The 18th edition of Reeperbahn Festival, scheduled to go down in Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 20-23, is coming together nicely – with a solid list of speakers, who will discuss the state of business, and artists, who are, of course, the heart of the talent festival.
This year’s conference topics include the impact of artificial intelligence, monopolization trends, the shortage of young talent and skilled workers, social responsibility within the music industry.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Academy Award-winner Volker Bertelmann, better known by his artist name Hauschka; Paul Hourican, global head of music operations at TikTok; and FKP Scoprio CEO Folkert Koopmans.
Sustainability will take center stage for an entire day on Friday, Sept. 22, when the Schmidts Tivoli venue will host “Sustain!”, a “green culture summit.”
More than 300 artists representing a broad musical spectrum perform in Hamburg are expected to perform in Hamburg this year, mostly newcomers, but also established names. This year’s confirmed selection includes Altin Gün, The Pretenders, Circa Waves, The Hives, Blood Red Shows, Holly Humberstone, Only the Poets, Becks, Pongo, Silvan Strauss, Symba, Tua, Billy Bragg, and many more.
In 2016, the team behind Reeperbahn Festival introduced the Anchor Award. All bands booked for Reeperbahn Festival 2023 could submit applications, a board of 12 music professionals chose six names for a shortlist.
This year’s Anchor jury – Banks (USA), Tayla Parx (USA), Katie Melua (GB), as well as jury president Tony Visconti (USA) – will judge the performances of the nominees and select a winner.
Katie Melua, by the way, is also a confirmed speaker, and will address one of the most important topics, parenthood in music.
Opening night, Wednesday, Sept. 20, will see a couple of high-ranking politicians as well as “prominent faces from the music business” yet to be confirmed to hold speeches – symbolic of the team’s commitment to bring together the business with society’s decision makers.
All in all, the team around Reeperbahn Festival CEO Alexander Schulz expects some 50,000 visitors, including 4,000 conference delegates; some 320 acts from at least 40 nations, who’ll be performing a similar number of live concerts across Hamburg’s iconic venues; around 200 program points with around 360 speakers as part of the conference.
Not all artists have been confirmed yet, but in line with Reeperbahn Festival’s commitment to the Keychange initiative, around 55% of acts on the lineup will be female.