Awa Khiwe © Lisa Meinen

Press Release
7 June 2021


Reeperbahn Festival again connects African and European music industries 


In close cooperation with the Music In Africa Foundation, Reeperbahn Festival International networked a 40-person delegation of representatives from the German and European music industry with top executives from the African music and creative industries for the second time from 31 May to 3 June.

After Reeperbahn Festival made an appearance for the first time in 2019 with a European delegation as part of the ACCES Music in Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases on the African continent in Ghana's capital Accra, the Hamburg festival organizers had now invited to a Pan-African edition, which was kept to a digital/hybrid format due to Covid.

 The aim of the four-day program, funded by the Federal Foreign Office, was to promote intercultural and music-industry exchange between the two continents. Together with their partners at the Music in Africa Foundation, the Hamburg festival organizers held networking events, curated one-on-one matchmakings with high-ranking decision-makers from the African music industry, organized panels and digital company visits as well as a hybrid showcase with European and African artists. The official kick-off on Monday was followed by a hybrid showcase experience at Hamburg’s Knust in St. Pauli. In front of digitally participating industry and media representatives and a public audience, the African artists Tems, Yugen Blakrok, as well as the artists AWA Khiwe and Kelvyn Colt (who live in Germany but are also from Africa) succeeded in spanning an intercultural bridge between the respective target markets. A good 700,000 viewers followed the live stream on Facebook.

The focus of the panels on Tuesday was on the essential trends, greatest challenges and opportunities of the booming African music market. The company visits on Wednesday were a great opportunity for companies from Ghana, Kenya and South Africa to give insights into their work and answer any questions the delegates might have had. It was attended by the leading digital hub for Africa's independent creative scene Africori, the Ghanaian music label Lynx and the incubator for artist development PerFORM.

One of the main interests of Reeperbahn Festival International is the enablement of sustainable cooperation between European and international music businesses. Consequently, the matchmaking sessions gave the delegates the opportunity to establish contact with potential business partners in Africa and Europe on the last day of the event.

Also, part of the Pan-Africa Edition was a songwriting camp organized by ROBA Music Publishing for authors, producers and artists from both continents, which took place the week before the event and was presented as part of the showcase.



 Evelyn Sieber, Project Lead Reeperbahn Festival International

"This very special Reeperbahn Festival spin-off gave us the opportunity to go beyond the possibilities during non-digital times. Thanks to the extremly positive collaboration with our partner the Music In Africa Foundation, we not only visited one country and explored the market but got the chance to get a broader view on the very diverse markets in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa. The showcase was my personal highlight with brilliant and very unique performances that reflected the diversity and talent connected to the African continent. Thanks to the support of the Foreign Ministry, I am sure the creative and commercial output for both the artists as well as attending music industry professionals will reflect the positive vibes and impressions that were palpable throughout the four days."


Statements of members of the Pan-Africa delegation:

Adélaïde Deffond, A&R International, Universal Music France

“I applied as a delegate for Reeperbahn Festival Pan-Africa to meet new partners and grow our network, and the digital platform made it easy to connects, with the help of great networking tools. 
It's always interesting to deepen our knowledge on different markets, and stay aware of how the world is moving, especially in Africa where we can find so many different genres and artists.
This event proves us that we need to keep on showcasing the great creative diversity from African countries and build more connections between our artists." 


Frank Leffler, Director Music & Audio, Kontor New Media

“A big thank you to the whole Reeperbahn Festival International team, who despite all the current restrictions are doing everything in their power to continue the promotion of global networking and the exchange of information and are building bridges by doing so! The Pan-African edition was once again a great way of exchanging ideas and staying up to date on the latest developments and trends, which continue to produce a lot of exciting things across the various African markets. I'm really looking forward to finally being able to travel again, but until that can be done safely again, the digital conferences of Reeperbahn Festival International will be an invaluable piece of the puzzle!" 


Mandy Aubry, Director of Business Development EMEA & APAC, Songtrust Publishing

“I was thrilled to be chosen as a delegate for Reeperbahn Festival Pan-Africa. The event´s objective, as well as its partners in Music In Africa and ACCES, align completely with Songtrust's continuing mission to bring access to music publishing education and global music publishing administration to the African music industry."  

Reeperbahn Festival Website

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