I was invited for a talk with Popkomm managing director Dr. Ralf Kleinhenz last wednesday, to get some background info on Popkomm and how it will be integrated in the Berlin Music Week.
Here is what I heard:
Berlin Music Week is an umbrella brand under which Popkomm will take place with various other events, parties, meetings. Berlin Music Week will take place Sept. 6. (monday) – 12. (sunday), partly overlapping ifa, a hughe consumer electronic fair, as well as Medienwoche, a conference on terrestrial radio and TV that is attached to ifa. Both will happen Sept. 3. to 8. (anyone looking for a hotel will love this).
the general idea:
‘Berlin Music Week’ will coordinate or as they put it ‘curate’, all participating partners during one week. It’s mostly events that tried to fill the gap Popkomm left in 2009, and that are under one roof now, due to Harald Wolf’s commitment, Berlin senator for economy, technology and women. And he assigned spheres of action to the various partners:
Popkomm will do an exhibition,
a2n organized by new thinking supported by Tim Renner will do a music b2b conference.
Music will be provided by Berlin Festival, that debuted last year in Tempelhof, except few showcases Popkomm will do in 6 venues at the Kulturbrauerei.
Of course there will be much rank growth of events and parties during this week, which of course will open some coordination issues.
Popkomm basics – the new concept:
The new concept – in a nutshell – is to reduce the former trade show/conference/festival triumvirate to a basic meeting lounge, that is part of an umbrella event in a shared location, and to involve the music consumer.
In detail, the first 2 days Popkomm will be a meeting area for music professionals (it’s reduced size in terms of hall space implies it’s no trade show any more), plus a b2c stage at the entrance of Tempelhof. Kleinhenz denoted this stage as more biased on major’s artists.
On friday, which is the first day of the Berlin Festival, this meeting area will be open to all festival attendants too.
Popkomm will offer matchmaking sessions again, but no further infrastructure like they did.
What Popkomm will not do any more:
Popkomm quits to integrate sectors like e.g the live business, resellers or advocacy groups, as this elements were dependent either on the combination of conference and floor space or on other infrastructures Pokomm will not provide any more.,.
They will reduce showcases from 35 clubs to 6 venues that are likely to be national presentations and therefore of little use for any booker, label or publisher, and outsorce this business to an external agent.
Popkomm quits all formats integrating new businesses like the think tank that was done in cooperation with Peter Jenner, or their new business award IMEA.
A Popkomm Ticket will be sold 156,-EUR early bird rate and 236,-EUR regular rate from Mai 1st on.
Day tickets for the b2b days will be 94,-EUR, friday tickets including access to the Berlin Festival are 40,-.
Details on exhibition prices etc. can be found here:
Whom do I talk to?
There is no assigned contact persons or communication channels for attendants yet.
All partners do meet once a week and requests (for showcases, panel visibility, etc. ) will be forwarded to the respective partner.
Popkomm is hiring a showcase free lance this days, his name is tba soon.
Until this very moment, Berlin Music Week does not even have a project manager, but they assert to hire one till next week.
Until now there is no agreement between the ‘partners’, if a Popkomm ticket allows you to attend a2n panels or any music event and vice versa.
If all partners of Berlin Music Week agree with the idea of all2gethernow, why does Popkomm still announce their own conference on their homepage?
Such things just leave one skeptical. And as Popkomm offers only one partner hotel and no travel agency/ support at all, this might be taken they don’t expect invasions.
If Popkomm really wants to remain an event of international relevance, what do news like this tell us?
If Berlin Music Week is willing to curate this mess into something valuable, something that will provide a positive impact for the music industry and not only for Berlins tourist industry, why didn’t they start month ago, when Popkomm decided to skip one year? But the partners like Popkomm don’t really show any drive for regaining international relevance.
The only part that is very responsive vivid and into new ideas is a2n. Even though they still lack some basics, they are not about to become another confi where Ted Cohen is interviewing his buddies again, but something really new.