Our followers on social media might have noticed that the GigsGuide team has been spending a lot of time in Hamburg lately. As we mentioned in a previous post, GigsGuide was accepted into MusicWorX 2019, one of the few accelerators in the world that explicitly supports start-ups in the music industry.
Our experience with the program so far has been absolutely incredible. Hamburg has a vibrant creative industry, and participating in the publicly-funded accelerator organised by the Ministry of Culture and Media of Hamburg and the Hamburg Creative Society (Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft) has offered us the opportunity to meet some of the most influential figures in the Hamburg music scene and to engage with many leading actors in the international music industry. GigsGuide has received an extremely warm welcome in Hamburg and our prospects for the future are looking bright (also, the coffee in Hamburg is amazing :D).
As part of the MusicWorX program, we have also been invited to participate in this year's Reeperbahn Festival that took place between the 18th and the 21st September.
This edition of the festival was a fantastic four-day event that not only offered around 600 concerts by a diverse line-up of international artists, but also a conference section where attendees could meet and network with international representatives from the music industry and the digital creative economy.
There were talks, panels and musical showcases galore, but important business was also conducted in the more informal settings of dinners, parties and cocktail events. We were also incredibly honoured to have been extended an impromptu invite to represent the Swedish Music Industry in a matchmaking session presented by Export Music Sweden, and to be asked to present GigsGuide in a session organised by the Kreativ Gesellschaft and Musictech Germany.
All in all, The Reeperbahn Festival was an incredible eye-opening, albeit intense, experience. With so many interesting and cool events going on, we were hard-pressed to attend everything on our list but we had a blast and we also received overwhelmingly positive feedback on GigsGuide, (Gigi the mascot) and our cheeky flyer! It was awesome to be so warmly received and to hear that we are not totally crazy! :)
We were fortunate to have been a part of it, gaining invaluable business contacts within the music industry while hanging out with friends (big shout-out to our friend Caro from Musicspots for being our awesome guide to the Hamburg music scene!), artists and bands in the vibrant setting of a beautiful Hanseatic city. The cherry on top? The discovery of great new music. Here are Angelina’s and Francesco’s top 3 moments from The Reeperbahn Festival.
It was extremely hard to pick just 3 acts from the plethora of stunning live performances at The Reeperbahn Festival 2019. My Spotify account has since then seen the addition of many, many new artists and bands that I’ve fallen in love with. However, I have attempted to pick out 3 of the live acts that resonated with me from The Reeperbahn Festival. Here are my picks, in no particular order:
Jeangu Macrooy (NL)
Jeangu Macrooy is a funky, groovy vocalist with a voice rich and silky like butter, that can climb effortlessly to flawless falsetto. His live performance together with the perfect accompanying band whipped the crowd into a hip-swaying frenzy at the Festival Village this year, myself included. The charisma and musical prowess of this one was apparent with how easily he had the audience singing along to songs they had only just heard! The last we heard, Jeangu was already back in the studio working on new material and I can hardly wait to see what he churns out.
Genre: POP, R'N'B/SOUL
A multi-talented rapper from Australia, Dobby is a breath of fresh air on the Hip Hop scene, bringing together the different pillars into an explosive live show with beats reminiscent of the old school sound. His seemingly boundless energy supply had him alternating between banging on the drums and playing the keyboard whilst not missing a beat and spouting clever lyrics far beyond the humdrum misogynistic offerings of many rappers. #breathcontrolfordays
The absolute joy in watching Dobby was that he knows that he has a voice and he was going to use it to speak not only his truth but the truth of the underrepresented in society.
Genre: HIP HOP/RAP
Arlo Parks (UK)
I spot a gem in Arlo Parks. Her musical gravitas and uncanny insight into the perspectives of the lost and the melancholic belie her tender age of 19. The intimate setting of the Mojo Club where Arlo had one of her performances offered a wonderful platform to showcase this talented singer’s soulful crooning. Her serene voice unfolded note by note until it settled on you like a warm embrace, comforting you even if her words might not offer any solution to the problems she touches upon in her songs. Enchanting.
Genre: POP, R'N'B/SOUL
Want to know why we called this post "Miracle on the Reeperbahn"?
It's because this old metalhead reluctantly went along to Dobby's concert and absolutely loved every minute of it. Good thing Angie already put him on her list though, because I also have a few amazing goodies to share ;).
Georgie Fisher (AU)
What started off as a quick stop to Playground Coffee for our caffeine fix ended with us parking on the chairs for 3 whole hours watching an impromptu acoustic session of 4 talented Australian artists. We have to say that Georgie Fisher stole the show and our hearts with her charming personality, wicked sense of humour and last but not least, her unique voice, not unlike a beautifully-aged whisky with the perfect balance of smoky and smooth tones.
Songs of Boda (SE)
A man and his guitar. Simple and yet so incredibly powerful and mesmerising, particularly when the man's name is Daniel Skoglund. The room went quiet and everybody was holding their breath for this amazing performance, which brought back to me memories of some of the finest moments of Malmö's own master blues guitarist, Rickard Lindgren.
On a sidenote, it's interesting to see how certain regions take the job of supporting and marketing their local music scene more seriously than others. In Sweden, nobody does it better than Westside Music, an independent initiative comprised of music companies from Gothenburg and the region of Västra Götaland in Sweden and are commendably leading the way on their efforts on exposing more music from that region. We are really looking forward to their Viva Sounds festival in Gothenburg on December 6-7.
GENRE: SINGER-SONG WRITER/FOLK BLUES
Rebecca Lou (DK)
Reeperbahn Festival certainly gave me a lot of inspiration and a chance to expand my musical horizon. By the end of it, though, I was longing for the familiar sound of heavily distorted guitars and pounding drums. Luckily for me, the Danish showcase heard my prayers and delivered a great selection of loud and sweaty punk rock. Rebecca Lou owned the stage like a screaming queen, and she has now conquered a solid spot on my heavy rotation list.
GENRE: PUNK ROCK