No Popkomm – It’s Official

Germany’s oldest annual conference, showcase and trade fair will not happen in 2012.

Most people in the German live music industry had assumed the longstanding Popkomm and accompanying showcase festival had been scrapped, but conference organiser Messe Berlin has apparently been keeping quiet about the cancellation.

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

“Unfortunately I have to tell you that the Popkomm is not taking place this year in Berlin,” Messe Berlin press officer Yasmine Abbou explained, confirming that her organisation hadn’t previously made any announcement regarding the cancellation.

At press time it wasn’t possible to discover if the event is skipping a year, as it did in 2009, or if it’s gone for good.

“For the moment Popkomm is under conceptual construction,” says a note on its website.

After the 2009 cancellation, which wasn’t announced until the last week of June and was the result of poor ticket sales, Popkomm underwent what could also have been called a “conceptual construction,” attaching itself on to Berlin Music Week in an unsuccessful bid to boost flagging attendance.

It’s also faced strong competition from Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival, which in the last four years has prospered as much as Popkomm has shrunk and is now the main focus for many German and European conference-goers.

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.

This year’s Reeperbahn Festival Sept. 20-22 will team with various music export offices to present showcase opportunities for emerging talent from Sweden, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland and Holland, which will be part of the event’s evening showcase programme.