Photo: Jim Kroft

Press release
19 April 2021

Dear media Partners, dear colleagues,

For the past five years, the international program of Reeperbahn Festival has enabled European music companies to enter not only new, transcontinental markets but also an economic and cultural international dialogue. The popularity of the Reeperbahn Festival's digital programs last year clearly demonstrated to all participants the necessity for these avenues of exchange, especially in times like the current. It's therefore all the more gratifying that Reeperbahn Festival and the Federal Foreign Office are intensifying and expanding their joint activities. With a total of four digital stations in Beijing, Nashville, Pan-Africa and New York from April to June and the planning of two face-to-face events in Los Angeles and Dar es Salaam for fall, the program this year is more extensive than ever before. Beijing will be hosting this year's opening from 21 to 23 April. 

Frehn Hawel


Reeperbahn Festival International 2021 with six events | Starting with Beijing on 21 April | Cooperation with Federal Foreign Office increased 

Reeperbahn Festival Beijing, from 21 to 23 April, marks the start of this year's transcontinental program. With it, and together with the Federal Foreign Office, Reeperbahn Festival is upholding a part of the cultural exchange within the music industry despite the ongoing pandemic. The European music industry is once again symbolic for many other branches of the economy: While there are real growth and market shifts to be seen on the one hand, many other areas are left waiting for real solutions on the other. The shared common denominator however remains the necessity for a dialogue which defines a people's business such as the music and creative industries. Reeperbahn Festival's international programs take a pandemic-sensitive approach in order to tackle these issues.  

Promoting international cultural exchange and enabling music industry players to enter new relevant cultural markets - this is the goal that Reeperbahn Festival has been pursuing as a central European music platform since 2016. The Federal Foreign Office supports this project through funding made available by the German Bundestag's "International Music Industry" program. 

During these challenging times, Reeperbahn Festival has developed a hybrid concept of face-to-face meetings and online formats in order to build a pandemic-compatible bridge between Europe and destinations in North America, Africa and Asia, which the delegations currently aren't able to travel to. 

At the center of these foreign cultural-economic activities are workshops, company visits, matchmaking events and showcases, during which the music industry and the respective artists from Europe, who are looking to enter international cultural areas, can meet potential partners from the respective sub-markets in deliberate manner. 

Reeperbahn Festival Beijing's three-day event next week will be attended by 40 representatives of the European music industry. Some of the program modules will be open to additional visitors and the public. This includes a showcase program which will be streamed live on Facebook from Nochtspeicher in St.Pauli, Hamburg at 7:00 pm on 21 April. The two German acts Lie Ning and Ava Vegas will be performing live, while the Chinese rapper Bohan Phoenix will be presented to the audience via a video stream. 

The entire program of the event can be accessed here.  


"Reeperbahn Festival has developed into a global brand within the music world in recent years. I'm very pleased that we are able to be part of this through our international cultural policy. From the US to China and Tanzania - for years now and counting. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the German Bundestag, which has provided funding for this! Like many others, Reeperbahn Festival has faced special challenges due to the pandemic. The facilitation of networks, communication, markets and opportunities for creating music has become more difficult. Reeperbahn Festival has found an answer to these challenges with the digital/hybrid approach of the Reeperbahn Festival International program. I applaud this achievement and am excited to see Reeperbahn Festival continue to connect and sustainably expand the music and creative industries from and within Germany. I am particularly pleased that we are able to help musicians to spread their art and to find a livelihood doing it. Because at the end of the day this is exactly what we are after and what we are excited about: music!"

Niels Annen, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office

"The music and creative industry are and always will be a people's business. As travel and personal encounters currently remain restricted due to the pandemic, it is particularly important to enable dialogue through digital/hybrid additions to the current formats, especially in a phase where small and medium-sized companies and promising new artists in particular are not only able to continue our cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office in this difficult phase for culture, but also to intensify it."

Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival 


The first half of the year will see four events across Beijing, Nashville, Pan-Africa and New York, taking place primarily in a digital/hybrid format on Reeperbahn Festival's digital platform. The events in Los Angeles and Dar es Salaam in fall are planned to take place as local formats.

The events for the European music industry at the USA destinations are organized locally by sub-market and according to their field of focus: traditionally, Nashville has concentrated on the area of publishing, while New York has focused on recorded music and Los Angeles on live entertainment.

Here's an overview of the Events:

Beijing (21 to 23 April, in cooperation with WISE)

Nashville (10 to 12 May, in cooperation with Music Biz)

Pan-Africa (31 May to 3 June, in cooperation with Music In Africa Foundation and Music In Africa Conference For Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES))

New York (14 to 17 June, in cooperation with A2IM Indie Week)

Two more events are planned for fall in Los Angeles (in cooperation with Musexpo) and in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania (in cooperation with Music In Africa Foundation and Music In Africa Conference For Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES))

Participation applications for the Pan-Africa event are now open and can be submitted until 30 April 2021 via the following link.


Reeperbahn Festival Website

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