Popkomm To Rock Berlin

It might lack the clout of Holland’s Eurosonic-Noorderslag but this year’s Popkomm is claiming to be the biggest international showcase in Europe in terms of the number of acts who’ll appear.

Expected to show up in Berlin September 19-21 are 450 acts, including the U.K.’s The Go! Team, Paul Weller and Billy Bragg, Sweden’s The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Finland’s Hanoi Rocks, Denmark’s Saybia and Australia’s Architecture In Helsinki, which is still up from downunder after a successful European summer festival run.

The lineup also has The Robocop Kraus, Ladytron, Nitzer Ebb, French pop singer Benjamin Biolay and U.S. DJ Felix Da Housecat, among a list that includes – as the Popkomm press release says – "rocking alternative funk from Lithuania to Latin-rap from Brazil and electropop from Iceland."

Staging 450 acts and DJs from 35 countries across four nights is Popkomm’s biggest effort to stand alongside the Groningen event and the U.K.’s ILMC as the major annual European gathering points for live music industry professionals.

"There is no substitute for live music. And Popkomm provides a real live music experience. Popkomm 2007 is definitely the place to be if you want to discover new music," event director Katja Bittner said at a September 3 press conference, although it’s only since the recorded music business has started to shrink drastically that the German gathering has started voicing that opinion.

The organizers will be hoping for a substantial hike in the number of delegates from that sector.

Carl Leighton-Pope, who has historically opened ILMC and chairs the event’s best-attended session, has also been brought in to provide one of the Popkomm keynotes.

He’ll be speaking alongside some high-ranking German politicians including federal minister for economics Michael Glos and state minister of culture Bernd Neumann.

The other industry speakers include Billy Bragg, Mike Batt and German manager Andreas "Bär" Läsker.