Jackanory – Hamburg on Tour

An interactive live event series, hosted each year in different European cities and designed to inform and inspire millennials to visit the city of Hamburg and its surrounding Metropolitan Region.

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“Hamburg? For a city break? Why would I want to go there?!”

For many a young adventurer, typical city break destinations might include Barcelona, Amsterdam or Paris, but Hamburg is rarely on the list. Little is known about this eclectic location, billed as one of the “most liveable” cities in the world, crammed with cultural delights and with a varied and thriving music and festival scene. 

Cue Hamburg on Tour – an interactive live event series, hosted each year in different European cities and designed to inform and inspire millennials to visit the city of Hamburg and its surrounding Metropolitan Region.  Following the previous host cities of Vienna, Copenhagen and Gothenburg, it was London’s turn to host Hamburg on Tour in 2017.

Aimed primarily at young, creative, adventurous, open-minded Londoners, the event set out to increase awareness of the city of Hamburg but most importantly provide an authentic Hamburg experience, encouraging visitors to spread the word about the city’s attributes and to start considering it as an attractive city break option. It was crucial that the event appealed to our target consumer’s ‘experience-led’ mindset. We knew we needed to design the event to be an immersive, highly creative experience in order to encourage social sharing and to generate the widespread media interest that the client required.

The client, however, had already secured their preferred location for the event – The Boiler House on London’s busy Brick Lane. Our Hamburg on Tour event needed to compete with other diverse experiences taking place in the area. We needed to work extra hard to attract our target market into our venue, luring them in from the street and encouraging them to stay and enjoy all that our event had to offer.

The Hamburg on Tour event needed to:

Objective 1:

Inform young, adventurous Londoners about all that Hamburg has to offer, from its music and festival scene, to its culture, food and drink

Objective 2:

Make young, adventurous Londoners want to visit Hamburg

Objective 3:

Encourage social sharing to further raise awareness of Hamburg as a cool city break destination

Objective 4:

Be designed in a way to generate the most and broadest attention from the media

Objective 5:

Leave an emotional footprint in the host city and a strong, authentic impression of Hamburg

We encouraged young, adventurous Londoners to ‘Feel the Rhythm of Hamburg’ through our immersive Hamburg On Tour event. Taking place over two days in Brick Lane’s historic Boiler House, thousands of visitors, influencers and media representatives experienced Hamburg’s pulsating music and festival scene, arts and culture highlights and regional food and drink. Currywurst anyone?

The event was set against the backdrop of a stunning Hamburg skyline, with Hamburg’s finest new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, taking centre stage. Fourteen acts performed live, covering a range of genres and shaking the stage with varying sounds from jazz to rock.  Workshops, including street art and craft beer sampling, cemented Hamburg as an exciting city with plenty to offer the young adventurer craving experiences galore. A ‘street market’ with stalls aplenty gave our event partners the chance to showcase their business and services, while in the opposite corner live painting took place by Hamburg artist Uli Pforr and VR headsets provided virtual tours of the Elbphilarmonie and Metropolitan Region. A further area was dedicated to screening films from the Hamburg International Film Festival, while outside a jazz DJ entertained drinkers supping on beers brewed especially for the event. 

Iconic 6-foot high sailor statues were dotted over London to create intrigue and raise awareness of the event. Londoners were encouraged to share a selfie with the sailors to win a weekend in Hamburg.

Pavement graphics, a guerrilla poster campaign and pre-booked 6 sheets in key locations also promoted the event.

Three high-profile bloggers were appointed Hamburg on Tour ambassadors and a blogger specific reception and two InstaWalks ensured a strong social reach.

A range of additional B2B events further supported the relationship between Hamburg and London, including a reception and discussion panel at Tate Modern, networking events and pre-event tours for media and tourism contacts.


  • 11,100 visitors to the event
  • 88% were younger than 40
  • 87% discovered new sides of Hamburg, with the festival and music scene at the top of their list
  • 92% said the event made them want to visit Hamburg
  • #HamburgSailorSelfie competition to win a weekend in Hamburg – share a selfie with one of the sailor statues dotted around London for the chance to win
  • instagrammable street art and graffiti near to the venue further raised awareness and encouraged social sharing
  • pre-event coverage in the 3 months preceding the event featured three high-profile bloggers as official Hamburg on Tour ambassadors
  • festival videos shared on own social media channels
  • preview blogger tours and two InstaWalks
  • “Feel the rhythm of Hamburg” playlist on Spotify
  • varied programme of live music, workshops, films, food, drink, art and culture, all set against a stunning Hamburg skyline – maximizing visitors’ social currency
  • Hamburg on Tour Facebook followers increased by 22% in 2017, with a total reach of 671,017
  • Instagram followers increased by 130% with a total reach of 44,547
  • Twitter followers increased by 600% with a total reach of 484,542
  • as above, the varied programme of unique, free events generated good PR coverage with an estimated total media reach of more than 130m across print, online, radio, social media, event calendars, TV and others.
  • very strong anecdotal feedback received including:

“Great beer, great coffee, great workshops, loved the live bands and the overall amazing vibes.”

Event visitor

“Congratulations! We thought it was a really innovative event and, having visited Hamburg earlier this year, we felt this really captured the essence of the city for prospective visitors.”

Blogger, Along Dusty Roads.

We worked hard to create an impactful event within a huge space by using highly creative production and impressive AV and lighting. This provided an attractive backdrop for visitors and media partners, driving press coverage and social share-ability.  

The production budget required meticulous planning and covered bespoke market-style booths for partner activity and social spaces for workshops and VIP gatherings. Every corner of the venue was designed and dressed to create maximum impact. Where possible we maximised the budget allocation by using the venue’s existing features and simply enhanced them. The chimneybreast at the centre of the venue became the impressive Elbphilarmonie centrepiece, while the venue’s exposed brickwork was used to perfectly convey the gritty brickwork so prevalent in Hamburg. The production budget also needed to cover the placement of the sailor statues across the city as well as the flytipping and clean graffiti stencils on pavements nearby – all of which drove reach and awareness of the event.


For information about Jackanory visit https://wearejackanory.com/



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