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dear media partners, dear colleagues,

The 15th Reeperbahn Festival will be fundamentally different from all its previous editions. On top of the significantly reduced number of venues, programme items, and visitor capacities, all participants face the same challenges that we do to ensure that the festival can be held in alignment with pandemic guidance.

We nevertheless consider it important to attempt this go-ahead, as it will serve as an illustrative and practical example of how to possibly address some of the fundamental questions with which the cultural industry, the live entertainment industry, the many young bands and artists as well as the venues and visitors are currently confronted and will probably continue to be confronted for a long time to come. Over four days, Reeperbahn Festival wants to test and evaluate the conditions that are viable to allow cultural events to be held in the coming months. Our top priority at all times in this endeavour is the safety of our visitors, partners, artists and employees.  
Frehn Hawel

Hamburg, 22 June 2020


Today Reeperbahn Festival has published the first key components of an implementation concept that incorporates compliance with current hygiene and social distancing rules in light of the corona pandemic. 

It is already clear that the 2020 festival experience will be very different to that of previous years. In addition to numerous measures to comply with the distancing and hygiene requirements for all participants at Reeperbahn Festival, the obligatory wearing of face masks is to be expected in many locations. In order to trace possible infection chains, it is also necessary to record the whereabouts of visitors during Reeperbahn Festival.

The pandemic-proof event concept has a particular impact on capacity and scope: 
instead of between 8,000 and 15,000 visitors per day as in previous years, this year only up to 4,200 people can attend the event each day, including up to 1,600 industry visitors. The usual figure of almost 90 venues, some of which are small or very small in size, will be reduced to around 30 clubs, theatres and open-air venues for 2020. Instead of up to five concerts per evening, an average of about three will take place, as venues are expected to be completely cleared, ventilated and disinfected after each concert before the audience to the subsequent show can be admitted. The number of panel sessions and other formats reserved exclusively for industry visitors has been halved as a consequence of the required pandemic-compliant festival format.

Overall, the much greater logistical effort required to stage the festival may cause delays in the procedures involved. For this reason, Reeperbahn Festival is more reliant than ever on the understanding, responsibility and willingness of all participants to cooperate, in order to ensure that the decision to go ahead with the festival is successful. All ticket holders who do not wish to retain their ticket can have it reissued for Reeperbahn Festival 2021 (22-25 September), or can cancel it completely. All questions about ticket handling can be found here.  

A detailed overview of all existing measures for the pandemic-compliant staging of the festival can be found here. This overview is continuously updated in line with circumstances as they develop.

Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival:

“We have to accept that the culture sector and the culture industry linked to it are likely to suffer from the constraints associated with the corona pandemic for a very long time to come. This is why the aim must now be to try out what is possible, taking into consideration the current regulatory restrictions. Since our festival has not been classified as a major event and is therefore not affected by the ban on events in place until at least the end of October, we now have the chance, in a setting that is at least somewhat economically protected, to explore – together with the international artists, music industry professionals and visitors – with a sense of proportion and open-mindedness what is and what isn’t reasonably feasible, especially in terms of atmosphere and aesthetics. It will be a very special Reeperbahn Festival this year: open-air and virtual, yet noticeably more compact and with a line-up dominated by artists from Germany and Europe as well as by the discourse on culture (and the culture industry) and its role in times of crisis.”

The Reeperbahn Festival 2020 Programme  
This year's Reeperbahn Festival concert programme is noticeably reduced in scope. The plans currently include around 350 concerts and 30 programme items from the Arts, Word and Film sectors. 
The Sessions Programme comprises about 100 items and particularly focuses on the whole range of economic and artistic issues and challenges related to the pandemic that are currently confronting music culture and the music business. Networking and showcase events will also take place on a smaller scale.

The usually strongly international character of the festival will this year have a much more European flair in its line-up of artists and protagonists. Unfortunately, this has meant cancellations and relocations of already announced artists or panellists, such as the concert by Tash Sultana (AUS), which, like the shows planned for this year by Mine (GER), Anna Calvi (GBR), Alice Phoebe Lou (GER/ZAF), Niklas Paschburg (GER) and RY X (AUS), will be postponed to 2021 in the Elbphilharmonie.  A list of all postponements and cancellations so far can be found here

In addition to other exciting artists, newcomers to the music programme are the ANCHOR nominee from 2017, the British post-punk quartet shame (GBR), as well as the collaboration of Gisbert zu Knyphausen & Kai Schumacher (GER), who together invite you on a journey through 200 years of German song-making tradition, as well as the singer Balbina (GER), known for her supersonic voice and sovereign artistry. 

Corona FAQ
Given the continual changes that occur in connection with the coronavirus situation, new arrangements and changes may continue to be made in the coming weeks. We have set up a Corona FAQ for 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: Florian Trykowski

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