbahn Festival, the Hamburg Senate has provided a Corona relief fund for the club scene with a volume of 1.5 million euro as well as a fund for open-air events comprising another 1.5 million euro. Further support measures are currently in the pipeline and will be realised in close consultation with stakeholders from Hamburg’s cultural landscape.

To learn more about the music city of Hamburg, please visit

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International Media Contact:

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Project Manager Media Relations
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Freelancer City of Music
Phone Tel.: +49 40 41111 0639



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