Bringing The States To The Reeperbahn

Germany’s Reeperbahn Festival turned 10 last year. It spent the first decade to establish itself as a hub for industry professionals looking to do business and showcasing live acts in Europe. Now CEO Alexander Schulz wants to take it to the next level: the U.S. 

The 11th edition of the conference and talent festival takes place Sep. 21-24 in Hamburg, Germany, and Schulz would be pleased to see the number of U.S. companies attending increase over the coming years.

Not just as visitors, but as contributors to the overall p.

“The city does not wait for us, I’m aware of that,” he adds. Still, the virtual absence of the public was “disappointing,” especially seeing how Reeperbahn Festival successfully merges the public and business aspect in Hamburg each year. He feels the concept of presenting new acts around a B2B conference has yet to pick up in the U.S.

It may also be the reason why the U.S. companies attending Reeperbahn Festival don’t host dedicated showcases. To change that, Schulz wants to be on the radar of the big players.

“Maybe we’ll be able to secure respective deals with WME and Co. in a couple of years,” he said. It’s not easy to get into Reeperbahn Festival as artist or band.

The lineup is carefully selected. “If for example the Canadians present 20 acts at the Canada House at Reeperbahn Festival, you can be sure that my colleagues selected those from at least 60 propositions.”

What could help bring more U.S. music companies to Hamburg in September is the fact that, since 2015, they can now apply for a grant in Washington, with the specific aim of visiting Reeperbahn Festival.

That money was previously granted only if a company wanted to go to Midem.

“We’re the best marketplace for new, agile, small businesses in Europe, thanks to the cross-market structure of our event.You can do publishing, recording and live deals here,” Schulz said. “Yes, we are based in Germany. Yes, a lot of our business clients are from Germany. But we are an important marketplace for all of Europe.”