Ahoy Reeperbahn Festival!
Reeperbahn Festival is not just an inherent part of the music scene in Hamburg, year by year it evolves to become a prime event for the national and international music industry. This year, from September 21 - 24, about 38,000 participants came to listen to a fulminant mixture of promising and established talents from all over the world. Also, the conference program should not remain unmentioned as it is positioning itself as a major B2B platform for the music and digital industry, with about 4,400 delegates attending.
Talks, panels, keynotes, presentations, and workshops were part of the Reeperbahn Festival Conference programme. This is where you will find startups and traditional institutions side by side.
Old New World - it was the name of our session at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival, and in some way the whole event seemed to be surrounded by this matter. We saw newcomers but also old hands celebrating their comebacks.
One of them was Craig David at Mojo Club, performing an acoustic set with various songs such as classics like the opener “7 Days”, newer songs like “When The Bassline Drops” and Justin Bieber cover “Love Yourself”. Fans from the beginning of his career as excited as their younger counterparts next to them.
Will Joseph Cook
Will Joseph Cook, an emerging artist from the UK, “took me dancing” pretty well. Meanwhile his older equivalent, Pete Doherty - no surprise - didn’t even make it to the stage.
This obviously is just a small excerpt of the whole festival programme including further highlights such as Jamie Lawson, Biffy Clyro, Boy and many many more...
Coming back to our session at Reeperbahn Festival:
The internet has changed almost everything. Especially emerging artists benefit from the digital evolution which is confronted by a reactionary live entertainment industry. Our guests Gerd Gebhardt, veteran of the German music industry, and Fabian Strangl, Manager of The Voice Kids Germany Winner Noah Levi discussed the attempts of the digital era to disrupt the dusty live industry.
Nikolas Schriefer, Gerd Gebhardt, Fabian Strangl
Today's business is focussed much more on live than record business while extensions like VIP tickets being a big part of the calculation. They are always sold out because kids want to be as close to their stars as possible, e.g. by standing in the front row or meet & greet their favorite artists.
Recently it became very important for artists to build and engage their fan base on social media. One of Noah Levi’s favorite social media channels is Snapchat. Is very fast and profits from a direct exchange with his fans. Musicians get the chance to know their fans much better and even start building close relationships. „Artists were like idols in the past,“ said Gerd Gebhard. You couldn’t even think about meeting them in person. Ever. These days everyone can talk to anybody.
In case of planning a tour there is still one big question left. How to make those online stats turn into ticket sales in the end? The plan is to turn digital numbers into real numbers and actual ticket sells. To make this happen there are tools and platforms like Stagelink, helping managers and promoters to figure out where exactly the fans of which artist are located who would buy a ticket.
Artists have various opportunities to present their talents and especially the younger generation is very fast in adapting new technologies. Also they have to find their niche to match their individual talents. Noah for exmaple, instead of using musical.ly, posted short clips of himself singing on Instagram. And his Instagram blew up.
Nowadays almost every artist with a certain fanbase on YouTube, Spotify or Soundcloud has the possibility to tour. Even if they didn’t sell a single record before. And exactly that is the big change the industry has to deal with.
To sum it all up Reeperbahn Festival was a hell lot of fun! We are happy our session worked out so well and we got to meet so many partners and friends. We are already looking forward to next year’s edition!
Thank you so much, Gerd and Fabian, for being part of our session!