Overwhelmed by 900+ events at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival? Don’t fret, I got you covered.
There are a few solid strategies for deciding which acts to see at the very packed Reeperbahn Festival.
- You could listen to all the bands and artists and pick your favorites. But the Spotify playlist alone is over 46 hours long.
- Luckily you can filter the acts on the website by genre. This helps a lot.
- Pro tip: You could also just go by location. Cause it makes no sense to spend half of the time switching venues. Worst case: You walk 30 minutes to the next club and can’t get it. So just pick a hub of nearby locations and stay there.
- There’s is always the last resort: Don’t plan anything and just drift. You might stumble across some Jazz, Soul, Contemporary you didn’t think you might like.
Or you surf the web for some lists of interesting acts other people put together. Like this one. My picks usually lean heavy towards Punk, Rock, Indie, Electro & Rap.
The small quotes are taken from the official website for the Reeperbahn Festival (which I will abbreviate to RBFW). Btw, the Reeperbahn Festival does band descriptions a lot better than other festivals I’ve been to. Always a pleasure to read them.
Rock, R’n’B/Soul // Atlanta, United States of America
»With bass, drums and keys, and with cello, percussion and synthesizers, Algiers create a sound that blends gospel and industrial, blues and punk, post-something and a timely, loud message.« [RBFW]
Probably the best-known band out of my picks. I’ve seen them in 2017 as opener for Depeche Mode where they rocked the stage. Ever since »Walk Like A Panther« has been in my current playlist.
Rock, Punk // Brussels, Belgium
»The five-piece enhances this sound [post-punk] with dark-wave keyboards and ethereal vocals, and with elements from goth rock and shoegazing, conveying the nihilism of late-stage capitalism rather than devil worship.« [RBFW]
This is my must-see band for this year. After Holygram in 2017 and The Slow Readers Club in 2018 Whispering Sons seems to be a sure contender for my highlight of the festival. »Wall« found a place in my playlist a few months ago.
Everyone You Know
Indie, Hip-Hop/Rap // London, United Kingdom
»Sounds like The Prodigy worked with the Arctic Monkeys and listened to plenty of nineties rap over the course of their collaboration.« [RBFW]
I really like the single »The Drive«. Great song. Great video.
Electronic/Live, R’n’B/Soul // Berlin, Germany, Argentina
»Ultra-heavy beats meet sizzling grime hi-hats and android-like deadpan raps – and for Amparo Battaglia, those are just the first few bars of a track.« [RBFW]
As soon as the bass hit I put Catnapp on this list.
Rock // Leuven, Belgium
»… the result was a rousing reinvention of modern punk that collides with epic post-rock vibes, heavy drumming, and hard metal.« [RBFW]
Another band I already had in my playlist. I am a bit surprised that »Drive« doesn’t have an official video.
Punk, Electronic/Live // Reykjavík, Iceland
»Founded in cold Reykjavik in 2015, the BDSM trio with its leather masks, hard techno beats, and unwavering rebellious spirit reflects the ugly truth that we have arrived at in the 21st century.« [RBFW]
Some people will know Hatari because of their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. I never cared for the ESC. But I do care for Hatari’s industrial punk. Let there be Krach!
Rock // Brussels, Belgium
»Stoner rock has never really gone out of fashion … But the four-piece from Brussels certainly enriches and refreshes the genre with the bluesy voice of Marcella Di Troia, emphasized brilliantly by the tuned-down guitars.« [RBFW]
Scrolling through my favorite songs on Spotify I just noticed that I a) hearted »Funky Queen« around two years ago and b) have a lot of bands in this list that begin with »Black …«.
Say Sue Me
Indie // Korea, South
»Indie, surf rock, and shoegaze blur in a fog of nostalgia and create an atmosphere somewhere between rehearsal room and beach.« [RBFW]
If you only hear the music it sounds like surf rock from a Californian band. And then you find out that the band is actually from South Korea.
Punk // Brisbane, Australia
»A band that manages to add a fresh dance-punk twist to the garage rock revival sound deserves nothing less …« [RBFW]
Funny how you sometimes manage to discover bands more than once. Yesterday I was happy cause I had just discovered »Gina Works At Hearts«. But now I still have Spotify open. And Spotify tells me that I liked the non-explicit version of that song already in August 2017.
Hip-Hop/Rap // Sydney, Australia
»Finally, a new rapper who has drumming skills.« [RBFW]
Stop for the beats, stay for the Rap.
Indie, Punk // Denmark
»On a dark, velvety backdrop, raw guitar outbursts and complex drum parts paint the silhouettes of a sound that defies easy categorization.« [RBFW]
Circling back to the beginning: There is one more strategy for picking artists for the Festival. A rather adventurous one. Just go by name. We have done this a few times in the past years. And were quite happy with our picks.
So, yeah, this is why I gave Blood Child a shot. And so should you.
Alright, switching to german now (cause the following acts sing in german).
Indie, Pop // Hamburg, Germany
»Einfach nur gut singen reicht ihr nicht – mal faucht sie vorlaut, kreischt heiser oder ist kurz vorm Brüllen, mal kann sie aber auch ganz sinnlich und sanft intonieren.« [RBFW]
Das hat mich überrascht. Bei 900 Acts habe ich keine Zeit alles durchzuhören und beschränke mich meistens auf Bands aus den Bereichen Rock, Punk, Indie, Electro. Da geht mir eine Menge durch die Lappen. Insbesondere die Einzelkünstler und alles, was in Richtung Singer/Songwriter geht. Aber hier bin ich beim Durchhören hängen geblieben. Indie-Pop greift da etwas zu kurz, meine ich.
Indie, Punk // Wien, Österreich
»Mittels febriler Distortion, Reverb und den exzentrischen Vocals von Sophie Löw entwerfen Culk einen Indie-Sound, dessen Wurzeln klar im Post-Punk zu verorten sind.« [RBFW]
Wehmütiger Punk. Falls wir dieses Mal einen Hauch früher in Hamburg ankommen als in den letzten Jahren, könnte das unsere/meine erste Band des Festivals werden. Hört sich nach einem guten Auftakt an.
Cover image: Picture by Jon Tyson via unsplash.com