Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Press Release
15 September 2021

Dear Media Partners, dear Colleagues, 

The Reeperbahn Festival Opening on Wednesday, 22.09.2021, at the Stage Operettenhaus will see the 16th Reeperbahn Festival get under way. After welcoming addresses by Prof. Monika Grütters (German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media) and First Mayor of Hamburg Dr. Peter Tschentscher, the focus of this year’s Opening Gala is dedicated to the thing we’ve all been counting down the days to see: the live concert experience. With performances by Sting, Joy Denalane, avant-garde pop duo ÄTNA (ANCHOR winner 2020), British urban pop songwriter Griff and a semi-virtual performance by K-pop band Drippin from our partner country this year South Korea, the show, hosted by Hadnet Tesfai, will put on a feast of international live music on a scale we’ve not had for a long time! The Opening will round off with a keynote speech by transformation expert Prof. Maja Göpel on gender-balanced consumer behaviour. And, of course, we present the six international nominees in the competition for the coveted ANCHOR music award, as well as this year’s jury, made up of Emeli Sandé, Jacob Banks, Tayla Parx, Tom Odell, Yvonne Catterfeld and jury president Tony Visconti.
We’re looking forward to a glittering gala packed with live music, which can also be followed in the ARTE Concert Stream and on the Reeperbahn Festival streaming platform.

Frehn Hawel



Sting, Joy Denalane, Prof. Monika Grütters, Dr. Peter Tschentscher at the Reeperbahn Festival Opening 2021 on 22.09.2021

The Covid-compliant Reeperbahn Festival in 2020 was seen as a ray of
hope for the entire music world, and was actually viewed as a kick-start for
overcoming the challenges which the event industry in particular was
facing. One year on, Reeperbahn Festival is again taking place in line
with Covid rules and regulations, but on a more extensive and
international scale – and with the collective yearning for live experiences
even keener felt than last year. The Reeperbahn Festival Opening Show
features a great mix of internationality and socio-political themes, and
captivating live routines in a 70-minute gala with performances by global
star Sting and Joy Denalane and more. 

Addresses from Prof. Monika Grütters, German Federal Government
Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and Hamburg’s First Mayor Dr.
Peter Tschentscher will open the evening before Sting (GBR) performs
“Rushing Water”, a new track from his forthcoming album “The Bridge”
(out on 19.11.2021/Universal), live for the very first time.
Afterwards, host Hadnet Tesfai will welcome transformation expert and
sustainability scientist Prof. Maja Göpel for her keynote speech on the
influence of gender-balanced products on consumer behaviour. In British
urban pop artist Griff (GBR) we’ll get to see one of the most promising
newcomers on the current pop scene, and this year’s partner country of
Reeperbahn Festival, South Korea, will present K-pop band Drippin
(KOR) in a semi-virtual performance featuring live dancers.
This year’s ANCHOR jury, consisting of singer Emeli Sandé (GBR),
songwriter Jacob Banks (GBR), songwriter Tayla Parx (USA), pianist and
songwriter Tom Odell (GBR), producer and jury president Tony Visconti (USA)
as well as singer and actress Yvonne Catterfeld (GER), will this year all
be attending in person once again to present the six international music
award nominees. Pop-songwriter Florence Arman (AUT/GBR), soul-pop singer Lie Ning (GER), soul and r'n'b singer May The Muse (GER), songwriter
OSKA (AUT), electro-punks PVA (GBR), and post-punk band Yard Act 
(GBR) will play on Thursday (23.09.2021) and Friday (24.09.2021) at the
Nochtspeicher for the coveted award, which will be presented by the jury at the ANCHOR Gala on Saturday evening (25.09.2021) at the St. Pauli Theater. Accompanying music will come courtesy of avant-garde pop duo ÄTNA (GER), ANCHOR award winners 2020.
Motown Records is one of the most prestigious record companies in the
world, its name a byword for soul music. The latest signing for the
traditional label is Joy Denalane (GER), and her current album “Let
Yourself Be Loved” is the first Motown release by a German artist. Joy will
present a song from the album at the Opening Show, and then perform the
opening concert of Reeperbahn Festival 2021 at the Stage
Reeperbahn Festival General Manager Alexander Schulz will set the tone
for this year’s Reeperbahn Festival in his keynote speech and give some
insight into the challenges involved in holding another Covid-compliant
festival, before Sting will signal the start of four exciting days full of music
for all guests with a live performance of one of his global hits.
The entire Reeperbahn Festival Opening Show can be enjoyed by
everyone via the ARTE Concert streaming service as well as via the
Reeperbahn Festival streaming platform.


Reeperbahn Festival Website

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