Bar hopping in Hamburg will never be as much fun as at Reeperbahn. The spiritual home of The Beatles it may be, but this festival has more to it than just appreciating John and goggling at women in windows...
If all you know about the Reeperbahn area of Hamburg is that it’s best to mention it in hushed tones, then this festival is your opportunity to visit one of the most fascinating pleasure quarters of Europe and recount it in public afterwards.
Following in the footsteps of South By South West and its ilk, the annual Reeperbahn festival of art, music and media is aimed at the music and digital industries (blah) but also at music fans, drinkers and explorers.
Gigs and galleries combine and pop up all over the area, with venues including comic book stores, cinemas, football stadiums and pavements. There are outdoor film screenings, international showcases, and of course at least a couple of slots dedicated to The Beatles, who grew up here, musically speaking.
The music on offer is largely a combination of international artists that you couldn’t possibly be expected to know, which is a liberating experience, and venue-hopping based entirely on whether you like the look of their press shot is an entirely acceptable way to plan your schedule. That said, The Undertones and The Wedding Present are both on the bill this year, as are Chew Lips, Dan Deacon, Best Coast, King Charles and Gallows.
Sex is no longer the only thing that sells this strip. Bars, restaurants, venues, clubs and cafes are piled on top of one another and there’s so much to see and do in this concentrated area during the festival that you’ll find it a struggle to think a filthy thought every six seconds.
FIVE THINGS NOT TO MISS
SPIT SPIT CLUB
If you’re going to go to an indie, pop and punk clubnight, it may as well be at Molotow Bar, where there are no rules (except when playing table football)
Friday, Molotow Bar from 1am
He’s been all over UK festivals this year like a hairy raincloud, and word of mouth is doing him great favours, so why not see this London-bred reggae weirdo in the least appropriate place.
Saturday, Stage East, 7.30pm
Bars, restaurants, venues, clubs and cafes are piled on top of one another and there’s so much to see and do in this concentrated area during the festival that you’ll find it a struggle to think a filthy thought every six seconds.
RAY’S REEPERBAHN REVUE
Ray Cokes always gave the impression that he was barely containing himself within the confines of broadcasting regulations when he was an MTV presenter, so imagine what his daily round-up of activities on the Reeperbahn could bring.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Schmidt Theater, 5pm
ZEBRA AND SNAKE
Childhood friends Tapio and Matti play Finnish electro pop which is as accessible as it is brilliant.
Friday, Molotow Bar, midnight
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BEATLES
The Beatles’ love affair with the Reeperbahn has been well documented, but this tour promises some new information including how many members there really were.
Thursday, Bismarck monument, 8pm
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