Popkomm Slips Away

Popkomm Director Daniel Barkowski’s belief that Germany’s longstanding trade fair, conference and showcase festival would soon be restored to its former glories appears shattered, as the annual gathering looks to have expired.

For years, falling attendance has caused doubts about Popkomm’s ability to survive. Now it seems the famous event has gone without fanfare, peacefully passing away unnoticed.

At least, that’s what most in the German music industry believe.

There’s been no official announcement since it became clear that Popkomm would no longer be part of Berlin Music Week, which is already making plans to fill whatever void would be left by Popkomm’s demise.

Despite several emails to various staff at Messe Berlin, which has organised Popkomm since it moved from Cologne in 2004, so far it’s been impossible to get confirmation of what’s happening with Popkomm 2012 or if the event will take place again.

The staff who’d normally be working on Popkomm are believed to have been shifted to other trade fairs and projects.
“It’s as if they don’t want to say anything because they want it to just slip away,” one Popkomm regular told Pollstar.

In 2009 the organisers waited until the third week of June before announcing that year’s Popkomm was canceled due to lack of interest.

Popkomm managing director Ralf Kleinhenz said the economic situation meant the event was expecting “a considerable decline” in attendance.

Although Popkomm doesn’t disclose its delegate numbers, attendance was reported to have dropped even lower in the last two years.

Berlin Music Week, which takes place in the city’s Kreuzberg district Sept. 5-9, intends to beef up its content as far as networking, conference panels, workshops, and showcasing opportunities are concerned.

“Berlin Music Week is now a content provider rather than purely an umbrella marketing brand and I am working with them to raise awareness of the event internationally and to lead the booking team for the music programme,” former Popkomm booker Paul Cheetham explained.