The 12th edition the Reeperbahn Festival attracted over 40,000 visitors and 420 bands/artists from around the world, its biggest turnout ever, on Sept. 20-23 in Hamburg, Germany. Organizers say 4,700 pressions from the music business — hailing from 57 countries — also attended the event.
Canada was this year's country partner, while France will take over next year. ”We have experienced a Reeperbahn Festival highest quality,” said Alexander Schulz, director and founder the festival. “We have also experienced the strongest Reeperbahn Festival in terms social policy.”
A major highlight the festival was a surprise appearance by former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher at this year's Warner Music Night, held at the Docks Club. Before he performed, he noted his forthcoming debut solo album, As You Were, has already gotten a rave review from The Verve's Richard Ashcrt: “His songs sound as if the Hell's Angels were kicking in your door,” Gallagher recalled Ashcrt's assessment.
“I have rarely experienced such a enthusiasm for a star that reaches all generations,” said Bernd Dopp, chairman and CEO Warner Music Central Europe. “Gallagher] was celebrated euphorically.”
British singer-songwriter Jade Bird was given the Anchor award, Reeperbahn's accolade for the most promising international emerging talent. The jury, chaired by David Bowie producer Tony Visconti, consisted Garbage singer Shirley Manson, Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass BOY, Emily Haines Metric and Broken Social Scene and BBC host Huw Stephens. The Jury released a statment: “We have decided upon an artist with an impressively broad range, who displays strong songwriting and musicianship, bringing something fresh and unconventional to her genre.”
A further innovation this year was the first Reeperbahn Festival Music Film Contest, which kicked f on Tuesday evening with the keynote Eurythmics band leader, musician and producer Dave Stewart. The jury, composed Emily Atef, Frank Otto and Peter Rommel, selected the Canadian contribution “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World” as winner from among 25 international music films. Rumble is described by filmmakers as a “a celebratory examination the ten-underappreciated role Native American tradition in the evolution American popular music.”
Journalist Cherie Hu (Forbes/Billboard, US) was selected as Hamburg Music Business Journalist the Year by the pressional visitors.
Next year's Reeperbahn Festival will take place Sept. 19-22 in Hamburg.