HAMBURG — Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, has awarded the Reeperbahn Festival €20 million euros in funding to help bolster its expansion both domestically and internationally. The additional funds are to last until 2024, said festival managing director Alexander Schulz in comments to Billboard. “The resolution will provide planning security for the next five years, thus guaranteeing immense added value for concrete additional program-related measures,” he said.
Reeperbahn typically has an annual budget of between €5-6 million euros — an amount that is aided by government subsidies. The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media allocated nearly €6 million euro in 2019, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding an additional €1.1 million.
According to Schulz, the new funding will be used to commission a study on gender equality, as part of its gender-balance project Keychange, and for other education programs. The money will also be used for developing its international presence.
“I am very pleased that in future we can further develop our spin offs Reeperbahn Festival International, a feature supported by the Federal Foreign Office under the title ‘Förderung Musikwirtschaft’ International, with editions in New York, Nashville, Beijing, Los Angeles and Ghana in order to enable German and European enterprises active in the music business and their artists to enjoy business-related, sustainable international exchange.”
Festival spokesperson Benedikt Loekes told Billboard that the €20 million figure was “unusual” for a public festival.
“It is based on the fact that the Reeperbahn Festival has developed to be Europe’s most important international annual music market place besides its new talent festival,” said Loekes. “The federal government made decision on the untypical amount on basis of comparable leading formats in the book-industry or the film-industry, Frankfurt Bookfair and Berlinale, which do receive even higher subsidies.”