The ANCHOR – Reeperbahn Festival International Music Award is an accolade for the most promising emerging music talent established in 2016. Awarded every year in September at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, ANCHOR serves as a guide for fans and the music industry in search of the best new music and as a jump start for the nominated artists' international careers.

The ANCHOR is designed to become a label of excellence for the participating artists, very much like renowned film festivals have become stepping stones in film director’s careers. Eight international nominees from different genres, selected by a board of music professionals, enter the competition and set out to convince not just the audience but also a prominent jury. Whereas other music awards acknowledge record sales or popularity, the ANCHOR honors unique music quality manifested in the live performances.

Over the past decade, the Reeperbahn Festival grew to an impressive amount of 500 shows over the course of four days, mirroring the abundance of new music being released in the digital world, it becomes harder and harder to navigate this plethora, to find the most promising artists not just with outstanding talent and innovative music, but also with the qualities and potential to become the stars of tomorrow. In times when algorithms predict and dictate the taste in music, the ANCHOR re-introduces the concept of expert recommendation and is both a seal of quality and a way to boost popularity for new bands and artists from around the world. For music fans, it’s a guidepost pointing to the absolute must-hears on the current international music scene.

In 2018, the selection process will be two-fold again: a newly established board decides on the nominees from a short list based on all Reeperbahn Festival bookings. This Board consists of international music professionals active in music promotion and media. The candidates are periodically communicated to the Board members and the decision-making process takes place through an online voting system. The final eight nominees are eventually selected and announced in August. During the ANCHOR events, an independent jury then judges the nominees’ club show performances to pick the winner.

Over the course of three days, the nominees will perform at two venues, playing in front of festivalgoers and the jury, competing for the ANCHOR, which will then be awarded at an entertainment-filled gala on the last day of the festival. With the ANCHOR, Reeperbahn Festival provides its artists with an additional platform to showcase their talents and fundamentally advance their careers.


01 February 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Applications Open
15 March 2018 ANCHOR @ SXSW, Austin, Texas
20 June 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Jury Announcement, New York City, New York
12 July 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Applications Closed
August 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Nominee Announcement
19 - 21 September 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Nominee Shows, Hamburg, Germany
22 September 2018 ANCHOR 2018 Award Ceremony, Hamburg, Germany