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dear media partners, dear colleagues,

As things stand currently, the effects of the coronavirus will be felt throughout the cultural scene and the music world for a significant time to come. In order to enable culture to be directly experienced and enjoyed again however, it is essential to face up to this new normality. That is why we have decided to start planning a pandemic-adapted version of this year’s Reeperbahn Festival (16-19 September 2020).
The safety of our visitors, partners, artists and employees is our top priority.

Therefore, the preparations of this very special 15th edition of our Festival are designed to stage the Festival with all due caution and in strict compliance with all official hygiene and distancing regulations. We are also greatly relying on the trust and prudence of all those who are participating in this year's Festival.
Frehn Hawel

Hamburg, 18 May 2020


Bans on gatherings, cancellations of festivals and concerts, tour postponements: The impact of the corona pandemic poses an existential threat to the cultural industry, the live entertainment sector and, in particular, to the young bands and artists as well as venues, that are indispensable for Reeperbahn Festival. Despite all the current moves to ease lockdown measures, the prospect of a return to regular operations is far from certain. This new order of normality leaves little option other than to largely accept it and face the enormous resulting challenges. Their direct and tangible influence also puts the staging of this year's Reeperbahn Festival under a set of very special circumstances – but exceptional times require exceptional actions.

Reeperbahn Festival is currently starting, in detail and in coordination with the responsible authorities, to draw up a plan that will enable the event to be held in September in compliance with all social distancing and hygiene regulations, while at all times ensuring the safety of visitors, partners, performing artists and employees. As part of careful planning for the special procedures involved, Reeperbahn Festival will create individual implementation concepts with all participating venues. The application of these concepts will enable clubs, concert halls and theatres to start operating under pandemic-related conditions, but is also designed to be adaptable to other venues of similar size. The preparations are currently still in their initial stages; we will therefore be providing regular updates on how plans are progressing.

A further consequence is of course that, under the given circumstances, the otherwise strongly international line-up of artists performing at Reeperbahn Festival will have to mainly focus on national as well as European acts. Together with this year's partner country Denmark, we are now also working on the opening ceremony of this special edition of the Reeperbahn Festival DOORS OPEN on Wednesday, September 16, which Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Hamburg's Senator for Culture and Media Dr. Carsten Brosda have already agreed to attend.

Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival:

"The experiences, existential concerns and perspectives gained since the imposition of measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus will shape the content of Reeperbahn Festival 2020. We expect fundamental changes in the focus of our activities. The key issues to be addressed range from the importance of culture in the canon of values in society as a whole, to economic livelihoods, to practical measures for the gradual return to operations. We want to be able to devote our efforts once again to these topics in the form of direct personal interaction, and to experience music in a live setting and to do so together!

In addition to the forced significant reduction in the number of visitors, we expect a significantly higher proportion of audiences, artists, speakers and partners from Europe and Germany due to the special circumstances. However, the scope of the programme is not expected to change significantly.

Due to the special circumstances, we are completely bypassing all economic considerations for this year’s Reeperbahn Festival. The absolute priority must be to collaborate with our partners, venues, organisers, and others, to establish the new practical procedures required to hold the event in line with pandemic-related measures.

Naturally, the protection and safety of our visitors, partners, artists and employees is still paramount and it is clear that the situation remains very fluid and unpredictable. But, based on everything we currently know from the authorities responsible for us, we believe that we are on a slow, cautious and regulated path towards a new era of cultural presentation and culture industries, both during and also post-corona. With Reeperbahn Festival 2020, we want to support and shape this process and experience it together with our visitors.”  





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Reeperbahn Festival is organised by
Reeperbahn Festival GbR, Neuer Pferdemarkt 1, 20359 Hamburg
PhG: Inferno Events GmbH & Co. KG und Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion GmbH,
Gf: Alexander Schulz / U-I-Nr.: DE247756458

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Photo: Lisa Meinen

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