Popkomm Silences Doubters

Reports that Popkomm 2010 was in doubt after last year’s bash was canceled have proved to be unfounded and the only remaining question is whether Germany can support two major conferences within a couple of weeks of each other.

BVMI chief exec Dieter Gorny’s fears that Popokomm would come up short of being the international event the country’s music industry merits appear to have been calmed by shifting it to Tempelhof Airport and making it part of Berlin Music Week (BMW).

Sheltering under the BMW umbrella, rather than continuing as a stand-alone event, looks to be the price Popkomm has had to pay to survive.

Although most of the Popkomm showcases will be at Tempelhof, there will also be bands at the Kulturbrauerei.

Being subsumed into BMW doesn’t seem to have deterred the exhibitors at Popkomm’s trade show, where Universal – the world’s largest music company – and the American Association of Independent Music have already confirmed.

Popkomm director Daniel Barkowski says their participation, along with that of the various music export agencies from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, underlines the “international importance” of the event.

The International Music Manager’s Forum (IMMF), the Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) and the organisation Musikmanager & Consultants e.V. (IMUC) have also said they’ll be attending and are already planning their board meetings.

However, the final attendance figure – which has been dropping steadily over the last few years – may depend on how well Popkomm (Sept. 8-10) stands up to the competition from Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival Sept. (23-25), which last year made up for the absence of Popkomm by starting its own conference.

The presence of Cologne’s C/O Pop (June 23-28) and rumours of new events in Munich and Frankfurt mean they may not be the only two cities slugging it out – and spoiling each other’s chances in the bargain.