Pope To Speak At Popkomm

Popkomm is showing its determination to attract more delegates from the live music sector by inviting Carl Leighton-Pope to make one of the opening addresses at this year’s gathering.

Leighton-Pope, who runs his own London-based agency and represents Bryan Adams and Michael Bublé, among others, has proved so popular at the annual International Live Music Conference that his opening address there is inevitably the best-attended session.

Popkomm is clearly serious about its continued courtship of the live music business, one of the few parts of the industry that’s actually making any money, as the trade fair is staging a seminar on the subject called "Live Entertainment as a Cultural and Economic Factor."

It’s being arranged by the Federal Association of the Events Industry (IDKV) – one of Germany’s two major promoters’ organisations – and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Leighton-Pope will speak alongside some high-ranking German politicians including federal minister for economics Michael Glos, who will make a keynote speech on the importance of the music industry as part of the country’s creative industries.

State minister of culture Bernd Neumann will introduce the newly founded Initiative Musik, a private-public partnership between the music industry and the politicians responsible for cultural policy.

It’s intended to forge links between creativity and business for the benefit of Germany’s pop, rock and jazz talent.

Just in case Leighton-Pope begins wondering if he’s walked into Berlin’s Bundestag building rather than the city’s Exhibition Grounds where Popkomm is held, other keynote speakers from the music business will be there, including Billy Bragg, Mike Batt and Andreas "Bär" Läsker.

Bragg, who will also be performing at the Popkomm Festival, will be speaking about the future of the music industry and the power shifts within the business.

Batt, producer of singer Katie Melua, founder and head of the Dramatico label and deputy chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), will be speaking about where the independents and majors currently stand.

Läsker, who is manager of Die Fantastischen Vier and a co-juror of the latest series of "Deutschland Sucht Den Superstarm," will talk about the importance of setting up an artist’s career and competing for the public’s attention.

This year’s Popkomm, the 19th installment, will take place at Berlin Exhibition Grounds September 19-21. It’s the fourth time it’s been held in the city since moving from Cologne.