We have been at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany for you. A Festival that is more than just another festival. 3 days, 60 locations, 290 musical acts, 40 art-events (galleries, film, poetry), 25.000 people – Reeperbahn Festival was sold out! And it was a blast!
But besides “Music” and “Arts” there also was the “Campus” – a music-professional platform. 2000 delegates, 40% were non-Germans. It was said that the Reeperbahn Festival is the “Gateway to the German Music Market” – and yes, we would like to agree with that one. It is the place to meet very important people and more than that it is also the place to make great new international contacts. Many countries presented their hottest acts, like Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Estonia, France and a lot more. The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) introduced their acts in the “Hörsaal” location. Stuart Johnston, President of the CIMA told:
„The Reeperbahn Festival is one of the key entry ways not only into to the German music market. Canada has an infusion of different music styles and this festival is a perfect opportunity to show them all to an engaged crowd of fans and representatives.”
Seems like the Reeperbahn Festival team has to make space for even more people next year. Hope it will work out!
The tickets for next years festival can be bought for an early-bird-price from now on on reeperbahnfestival.eu
But for now let’s have a look at the single festival days…one thing in advance: when there is a festival with so many locations and so many great acts, it simply is impossible to check out all the acts. But we still gave our best, checked out tons of concerts and found out about a lot of new acts we didn’t knew before:
Thursday – “Find yourself in the now itself.”
We arrived at midday and first checked out the campus lounge. People, a lot of people. People that we already knew and were happy about to see them again. People we didn’t know – to date. There was definitely a lot of networking going on there – the entire three days. And we of course loved it a lot.
After also checking out some discussions and seminars, we had our first interview-date: SUN GLITTERS. We met Viktor at the Pooca Bar, the place where he also performed that night. Great guy, great talk and later that night the hell of a show. We definitely deeply fell in love with him and his music. Imagine a guy from sunny Portugal living in cloudy and rainy Luxenburg, a guy that is very in-depth and still has the sunshine in his eyes. a guy whose music is both heavily thoughtful and full of sunshine. Hope to meet this guy very soon again!
First concert we checked out was KARIN PARK – the Swedish electronic music artist with a voice that heavily reminds of the one of Karin Dreijer Andersson (the singer of FEVER RAY and THE KNIFE). She played a great show at Planet Pauli and her show surely is really epic if she has the chance to play with a great light show. Definitely an act that is worth to check out live! Sadly we couldn’t see the whole concert, because at Molotow (another club) CAPITAL CITIES played. So we jumped over to Molotow, which was completely packed, and tried to see at least some songs. We actually saw one song and this was amazing. The bearded electropoppers are definitely a stunning live act. PAPER BEAT SCISSORS was the next act we checked out – a nice singer-songwriter that bewitched the people who where in the room. Then back to the Molotow to see I GOT YOU ON TAPE, who were – again – amazing.
Another great artist we met earlier this year and who also played the Reeperbahn Festival is HANNE KOLSTØ, with whom we talked at this year’s Spot Festival. This time we had the chance to see her whole show and to be honest: it was the show that surprised us most at this day. Of course we were looking forward to seeing her, but we didn’t think that she will blow us away that hard. With bright smiles on our faces we left the show and went back to the Pooca Bar to see the SUN GLITTERS show. And this was the perfect show to end this first festival day.
Friday – “If you’ll keep you fingers crossed, I’ll keep trying.”
Our Friday started with a show by the Canadian band THIS SOUND WILL SAVE YOU and the Swiss act RYKKA. We kinda hopped between The Swiss showcase, the “Canadian Blast” (the Canadian showcase which got a really weird name) and the Dutch showcase (where we saw amazing shows by ALAMO RACE TRACK, BLAUDZUN and SKIP&DIE). After this we had a short interview with WINTERSLEEP and a great and very in-depth interview with German singer-songwriter MAX PROSA.
After an unplugged show of IMMANU EL our ways split and we went to the “Luxembourg Sounds Like… event, an event that was – as the name tells – about music from Luxembourg. We met a lot of people there and talked for hours with ASBJØRN, Viktor aka. SUN GLITTERS and many many other people. Definitely an evening that was simply amazing. On the musical side 5 acts played: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY – a band which really convinced us with their math-rock sounds. INBORN – a band that everybody who is into indie-electro music should check out. MONOPHONA – sweet electro-acoustic act. PLANKTON WAVES – amazing dark electronic music. And between all the acts: SUN GLITTERS dj-set – with his favorite songs. A great evening that showed that Luxembourg has great acts, even though it is such a small country. We also checked out the “Warner Music Night” and saw some songs of FUN and BONAPARTE – for sure, both bands play music that we are not into that much, but they still impressed us with their great shows.
On our way to the VETO show we got lost – at least a little bit. It took us about 3 other concerts until we arrived at the VETO show. On our way we saw FRISKA VILJOR, CITIZENS! and NAGEL. And when we arrived at Gruenspan we finally we sang-along with VETO “If you’ll keep you fingers crossed, I’ll keep trying.”
After that there was another hard thing to decide: REPTILE YOUTH or BRIGITTE. We decided to check out the BRIGITTE show first and then go on to REPTILE YOUTH. Well, BRIGITTE was so amazing that we simply were not motivated to change locations again. But we heard that the REPTILE YOUTH concert was an epic one.
We ended this crazy Saturday with some drinks at the Molotow where FRISKA VILJOR played a dj-set and the “O2 World Hamburg After Show Party”.
To sum up this Saturday, just one word is needed: perfection!
Saturday – “Love Jihad!”
We had two wonderful, but hard days in our bones and still had one amazing day to experience. We started off with an interview with Max, singer of the Canadian rock band ARKELLS and went on with an amazing interview with Estonian pop-artist IIRIS.
After this we’ve been at “The Danish Night” with INDIANS, ASBJØRN, THE FLOOR IS MADE OF LAVA and RANGLEKLODS. Once again: Denmark has amazing upcoming acts these days. Seems at least some of them will make it very big very soon. Of course we also checked out the show of IIRIS, which was sadly “only” an acoustic one, but still great. We also wanted to see ARKELLS, but there was no chance to get into the location – entrance stop! At this eveing we also were discussing about the entrance-stops and if it is annoying to not-have-the-chance-to-see-acts-because-the-locations-are-too-crowded. Well, of course it is annoying, but on the other hand it is the charm of the Reeperbahn that makes even this special. Most of the acts that play at the Reeperbahn Festival are not that known – by now. As a showcase festival, the Reeperbahn Festival lives by its many small locations (like the Pooca Bar for example where hardly than 100 people fit in). We love seeing great new acts in tiny, sweaty bars.
So we saw SKIP&DIE in a small club, Grüner Jäger. And we would like to announce now: there is no doubt about that SKIP&DIE will be one of the next big things. We saw them twice at the Reeperbahn and they completely blew us away both times. This is the love jihad the world needs these days!
The last concert we checked out was the concert by German singer-songwriter (and comedian?) OLLI SCHULZ who made us laugh a lot, especially when he was singing OASIS‘ song Wonderwall together with thousands of people and yelled in “Ich hasse OASIS” (I hate OASIS). Thanks OLLI SCHULZ for this funny and great concert.
Our festival ended – again – with an After Show Party – one that was completely out of control. Good times!
With the Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg definitely presents itself from its best side. We fell in love – with Hamburg, with the Reeperbahn Festival and with a lot of musical acts. One sad thing: there was so much great music that we just didn’t pay enough attention to the “Arts” sector. From the “Music” and “Campus” sector NBHAP is more than blown away! The “Arts” sector definitely is also more than amazing…next year we’ll check it out a lot more. Promised!
About the music: when there are 60 locations and 290 acts there is simply no chance to see all great acts, because it is – sadly – not possible to split into 50 or 100 or even more parts. However, we saw great acts – and probably missed a lot of other great acts. Besides all the music, we also talked a lot, to other delegates, partners, people and of course musicians.
Within the next time you can expect our interviews with CAPITAL CITIES, SUN GLITTERS, WINTERSLEEP, MAX PROSA, ARKELLS and IIRIS. Stay tuned!
Thanks to all the people we met and to all the new friends we made. Thanks to all the great acts, locations and the amazing organization. Thanks Hamburg. Thanks Reeperbahn Festival. See you next year!