Germany’s largest club festival, Reeperbahn Festival, has become a fixed date in the calendars of music fans and music professionals from all around the world. Hamburg’s festival is in its ninth year now and will kick off next week (September 17th – 20th 2014). As every year Reeperbahn Festival will feature a comprehensive program of events that will surprise, delight, inform, provoke, pique curiosity, and bring people together for business and celebration. One year ago we talked with the festival’s founder and head Alexander Schulz about the concept and the history of Reeperbahn Festival. This year we met him again to talk about the changes, this year’s concert program.
This year will, for the first time ever, feature a fourth festival day. Last year the Wednesday was ‘tested’ and this year Reeperbahn Festival officially starts one day earlier. After being a sold-out festival over and over again there have been two opportunities: getting more locations on board and sticking with the concept of having three festival days or adding a fourth day. The decision to add Wednesday to the event was a quite easy one, tells Alexander Schulz: ‘It is about the atmosphere of the festival. We didn’t want to add more venues.’ At the same time it is again more. More decisions to make. Which of the many concerts should be visited? A decision every visitor has to make on a daily basis. ‘Of course it is a lot to chose. Since years we have a daily event with Ray Cookes, Ray’s Reeperbahn Revue. At the same time we start off with a daily journalist talk this year, where journalists will name their daily favorites. What we also introduce this year is our recommendation service, which syncs with your Facebook and Spotify likes and recommends what you might like. This hopefully makes it easier for our visitors to decide where they want to go and what they want to see.’
And what about the location changes? Reeperbahn Festival’s heart, the ESSO buildings including the Molotow, can’t be part of the festival anymore. What does this mean for the eventl? ‘Well… this is without any doubt a big loss for our festival. We gave it all to find the best possible solutions and add other good venues that help to keep the festival’s spirit and atmosphere alive. We really do hope that our temporary chance work out in the end.’
How would Alexander Schulz describe the musical program of Reeperbahn Festival to a deaf person? ‘With hands. I would try to explain in sign language that it all is about surprising the visitors with music they don’t know yet. Sadly I don’t speak sign language, but I would give it all.’
And what would be Alexander Schulz’s alternative job if he wouldn’t work in the music industry? ‘We have an exhibition at our festival that shows the artist’s profession they would have gone with if they wouldn’t have become musicians. In my case it would have been something outside… I think in the woods.’
NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION is looking forward to Reeperbahn Festival 2014, including its changes and its massive (positive) overload of everything… and so should you.
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