City festivals are dangerously moreish, once you’ve popped you just can’t stop. Discarding unwieldy wellingtons and drizzle damp canvas to enjoy an urban marriage of delirious debauchery and the culturally civilised. It’s a sentiment that could probably describe Hamburg itself; a historical, wealthy, politicised city undergoing continued regeneration and government funded arts initiatives. Throw in the ultimate rock n roll provenance of a Beatles legacy and a notoriously racy past and you have yourselves an intriguing prospect amidst the ever-growing glut of festivals.
Serving as a seamless summer endnote, Germany’s largest club style gathering and meeting place for Europe’s’ music industry Reeperbahn Festival promises more than 300 gigs with artists representing 35 countries and 100 additional programmed events. Extended for the first time during its eight year run to now cover four days, there’s a dizzying amount to do and see. Managers, music fans, high hitters and hipsters commingle and congregate in the St Pauli neighborhood, the port citiy's infamous and atmospheric former red light district.
Equal weight is given to all, with established artists and virtual unknowns from the fields of indie, pop, rock, electro, hip-hop, jazz and neo classical, getting cozy across 70 unique venues including basements, concert halls, theaters, churches, boats, museums and even lap dancing clubs. The visual arts also play an important part in this flavorsome festival. There are over 50 events ranging from full blown fine art exhibitions, book readings, film screenings and exposure to all manner of interactive and digital arts.
Its extensive programme extends to integrate business platforms within a Campus component, one of the highlights of which will no doubt be Dave Stewart’s keynote speech. It’s unusual for the movers and shakers of the music industry to be attending in equal numbers to music fans. So not only is it a great place to enjoy the myriad musical delights on offer but if you’re looking for advice on starting up a label, a club night, or to hand out your bands CD’s, this is undoubtedly the place to do it.
Alongside the many local artists performing, including local heroes 'Kettcar', is an eclectic roster of international talent including Efterklang, The Strypes, Anna Calvi, 65 Days of Static, Birdy, Fenech-Soler, Mum, Kirin J Callinan, Tunng and Ghostpoet. (Check out the full line up in the links below). This reasonably priced, diversely decadent, urbane festival promises to stimulate the senses just the way we like it. Hamburg, let's be having you!
Official Website: http://www.reeperbahnfestival.com/
Online Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nnpsjzg
Tickets In Person:
Words: Anna Wilson
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