is Popkomm dead now?

Next Popkomm to take place in 2010

read the latest press relaease from Popkomm.

actually we all know what that means. you don’t postpone an annual event one year. That’s ridiculous to believe.  But even more barefaced they headline ‘the industry’ did so:
Music industry postpones industry’s global event for one year

Berlin, 19 June 2009 – Amid continuing difficulties within the industry and in agreement with the Association of Independent Sound Media Companies (VUT) and the Association of the German Music Industry (BVMI), Popkomm GmbH has decided to postpone the music industry platform Popkomm for one year. Popkomm will be taking place again in Berlin in summer 2010, with a different general concept. Managing Director of Popkomm GmbH Dr. Ralf Kleinhenz: “A situation that was becoming clear early this year at Midem in Cannes also seems to be affecting Popkomm in Berlin. Despite positive reactions to the new event location and a satisfactory number of bookings by exhibitors, because of the economic situation we anticipate a considerable decline in trade visitor attendance. Out of responsibility to-wards the exhibitors we have therefore decided to postpone Popkomm for one year”.

To speak it to the point, that’s bullshit.
Not the industry postponed the event, but Messe Berlin did – the public institution funding Popkomm.
A brandnew concept augures Kleinhenz shall save Popkomm, an event that was seen as one of the few innovative events anyway?
If that’s your explanations, I’m not buying it.

Lacking revenues can’t be the whole true.
Fairs/ trade shows only partly do run a revenue business but are rather to promote regions to certain businesses. Sometimes they even simply work as PR for a city. Berlin has not a nameable heavy industries but is rather biased and therefore dependent on creative industries or service providers. Governor Wowereit put it ‘Berlin is poor but sexy’ – maybe not the smartest political punchline, but a reason why Berlin bought Popkomm in the first place – to support their regional music- and related creative industries as well as to promote Berlin as one of the worlds music capitols.
And Popkomm did quite well. If you look at an industry, as much battered by dumps in their turnover as the music industry, the numbers Popkomm generated out of this mess the last years where more than satisfying.
But if it’s not the money?

The concept was wrong…
The conference already developed into one of the most cutting edge events. From a closed door think tank of the industries big brains to international matchmaking events Popkomm invented and set standards. Prominent supporters, like Peter Jenner or Robin Gibb wouldn’t necessarily need to be flogging a dead horse, right? But Popkomm found and invited people from the still music buying fields and branches, like music supervisors, etc.
Than there was a festival reported to be a goldmine by bookers worldwide. And honest – a festival, happening in some 30 of the hottest clubs in Berlin, well that’s not bad, isn’t it? So if you’re about to spend money on showcasing a band – on flying your band to an abroad city, buy them a few days accommodation and food and stuff – you’d like to make it a good trip and an efficient trip. And does such a festival in Berlin sound considerable? Yes it does.

But does it show a significant insight to the needs of the industry, if you fire the festival manager, the A&R of a music event? Or if you cut the budget of a conference manager so far, that she cannot even pay flights to keynote speakers any more? Not to speak from inviting artists that have no label to pay for them, or invite press representatives, or panelists from industries that YOU are interested in hooking up with?
So let’s see what new concept they will come up with, if it doesn’t consist of this very basic things I’d demand. I heard rumors Ms Gross (director of Popkomm) is planing to link Popkomm to fashion, a brave move as the fashion industry is not interested in the music industry any more since at least 7 years…

I presume they don’t have the slightest idea of what to do, what the industry needs, but fired all their employees that where at the pulse of the industries. Well sounds like a plan, but I’m willing to take every bet that there will be no Popkomm in 2010.

If they don’t have an idea of what to do – let’s develop some ideas ourselves.
Should such an event be reanimated? and if yes, in Berlin, or elsewhere?
What would be on your wishlist, what would be your vital requirements to an event, what are your K.O. criterias?

start commenting and seeding.

Mr. Fogg

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