LIE NING © Svenja Mohr

Press Release
27 April 2021


Reeperbahn Festival networked with Beijing from Hamburg's Kiez


From 21 to 23 April, Reeperbahn Festival immersed itself alongside a 40-person delegation of representatives from the German and European music industry in the Chinese music, tech and creative industries at the Hamburg club Nochtspeicher.

In cooperation with WISE – The Future Festival & Think Tank and with the support of the Federal Foreign Office, the Hamburg delegates presented a broad program as part of the first guest performance abroad this year to facilitate an economic and cultural dialogue with the music scene in China. Due to the pandemic, the delegation visit to Beijing had to be cancelled, instead taking place as a digital/hybrid event.

The official kick-off on 21 April was followed by digital company visits to the leading consulting agency for the Chinese music industry, Kanjian, and the globally acting company Live Nation in Beijing. Here, decision-makers gave the European delegation insights into their work and into the Chinese music and creative industries in general. Digital video tours offered an authentic look directly into the office life of modern Chinese companies and gave the delegates an opportunity to ask the very informative company representatives a plethora of questions.

A hybrid showcase event featuring the up-and-coming European and Chinese acts Lie Ning (GER) and Bohan Phoenix (CHN) was broadcast live from the Nochtspeicher on the evening of the first day. Due to one of the band members testing positive to COVID-19, Ava Vegas (GER) was unfortunately unable to perform in person. However, a live interview along with her last appearance from this year's Eurosonic were integrated into the stream, which was broadcasted live on Facebook and drew upwards of 55,000 viewers.

On Thursday, digital talks and panels on the topics of “music marketing in China, touring and festivals in China” and “future trends in music and tech” were all part of the session’s program plan.

Top executives Jane Polubotko (international marketing manager, Kanjian / Music Ally) and Shan Wie (chief director, Midi Festival) were part of the subsequent Q&A session, which had to be extended due to the high level of participation.

With a total of five additional digital stations in Nashville, Pan-Africa and New York until June 2021, as well as a two further planned face-to-face events in Los Angeles and Dar es Salaam in fall, Reeperbahn Festival International program is more extensive this year than it has ever been.



Niels Annen, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office

"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!"


Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival

"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."


Statements of members of the Beijing delegation:

Nasim Beizai, senior manager of international marketing for Universal Music

“After seeing the program of Reeperbahn Festival International, I knew I had to become a delegate. I work in international marketing and deal with music professionals from all over the world on a daily basis. This conference allows me to deepen my knowledge of the inner workings of the Chinese music industry and to connect with professionals. The end of the first day of conferences had already seen all my expectations not only met, but actually exceeded: I was able to partake in very informative panels, to get to know interesting people from the international music industry and to witness digital appearances of fascinating artists. The first evening’s crowning glory was the digital VIP area, where you could talk to other participants and join in on ongoing conversations as if you were actually backstage.”


Chen Cheng, manager of product/workflow development, Zebralution

“The development of the Chinese music market is one of the most important strategic steps of our company; attending the event enabled me to gain greater insights into the market and to meet local professionals. I found the panel discussion on “music marketing in China” to be particularly informative. Navigating the platform was intuitive and worked perfectly. Being able to partake from afar was very pleasant to me. Our next goal is to fine tune our use of Chinese social media platforms (e.g. Weibo, douyin, Bilibili, etc.) and of the community functions of the Chinese DSPs in order to establish our artists and our repertoire in China as well.”


Dan Glaunsinger, A&R manager, ROBA Music Publishing

“I wanted to be a part of Reeperbahn Festival International Beijing to gain deeper insights into the Chinese market and to exchange ideas with local market participants. The digital approach was very intuitive and a great way to enable this exchange without the trip to Beijing. From topics covering Chinese business etiquette to local market conditions and a digital showcase, I was able to experience many inspiring impulses.”


Here’s an overview of the upcoming events:

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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