Last month, the German government banned large scale events from taking place until the end of August 2020 in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
While some of the country’s most prominent music festivals have been forced to cancel their 2020 editions, Hamburg’s showcase festival and music business conference Reeperbahn, which takes place from September 16-19, has revealed today (May 18) that it will be going ahead this year.
According to the event’s organizers, plans are currently being drawn up with the relevant authorities to allow the event to go ahead in September “in compliance with all social distancing and hygiene regulations”.
Part of those plans include the creation of individual strategies with each of the event’s participating venues, which should enable those clubs, concert halls and theatres “to start operating under pandemic-related conditions”.
The preparations are currently still in their initial stages, however, and Reeperbahn organizers say that updates on the progress of their plans will be provided regularly.
With the current state of global air travel unlikely to return to pre-COVID normality by the middle of September, Reeperbahn Festival’s otherwise international line-up will “have to mainly focus on national as well as European acts” this year, according to the event’s organizers.
Reeperbahn Festival CEO Alexander Schulz has also said in a statement (see below) that the 2020 edition of the event will be “completely bypassing all economic considerations” in order to prioritize the collaboration with its partners, venues and organisers “to establish the new practical procedures required to hold the event in line with pandemic-related measures”.
Reeperbahn says that Germany’s Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Hamburg’s Senator for Culture and Media Dr. Carsten Brosda have already agreed to attend the the opening ceremony of this special edition of the Reeperbahn Festival.
“The experiences, existential concerns and perspectives gained since the imposition of measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus will shape the content of Reeperbahn Festival 2020.”
Alexander Schulz, Reeperbahn Festival
Alexander Schulz, CEO Reeperbahn Festival, said: “The experiences, existential concerns and perspectives gained since the imposition of measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus will shape the content of Reeperbahn Festival 2020.
“We expect fundamental changes in the focus of our activities. The key issues to be addressed range from the importance of culture in the canon of values in society as a whole, to economic livelihoods, to practical measures for the gradual return to operations. We want to be able to devote our efforts once again to these topics in the form of direct personal interaction, and to experience music in a live setting and to do so together!
“In addition to the forced significant reduction in the number of visitors, we expect a significantly higher proportion of audiences, artists, speakers and partners from Europe and Germany due to the special circumstances. However, the scope of the programme is not expected to change significantly.
Added Schulz: “Due to the special circumstances, we are completely bypassing all economic considerations for this year’s Reeperbahn Festival. The absolute priority must be to collaborate with our partners, venues, organisers, and others, to establish the new practical procedures required to hold the event in line with pandemic-related measures.
“Naturally, the protection and safety of our visitors, partners, artists and employees is still paramount and it is clear that the situation remains very fluid and unpredictable.
“But, based on everything we currently know from the authorities responsible for us, we believe that we are on a slow, cautious and regulated path towards a new era of cultural presentation and culture industries, both during and also post-corona. With Reeperbahn Festival 2020, we want to support and shape this process and experience it together with our visitors.”Music Business Worldwide