Popkomm Soldiers On

Despite disappointing attendance in 2010, the organisers of Popkomm appear determined to turn the event around, and this year have scheduled the event for Sept. 7-9.

The event has shrunk by half in the last 10 years, but the message coming out of Berlin is that recent changes to the format will turn its fortunes around.

Bolting itself on to the city’s Music Week may attract more people. Paul Cheetham, who recently set up a joint venture management group with Düsseldorf-based SSC Group, will once again be booking the acts.

He says the aim is to “showcase a selection of new artists of the highest quality who are currently on the threshold of breaking into mainstream music.”

Popkomm has apparently suffered from changes in its booking policy and its booking team, but Cheetham points that acts who played the event in 2010 – particularly Kellermensch, My Heart Belongs To Cecilia Winter, Tracer, Fallulah, Iiris, and Murmansk – have either signed recording, publishing or other deals or been offered tours.

Artists wanting to play this year’s Popkomm need to make their applications by May 31.

One of the selection criteria is that the artists must have the support of their country’s export agency or another organization or company exhibiting at Popkomm. Ideally there should be at least one local business partner prepared to help promote showcasing an artist in Berlin.

The Berlin Festival will also be taking place at the city’s old Tempelhof Airport Sept. 9-10. Berlin Music Week is Sept. 7-11.