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Meanwhile it has become a cherished as well as successful tradition: In normal times, Reeperbahn Festival has set off for New York in mid-June for the past five years, accompanied by a constantly growing delegation composed of representatives from the music business. Supported by the Federal Foreign Office, the Reeperbahn Festival spin-off with its panel contributions, matchmaking sessions and a showcase night with European artists has long become an integral element of the A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) Indie Week. However, as the term "normal" is no longer valid in 2020, the Reeperbahn Festival New York Edition from 15-18 June took place in digital form this year for the first time.
Frehn Hawel

Hamburg, 18 June 2020


In its 15-year history, Reeperbahn Festival has never shied away from challenges: Because of the present health situation, the fifth Reeperbahn Festival New York Edition in the course of the A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) Indie Week from 15 - 18 June 2020 took place exclusively online for the first time.

This year's delegation consisted of 29 music business representatives from eleven nations (DEU, AUT, CHE, GBR, NLD, HUN, POL, NOR, DNK, PRT, ROU), including the fields of publishing, management, distribution, label management and licensing.

Although exclusively digital, the programme of the Reeperbahn Festival New York Edition was as rich in content as usual: Apart from the opportunity to participate in all official programme items of the A2IM Indie Week, including numerous panels, keynotes, chapter hangs and virtual lobby, knowledge sharing among all participants as well as matchmaking sessions were part of the day-to-day agenda.

Digital visits to two companies, to Primary Wave on 15 June, one of the largest independent US enterprises for publishing and management, and to Brooklyner Indie Label Greenway Records on 16 June with subsequent discussions with decision makers of the companies, offered detailed insights in the current US indie scene.

Wednesday, 17 June, was dedicated to the panel “Global music streaming in times of crisis – Resilience, Risk, Hope?” – the official programme item of Reeperbahn Festival in the course of the A2IM Indie Week.
Anchored by AC Coppens (CEO & Founder - THE CATALYSTS, DEU), Jorge Brea (CEO & Founder – Symphonic, USA), Marit Posch (General Manager Germany – IDOL + Artist Manager – CATNAPP, DEU) and Glenn Peoples (Lead Analyst – Billboard, USA) discussed growth prospects as well as challenges of the global streaming market in the next ten years. Apart from economic stability in times of crisis, the topic also focused on the still controversial distribution model for indie labels and artists.

The virtual networking reception, directly following the panel, afforded further opportunity for exchange between American and European company representatives.

Tina Funk, Managing Director Concord Music GmbH: 
"This was the first-ever digital, worldwide RBF conference, and Reeperbahn Festival did a fantastic job! Outstanding coordination and services from Hamburg, perfectly and charmingly executed. A good A2IM panel program and a lively exchange from an interesting, diverse RBF delegation. Thank you for having me.“

Ievgeniia Ivanova, Senior Digital Marketing Manager Independent Digital: 
"During these challenging times, which revealed the fragility of the music industry, the support for the artists and the music business professionals is important as never. The Reeperbahn Festival New York Edition stood to provide such an essential aid for the delegates to network across borders, to receive the up-to-date knowledge and to discuss the experiences, coming from different backgrounds of the participants. Such opportunities become especially valuable in the situation within the industry, we have never experienced before. This digital event surprisingly became a great way to stay so humanly connected."

Harry Portnof, Founder/Owner Greenway Records: 
"It was really great to be able to talk with the Reeperbahn delegation, I really enjoyed being able to discuss the NYC indie music scene at the moment and connect on how we all have been affected by the world's recent events. It was great to be able to give my perspective on how I built Greenway Records from the ground up. The delegation was very thoughtful and had great questions that really made me consider new perspectives on effective digital marketing and creative advertising. I look forward to getting back to normal and meeting everyone in person." 

Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival:
"Although we had planned a much more comprehensive programme for our event in New York than in previous years, we are glad that, in the past four days, we were able to present a very substantial virtual offer to a small group of company representatives. Some of the speedily created elements, resulting from necessity, definitely have the potential to turn into supplementary standard elements for the successful exchange of music culture and business in the future. With this in mind, I am looking forward to our events in Nashville and Beijing in summer, both also subsidised by the Federal Foreign Office, during which we can refine the experiences made in the past days because we will then be able to combine real formats with virtual ones."

For the first time, the Reeperbahn Festival International Programme funded by the German Federal Foreign Office will take place in Nashville and Beijing at the same time. Company representatives interested in this programme will meet in Berlin from 27 - 29 August where they will be linked virtually with the partner events in the two destinations. Part of the programmes will be contents composed in cooperation with the Music Business Association, moreover, there will be diverse links to the WISE Music Conference taking place in Beijing.

In addition, in connection with this new format, this year's nominees of our international talent contest ANCHOR will be announced on 28 August. The presentation of the prominent ANCHOR jury around jury president Toni Visconti, usually staged in New York City, will also take place in Berlin on 28 August.

For further up-to-date information please refer to as well as





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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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