Popkomm is an international trade show for the music and entertainment business, and also integrates a congress and festival. It is held in Berlin but has had entries from at least 55 other countries. Popkomm is organised by Popkomm GmbH, Berlin.
Popkomm first took place in Düsseldorf in 1989, and at the time was a meeting place of little-known independent musicians. In 1990 Popkomm moved to Cologne, and had already become an international meeting place of the industry. Cologne hosted the show until 2003 when then relocated to Berlin in 2004. In Berlin the event developed into one of the three biggest international music b2b events, until the organizing Popkomm GmbH postponed the event in 2009 for one year due to reclining revenues. In 2010, Popkomm will be reactivated as part of the umbrella brand Berlin Music Week and will take place at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport.
The Popkomm Congress is where important industry issues are discussed, new developments are introduced and information is presented by international representatives of the business. For trade visitors there are panels with prominent figures and keynote speakers from the highest tiers of the music business. Figures such as Feargal Sharkey, former lead singer of the Undertones and chairman of the UK’s Live Music Forum, Gilberto Gil, world-famous musician and Minister of Culture of Popkomm’s partner country Brazil, Claude Nobs, founder of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, and boy group impresario Lou Pearlman were all present at Popkomm 2006. In 2007 the main topics were digital music, live music, mobile entertainment and the creative industries. In addition to highlighting these issues Popkomm also organises attractions by country, for example in 2006 the focus was on Japan, Brazil and Russia. In 2010, the congress will also take place at the airport Tempelhof and will be organized by a2n, all together now.
For people in the business Popkomm has become a must on the trade show calendar, a show that gives the industry a strong economic boost and in terms of cultural politics exerts an important influence. For years numerous labels, majors and indies, distributors, publishers and enterprises close to the music industry have been represented at Popkomm. With a display area covering 16,000 square metres, a total of 817 exhibitors, 589 of whom were from 55 countries outside Germany, attendance far in excess of 15,000 trade visitors, Popkomm 2006 broke all previous records. However, over the years it has not only been the number of exhibitors, the total of countries represented, and visitor attendance which have been rising, but also the volume of successful talks and deals taking place at this trade fair. Following Popkomm 2006, 72 per cent of exhibitors and 41 per cent of trade visitors reported concluding successful business. In 2010, for the first time in its history Popkomm will also introduce a B2C marketplace reaching out to the end consumer.
In addition to the trade show and the congress the third element of Popkomm’s threefold concept that takes place every year is a phenomenal festival. In 2006 Popkomm organised stage performances by over 2,000 musicians from 26 countries, over 400 acts performed more than 600 hours of live music at 30 clubs in Berlin, in front of audiences totalling 70,000. Among the big names in 2006 were Billy Talent, Chicks on Speed, Joy Denalane, Kaizers Orchestra, ¡Forward, Russia!, the Aggrolites, the Long Blondes, Sugarplum Fairy, Juliette and the Licks and Lunik.
Popkomm IMEA: the awards
Popkomm IMEA stands for the ”Innovation in Music and Entertainment Awards“, these are presented in recognition of innovative business ideas by people in the music industry with a focus on young enterprises who are making a name for themselves with, for instance, creative ideas on digital music marketing or mobile entertainment.
Classical music is popular and the market for classical music is growing noticeably. Popkomm tapped into this trend years ago and has made Popkomm Classics a successful part of its concept. Labels, associations, publishers and classical music media are represented at the Classic Lounge, a place where they can showcase new and innovative trends of the classical music market, and where they can promote an exchange of views by meeting interesting people and holding constructive talks in a relaxed atmosphere. Classical music is also an integral part of the Popkomm Congress. In 2006 the panels discussed innovative educational programmes and the power of classical music. In 2006 "ReComposed by Jimi Tenor“ celebrated a world premiere at Berlin's Deutsche Oper.
Other music fairs
- Eurosonic in Groningen, the Netherlands
- MIDEM in Cannes, France
- South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, USA
- WOMEX - the world music expo made in Berlin - travels through Europe