Photo: Niklas Heinecke

Press Release
22 September 2021

Dear Media Partners, Dear Colleagues,

“Reeperbahn Festival is the place to be for the German and international music scenes and is a beacon event for Germany as a music base”. In her welcoming address at the grand opening of 16th Reeperbahn Festival, Prof. Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, set the tone for the next four days by emphasising not only the loyal partnership maintained by the Federal Government with the event but also the international appeal of the Reeperbahn Festival. This year features a greater international flavour and increased in-person appearances across all programme areas than last year. And Reeperbahn Festival is sold out, with around 25,000 visitors over four days, with the first live music act in 2021 none other than world star performer, Sting. The collective anticipation ahead of the live concert and the lively interaction between everyone was truly tangible at the opening gala event. Following the glamorous opening, Keychange ambassador Joy Denalane played her opening concert in the sold-out Operettenhaus. A large part of the programme will also be available digitally this year via the Reeperbahn Festival streaming platform. 

Frehn Hawel




Today, Wednesday evening, the 16th Reeperbahn Festival kicked off!
After another year in which the music world has to deal with the challenges of the pandemic, the hope is in everyone’s hearts that what is now the second pandemic-compliant edition of Reeperbahn Festival will represent another step towards a return to a more normal and international cultural sector.
This year’s live line-up includes around 300 concerts by 250 acts from over 20 countries. For the international music business visitors attending the Reeperbahn Festival Conference there are over 150 programme events featuring over 300 speakers. More than 80 individual events from the fields of Arts, Word, Film and Education round off the festival programme line-up.
The number of visitors expected over four days is 25,000, of which around 1,500 are expert visitors.

The ANCHOR international music award will be bestowed for the sixth time this year. Nominated are six acts from the UK, Austria and Germany, whose concerts can also be followed via the streaming platform of Reeperbahn Festival, which has around 100 festival events available, including the Opening Show including the performance by Sting, the opening concert by Joy Denalane, as well as the ANCHOR Awards 2021.

In her opening address, Prof. Monika Grütters, Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, highlighted the significant boost to the funding models for popular music that the federal government has launched over the past 18 months and underlined their necessity for maintaining Germany’s diversity as a cultural base. Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, was pleased about the revived international dimension of the music line-up created by this year's Reeperbahn Festival.

The Opening Show, hosted by Hadnet Tesfai, featured performances by Sting (GBR), avant-garde pop duo ÄTNA (GER) (ANCHOR winner 2020), urban-pop newcomer Griff (GBR), the virtual performance of South Korean K-pop band Drippin (KOR) and soul singer Joy Denalane (GER). Along with a keynote speech by transformation expert and sustainability researcher Prof. Maja Göpel on gender-balanced consumer products and the presentation of this year’s partner country South Korea, this year’partner country South Korea, this year’s jury for the ANCHOR international music award also introduced themselves: singers Emeli Sandé (GBR) and Yvonne Catterfeld (GER), as well as songwriters Tayla Parx (USA), Tom Odell (GBR) and Jacob Banks (GBR) will attend the shows of the six contestants together with jury president and music producer Tony Visconti (USA). Nominated for this year’s ANCHOR award are songwriter Florence Arman (AUT),  r‘n’b pop singer May The Muse (GER), post-punk quartet Yard Act (GBR), electro-punks PVA (GBR), soul-pop singer and dancer Lie Ning (GER) and songwriter OSKA (AUT). The ANCHOR awards will be presented on Saturday evening at a gala hosted by Conchita Wurst aka Tom Neuwirth and Hadnet Tesfai at the St. Pauli Theater.



“Reeperbahn Festival is the place to be for the German and international music scenes and is a beacon event for Germany as a music base. The German Federal government has considerably increased funding for pop music in recent years. This is also the case for Reeperbahn Festival, whose most important and loyal partner is the Federal government. Also thanks to this outstanding level of support, the festival has developed into one of the key events on the international music industry calendar.”

Prof. Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media 


"Reeperbahn Festival is a success story. Over its 16 years, it has become the biggest club festival in Europe and one of the most important events of the year for the international music business. For the first time since the start of the Corona pandemic, artists from all over the world are gathering together again. With an extensive programme line-up and around 300 concerts, Reeperbahn Festival is bringing music back to the clubs. This sends out a strong signal for the event industry and the diverse club scene in Hamburg.” 

Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg



Awaiting festival visitors and music business professionals are the following highlights relating to Keychange, ANCHOR, concerts, Arts, Word, Film and Conference events:


  • Kick-Off Full Network Meeting with all Keychange participants at the Gender Equality Hub in cooperation with TuneCore and Believe.
    → Wed. 22.09., 8pm, Gender Equality Hub – Thonet Lounge
  • Press conference to present the market research study on gender diversity in the music industry and music use in Germany.
    → 23.09, 10.30am, East Hotel / Cinema
    (attendance only with prior registration to Benedikt Loekes (

ANCHOR – Reeperbahn Festival International Music Award Nominee Shows

  • OSKA (AUT)
    Thurs., 23 Sept, 6.45-7.30pm, Nochtspeicher. 
  • PVA
    → Thus., 23 Sept, 8.45-9.30pm, Nochtspeicher.
  • Lie Ning (GER)
    → Thus., 23 Sept, 10.45-11.30pm, Nochtspeicher.
  • Florence Arman (AUT/GBR)
    → Fri., 24.09, 6.45-7.30pm, Nochtspeicher.
  • May The Muse (GER)
    → Fri., 24.09, 8.30-9.15pm, Nochtspeicher.
  • Yard Act (GBR)
    → Fri., 23 Sept, 10.30-11.15pm, Nochtspeicher.

 ANCHOR – The Award Show

  • The Reeperbahn Festival International Music Award will go to the most promising musical newcomer of 2021 with live performances by ANCHOR judge Tayla Parx, co-host Conchita Wurst aka Tom Neuwirth and all six nominees (OSKA, Yard Act, PVA, Lie Ning, Florence Arman, May the Muse)
    by: Hadnet Tesfai and Conchita Wurst aka Tom Neuwirth
    25.09, 6.00pm, St. Pauli Theater as well as at 9pm on the streaming platform.

Music highlights

  • Mavi Phoenix (GER)
    → Thurs., 23.09., 6.45-7.45pm, ARTE Concert Stage.
  • Balbina (GER)
    → Fri., 24.09., 10.00-11.00pm, Gruenspan.
  • Tom Odell (GBR)
    → Sat. 25.09., 10.00-11.00pm, St. Michaelis Kirche.
  • Rote Mütze Raphi (GER)
    → Sat. 25.09., 10.30-11.00pm, Moondoo.

Premiere performances

Arts, Word and Film Programme

  • Arts: (IN)BETWEEN | Music & Graphics Interactive exhibition with poster series and light installation.
    Festival Village/ Arts Playground Wed. to Fri., 1.00pm to 10.00pm, Sat. 12pm midday to 10.00pm
    Part of this programme event will also be available on the streaming platform
    Flatstock | Gigposter Show off-beat posters created by artists*
    → to Fri., 1.30-10.00pm, Sat. 12pm midday to 10.00pm, Festival Village.
  • Word: Reading talk Şeyda Kurt | Radical Tenderness – Why Love is political
    → Fri., 24.09, 6.10pm, Resonanzraum.
  • Film: German première of Edgar Wright’s music documentary The Sparks Brothers
    → Fri, 24.09, 7.00pm, Zeise Cinemas

Conference programme

  • Recorded Music Business: Lyor Cohen (Head of Music, Google/YouTube) Meets Lucas Teuchner and Laura Heid from Two Sides Management.
    → 23.09.2021, 10:20am, Schmidt Theatre & B2B Platform Channel 1
    → Thurs.
    , 23.09.2021, 4.10pm, Schmidt Theater & B2B Platform Channel 1
  • Live Music Business: Representatives of the Roskilde Festival, FKP Scorpio, ARTMania and Höme will discuss what’s ahead for the "Festival Season 2022".
    → 23.09.2021, 4.10pm, Schmidt Theatre & B2B Platform Channel
  • Parliament of Pop: With the German Bundestag elections imminent, we discuss the relationship between pop and politics with guests including Katarina Barley (MEP – Vice-President EU Parliament, German SPD party), Joe Chialo (Universal Music & the “Future Team” of Armin Laschet, German CDU party), Julia Frank (Wizard Promotion & the German Green party) and Afrob (artist)
    → Fri., 24.09, 11.10am, Schmidt Theater & B2B Platform Channel 1.
  • HELGA! Festival Award
    After a year off, we are bringing the festivals back onto the stageand celebrate the staying power of the German festival scene.
    → 23.09, 6.00pm, Imperial Theater
  • VIA – VUT Independent Awards
    For the ninth time, the VUT will be honouring the outstanding talent from the independent music industry.
    → 23.09, 8.00pm, Schmidt Theater & VUT Indie House Channel


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Edited material published via the Reeperbahn Festival channels and
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A selection of photos will be 
made available on a daily basis.


Find here the current basic press text for Reeperbahn Festival 2021
and the conveyed
press releases.

Reeperbahn Festival Website

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