I’m sitting in a train back to Berlin from Cologne where I attended ℅ Pop / c’nb convention.
But more on that later on.
The funny thing was that rumors and discussions about Berlin Music Week kind of dominated and covered my stay at ℅ Pop.
For example, Dieter Gorny, founder of Popkomm and recently elected for president of the German branch of the ifpi BVMI started to pick at Berlin Music Week and Popkomm in an interview with German press agency dpa few days ago.
In this interview Gorny grumbles about Berlin Music Week being regional, that something like Popkomm could only work out if the hosting city was putting a little effort into developing into a music capital itself, and finally about himself not being involved in any steering committee of Berlin Music Week. Here is some excerpt of this interview, it’s worth reading:
dpa: What is the new concept of Popkomm?
Gorny: I heard that there is going to be some Popkomm-like event happening in Berlin, but also the true Popkomm is being critically questioned.
dap: Well, shouldn’t you know a little more than that – as the president of the German branch of ifpi?
Gorny: Like others, we were not asked for input (…).
dpa: you sound offended – will your association back out?
Gorny: (…) how can we back out of something we’ve never been involved in? (…) what will happen in September will ad to the city and it’s (!)local scene (…). But nothing fundamental or big is going to happen, a local scene is organizing itself, which is nice, but there is no relevance for the international music biz on the horizon. Only if the hosting city itself wants to be of international relevance for the music industry, we will see a beneficial outcome from such events.
dpa: Is there a need for a Popkomm?
Gorny: We need an international event for sure, but I think of something like a think-tank conference opened by a keynote by Steve Jobs.
Holy shit, that’s what I call a plan, guess no one ever had this idea before… But demanding stuff no one could ever deliver makes him look like the wise guy and all others that actually try to set up something like a bunch loosers. But what could be his aim behind this?
Being the excellent lobbyist he is – mainly for his own causes – not being asked (which I actually doubt as he is involved in nearly everything in Germany) was a major affront to him. Of course his reflex must be to act upset and start picking on Popkomm – his own project – in return.
His interview now made Harald Wolf, Berlin Senator for economics and technology who is supporting Berlin Music Week, to issue a press release stating that the Managing Director of the BVMI Stefan Michalk has actually been informed about all plans regarding Berlin Music Week.
And here we are in media res, Berlin Music Week still is a good idea. Joining forces of various institutions, interests and industries under one umbrella, all adding to the momentum of Berlin as a capitol of creative industries.
But what happens is that the egos behind this different parties obviously spend more time not to communicate, to construct big political issues and a fat slow overhead and steering committees instead of putting things on the track together as fast as possible.
Popkomm decided to quit it’s conference and former club festival, and let partners do organize this events.
Regarding the conference, all2gethernow recently dropped some names and rather vague headlines: i.a.
– Marc Chung (president of the German Indie Ass. VUT / Freibank Publishing) – the future of labeling,
– Rubert Hine (producer) – the artists role
– Daniel Haver (Native Instruments) and Andrew Dubber (New Music Strategies) – new business models
– Martin Atkins (Invisible Records) – DIY marketing
– John Hendrik Weitzmann (Creative Commons Germany) – new licensing models
– Monika Bestle (running a small venue in Bavaria)- will report about her hassle with the German Collecting Society GEMA, which she refused to pay.
To summarize it’s new digital businesses, DIY, licensing issues, artists perspectives and the usual associations/ collecting societies panels.
Regarding the festival the first 15 acts and 3 showcases are being announced already and things seem to be on the track. A full lineup will be published latest in August. Checking the Popkomm Live-Blog I found 3 showcase nights (swedish almost famous club, a night organized by Brighton based showcase festival and conference The Great Escape, and one by Spanish Festival Primavera Sound) and of course their partnership with the BERLIN FESTIVAL – which is no business showcase but a public festival.
But you hear harsh complaints about Popkomms communication to partners. E.g. the Kulturbrauerei, the former festival center of Popkomm, confirms they were communicated in various press releases by Popkomm GmbH as the festival center again already end of 2009 and asked to block slots for concerts till two weeks ago and now got informed by Popkomm that they will not do any showcases there at all. To get this straight, it’s something standard to take options and then to decide not to take these, as in Popkomm’s case they decided to move most showcase activities to Tempelhof airfield, where the actual trade show will be. But the fact that all parties involved do communicate seperately in contradicting statements to third parties is rather strange.
Just 10 weeks before the event such rumors must not occur, and be opposed by a good joint PR, but as Berlin Music Week has a long tradition of bad communication, Gorny is not the only one being rather well equipped with issues to attack Berlin Music Week. And this is a shame, as I still do believe Berlin Music Week is of major imprtance for Berlin!
All this makes Gorny’s critics rather look like bailing out a thing he doesn’t believe in any more. He’ll be the one who knew, who’s voice and advice was not heard, who could have changed things, and at the same time is involved in his own event plannings too… Chapeau to his wits.
as I received quite some response about some articles, complaining about posts spreading rumors, disinformation or openly affront me, I’d recommend you using the comment option on the respective post.