If you already have plans to go to the best music festivals this summer, you'd be missing out if you skipped Reeperbahn.
It may not be as well known as Tomorrowland or Coachella, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a visit. In fact, with it's diversity in offerings and very unique location, I would highly recommend making it part of your itinerary.
The Reeperbahn festival happens in Reeperbahn, a district in Hamburg, Germany—also known as one of the red light districts. So, the massive music festival held at the heart of German nightlife and partying.
Be warned, this is not a party for the faint of heart!
Whether you’re hoping to find out what it is exactly, how to get there, or some nifty tips and tricks on what to bring, you can find it all here. This is how to prepare yourself for a proper German festival...
What Is the Reeperbahn Festival?
Reeperbahn Festival is Germany’s largest club festival spread over 70 different venues. With over 360 events to explore, you can indulge in as many parties as humanly possible.
When I say events, I don’t just mean music concerts. These events consist of a mixture of:
- Visual arts
- Film and literature
- Award ceremonies
Since the festival’s initial debut in 2006, Reeperbahn Festival organizers have always followed their 4 pillars of sustainability, equality, diversity, and talent. All of these attributes add up to exactly what you’d expect, a space free of prejudice and discrimination while nodding to the future of sustainable music development.
This Hamburg music festival has now flourished into a huge gathering of emerging artists and music-loving partygoers. Their focus on inclusivity and diversity means no matter your interests, there's an event at this festival for you.
Where is Reeperbahn in Hamburg?
Reeperbahn Festival is located in the St. Pauli district in Hamburg, Germany. An area right next to the Hamburg city center. Need help getting there? Here's what I know about getting to Hamburg and Reeperbahn.
How to Get to Hamburg
With Hamburg being a major tourist location in Germany, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s super easy to book accommodation and transportation tickets for your next trip.
If you're coming from an international destination, I recommend you get your flights into the Hamburg Airport. This is the most convenient location to fly into, especially since it's a major international airport.
Since it's in the north, the only other German city I would suggest flying into is Berlin. It's about a 2 hour train ride from Berlin to Hamburg and you'd get to see more of Germany on your trip!
Hamburg is a big tourist spot, so you’ll be happy to hear that it’s super easy to book transportation tickets and even accommodations. If you still haven't booked flights, trains, or overnight stays, try using Skyscanner, Omio, or Hostelworld to find great deals.
How to Get to Reeperbahn
Now what about once you're in Hamburg and need to get to Reeperbahn?
You get to the Reeperbahn area by riding the ‘S-Bahn’ (railway system), bus, or train. I would recommend getting off at the nearest stops, which are...
- Hein-Hoyer-Straße U St.Pauli
- St. Pauli Hafenstraße
- St. Pauli
Many locations can be accessed on foot which is a great way to see all the festival has to offer without spending money on transportation. You never know, you might even find a hidden gem as you take a walking tour through the district.
When is the Reeperbahn Festival in 2023?
The 2023 Reeperbahn Festival is officially happening from September 20th to 23rd.
What Happens at Reeperbahn Festival?
As I mentioned above the Reeperbahn Festival hosts many different types of music performances—there's something for everyone! You can also catch readings, artsy happenings, and even movie screenings.
But what many people don't talk about is how this festival doubles as a music business convention. Behind the scenes important people from the biggest music labels in the world come to strategize and collaborate! You'll also find the ANCHOR International Music Awards and the International Music Journalism Awards happening during the Reeperbahn Fesstival.
And there's more to it than just the festival. It's also a fantastic experience based on where the festival is located...
Reeperbahn Festival couldn’t be situated in a better place. The area of Reeperbahn is well known for its nightlife, restaurants, and bars. But not only that, it is actually filled with unique pockets of entertainment which grant Reeperbahn its name of the Sin Mile.
The ‘Sin Mile’ is compiled of shops such as:
- Erotic theatres
- Sex shops
- Sex Museums
- Strip clubs
Explore all the attractions of this Hamburg red light district while attending the Reeperbahn music festival. Now you know why this annual festival is so popular!
If you’re coming from overseas, which many ticket holders do, you might want to do some sightseeing to make your trip even more worthwhile. Hamburg is the perfect place to do just that.
Some of the best places to make sure to visit include the Hamburg City Hall or Hamburger Kunsthalle for art viewing. Alternatively, you can visit Miniatur Wunderland to see the world’s largest model railway or explore more into German history at the International Maritime Museum.
Unlike many other music festivals, at the Reeperbahn Festival, you’re not in a field somewhere with no signal. It’s a modern-day festival that celebrates multiple different aspects of culture, while still allowing ticket holders to see the ins and outs of the beautiful city of Hamburg.
What to Bring to the Reeperbahn Festival
Reeperbahn is typically held at the end of September. In Germany, this is when the Autumn breeze starts seeping in, so bringing the right items and clothing could make or break your experience. That being said, a coat is going to be among the few things you must bring with you, along with:
- Water - It is more than likely that you’ll find water somewhere along your way, but it's cheaper and easier to bring it with you!
- Umbrella - Along with your coat or jacket, a good idea would be to slip an umbrella into your bag since the weather in the Autumn months can be unpredictable.
- Ticket - You must show your valid ticket, whether it be printed out or in PDF format on your mobile.
- Power Bank - This isn’t completely necessary but may be handy after a wild day of parties and shows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Different Kinds of Tickets Available?
Yes! You can choose from a 1-day ticket all the way up to a 4-day ticket.
For professional visitors, you can also choose from conference tickets and specific session-only tickets.
Early bird tickets are available at discounted prices and the first 9,500 ticket holders will gain exclusive access to a show at a famous venue known as the Elbphilharmonie.
What Are the Opening Times of the Festival Grounds?
The opening hours for the Festival Village are as follows:
- Wednesday-Friday: 1:00 - 9:00 pm
- Saturday: 12:00 - 9:00 pm
Can I Apply to Be a Part of the Reeperbahn Festival?
Yes! If you're a band looking to play during the Reeperbahn Festival, band applications are open until August 11th.
Are All of the Venues Taking Part in the Reeperbahn Festival Accessible?
Due to the varied venues, inclusivity is on an individual basis. That being said, these are the specific venues accessible by wheelchair:
- 3001 Kino
- Bahnhof Pauli
- Mojo Club
- Molotow and Molotow Backyard
- Stage Operettenhaus
Reeperbahn Festival has something for everyone, it is a place filled with excitement from various industries making for a widely inclusive and enjoyable event no matter who you are.
Plan Your European Night Out With Pilot
Now you know... the party never ends in Europe! And you'll be sure to have an unforgettable experience hitting up Hamburg and the Reeperbahn festival.
After having some wild night outs in Hamburg, consider checking out the nightlife of other European cities such as Lisbon and Paris. With so many spots to hit, you’re going to need a place to bookmark all your upcoming stops. Look no further than Pilot.