All the important info

Here we are. The first ever edition of Pop-Kultur opens its doors at Berghain, Berlin. Everything you need to know:

  1. BOX OFFICE: The ticket counter on the festival site opens everyday at noon and closes on Wednesday at 2 am, Thursday 3 am, Friday 3.30 am. You can not pay with credit card there. The box-office prices are: €7 for a talk/reading module or an 6.40 pm live module at Katine, €13 for a 10.20 pm live module at Kantine, €25 for Berghain, €30 for Halle am Berghain. Please, keep an eye on our program and Facebook and Twitter! We will announce there if a module is close to sold out or has sold out already. (For instance there are already no tickets left for Messer, Mary Ocher, the talk of Viv Albertine and a few others.) The online shop sells tickets for each module until two hours prior its begin. Please, use the print-at-home option.
  2. TIMETABLE & GUIDE: Can be downloaded as PDFT here or here (in b/w). The official Pop-Kultur 2015 guide is accessible here. All material will also be displayed physically at the festival site.
  3. OPENING: The festival site opens at 4 pm everyday and closes directly after the end of the last live module. You can hang out in the Bierhof area or the lower level of the Schlackehalle.
  4. MAP: See below or download here Download. Entrance only via Am Wriezener Bahnhof. There’s no entrance via Rüdersdorfer Straße!
    Pop-Kultur Lageplan
  5. FOOD: There are food stands of The Bowl and Hotzenplotz, also the Bierhof Rüdersdorf is open. A variety of meals will be served, including different and tasty vegan and vegetarian options. auf dem Berghain-Gelände geöffnet. Also, there is a merch stand for our acts’ merchandise and our own. Berlin-based book store ocelot presents a well selected introduction into POP literature and photography.
  6. WIFI: The network is called: Electronic Beats, password: Telekom2015.
  7. OTHER FAQ: We’ve answered them all here. Always remember!
    At Berghain, Berghain-Garderobe and Panorama Bar it’s strictly forbidden to take pictures. At Halle am Berghain, Schlackehalle and Kantine you may photograph for private purposes only. Professional cameras, recording and video devices are not allowed to be brought to the festival site at all.
    No photos at Berghain

Have fun at Pop-Kultur 2015! This is going to be great!

The last program updates

Update, August 28:

The surprise guests for Sophie Hunger‘s huge headliner performance at Halle am Berghain later tonight are… 

Tobias Jundt of Bonaparte and Käptn Peng!

The two will join our festival blogger on stage. There are a very few tickets left – better hurry! For istance, the talk with New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Dave Haslam at Berghain-Garderobe is already sold out.

Alec Empire has fell ill (Get well soon, Alec!) and hence can not attend his talk at Schlackehalle with Dieter Gorny, Anne Haffmans, and – as a guest – Heiko Maas. Daniel Meteo will replace him. Please, find the whole updated info here.

The SPEX session on representation and gender in pop got a new line-up. (Talk will be held in German!) Editor-in-chief Torsten Groß will now sit down with activist, author and musician Sandra Grether, label manager Anne Haffmans, lyricist and musician Balbina and former Femen-activist Theresa Lehmann (»Hinter den Brüsten«) at Midnight at Schlackehalle. Ronja von Rönne sadly had to cancel. All details here.

Update, August 25:

»I don’t wanna die« – »Victoria«-director Sebastian Schipper transfers his own movie into a new dimension for Pop-Kultur. On Wednesday at Midnight and at Schlackehalle he will host a very special, interactive screening of »Victoria«, deconstructing the relation between image and sound. Until someone dies… or not. The event will be held in German, further details here.

A few hours earlier Berghain will see the world premiere of another movie called »Emocean«. The band Fenster, who is the creative DIY powerhouse behind this piece, will screen and perform it in an unique movie-concert-performance which will take a bit longer than originally planned. Since we don’t want to cut a movie we’ve moved the Fenster gig to 7.40 pm to 8.40 (instead of 9 pm to 9.40). Hence, Hinds will now appear on the Berghain stage from 9 pm to 9.40. The rest of the schedule including Owen Pallett & stargaze, Wooden Wisdom & DJ Fitz, Isolation Berlin, Inga Copeland, Lapalux among others stays as previously announced and can be found here.

Have fun!

Join our Nachwuchs workshop on sampling with Native Instruments!

Great news! On Wednesday next week not only the first edition of our festival begins, but »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«, our workshop program for young talents from the music business. Now we are happy to be able to offer a last special to aspiring beat-wizards and music producers!

We have made available a more extra tickets for our workshop »Sampling Techniques with Native Instruments’ Maschine and Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library«, hosted by Boris Megza and Robot Koch, taking place on both, August 27 and 28, at the Workshops of the Stage Service of the Opera in Berlin (Am Wriezener Bahnhof). Please, find the detailed workshop description below. You can attend by writing an e-mail with your full name and the date you want to attend to First-come, first-served. The fee is €10 plus 19 % VAT and can be paid at the site. Computers, software, food and drinks will be provided.


In this intimate music production workshop, one gets all the advanced-level tips and tricks on how to select, process and manipulate samples and incorporate them into your tracks – using Maschine, Native Instruments’ fully integrated groove production system, and exploring the CRT Sample Library, a growing online source of royalty-free audio samples. Following an introduction and a demo by Boris Megza and Robot Koch, one can get hands-on with Maschine and dive into the CRT Sample Library to come up with one’s own musical sketches. The two experts will be at hand to assist with any questions and share feedback.

Under his moniker Comfort Fit Berlin-based producer Boris Megza is well known for his formidable and versatile musical range, as expressed on his recent releases for First World Records and Freude am Tanzen. Furthermore, he lectures for Native instruments in metropolises around the globe.

Robot Koch is an award winning producer and composer from Berlin, currently living in Los Angeles. His unique sound of organic electronic music has been called »wonderful and strange – pop music from the future« by John Peel himself. Koch has released several albums and EPs on Labels such as Monkeytown, Bpitch Control, Project Mooncircle and toured internationally. He won the German Music Composers Award 2014 in the category »Best Composer Electronic Music«.

Depending on the demand this workshop will be held either in German or English.

#new: Anika & T.Raumschmiere, Kane West, Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs

T.Raumschmiere by Souenellen
T.Raumschmiere, Photo: Souenellen

A few updates on the line-up for our first ever Pop-Kultur edition: MssingNo sadly had to cancel, but Kane West and T.Raumschmiere – the latter as Anika’s partner in crime – have been added to the bill in return. Furthermore, we’ve launched a new online platform featuring the 150 selected participants of »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«. But one thing at a time.

We regret to inform you that MssingNo can’t play his live set at Pop-Kultur. But the Thursday module at Berghain and Panorama Bar he used to be part of got some special additions. Marco Haas alias T.Raumschmiere will perform with Anika. Haas is a legendary electro punk performer and boss of Shitkatapult records, which makes him one of the most bustling figures of Berlin’s music scene over the years. With Anika he shares a common tendency towards navel-gazing and warm hypnotic beats to lose your mind to. After collaborating for Haas’ new album – in a world premier – the two will perform together for the first time live at »Pop-Kultur«.  (Tickets, time table)

Later that night Kane West will deejay at Panorama Bar. And no, we didn’t forget the »Y«. Kane West is really called Kane West. That also clarifies who’s got the best stage name in the program – Ah, what the heck: in the whole season. The London based producer and DJ is part of the PC Music-clique, that is currently showering the pop world with digital cuteness and ecstatic keyed up plastic-hyper-trance beats. His sound? Well, let’s say, it is the audio equivalent to a rainbow stroboscope. (Tickets, time table)

The final night of the festival (which will be Friday’s) will also Dave Haslam, legendary DJ of the as legendary Factory Records-and-NewOrder-run Fac 51 The Haçienda, deejay until the bitter sweet end at the very same place. (Tickets, time table) Haslam will also read from his new book on the history of British club culture, »Life After Dark«, at Schlackehalle, where he will host a talk and reading with New Order’s Bernard Sumner prior to his own appearance. (Tickets, time table)

But let’s move on to a group of 150 young talented people from all over the world who are neither history nor part of our line-up – not yet at least. Among almost 400 applications our professional jury has the selected the participants for the first ever edition of our workshop programme »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«. Taking place from August 26 to 27 the programme will see the newcomers meet and learn from experts such as Matthew Herbert, Kiasmos, Matt McDonald and many others at the workshops of the Bühnenservice der Stiftung Oper in Berlin next to Berghain. Already now you can visit our updated to have a look on the new online platform we created for the participants. Here they can not only get in contact with each other beforehand, but also introduce themselves and their work to the public. On the platform’s starting page our team will feature the weekly highlights from the community from now on. For the start we feature contributions by Berlin-based musician Ava Bonam, Karachi-native and producer Tollcrane and the multi-talent that is Julia Vorkefeld, who shared a live set by her band Dinger with us. Germany’s always critical opinion-leading pop-culture publication SPEX has already put Nachwuchs-participant Fatime Kosumi on their site after they discovered her here.

And for the record, some numbers on »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«: 84 young women and 66 men from 23 countries will participate in the 31 workshops during two days. Among them are 27 cultural journalists, 80 musicians, DJs, and producers, and 43 club or festival promoters. Enough reasons to get excited for the programme’s outcome, don’t you agree?

How to Pop-Kultur with… Sibylle Berg

Sibylle Berg by Katherina Lütscher
Photo: Katherina Lütscher

More than 60 different acts will appear over the course of three days at six venues during our festivals. Now, friends of Pop-Kultur are recommending their personal favourites out of one day’s line-up.

»Fragen Sie Frau Sibylle« (Ask Miss Sibylle) is the title of a very popular German column. And so we did. Hence author, theatre director and our most favourite twitter person, Sibylle Berg, guides you through the programme: »On Thursday I will –either mentally or for real– attend the talk with Dr. Tom Fritz at Berghain Garderobe. I have a soft spot for neuo science as for pretty much everything I don’t know anything about. Afterwards I stop by at Kantine for Mary Ocher. After all I’m the producer of one of her songs, which you can listen to below, there you go! And then all these DJs and… what’s the political correct female term again? I have no idea, but they are all to slow for me anyway. When it comes to my musical taste I’m still deeply stuck in the loops of gabber – but what’s most likely to sound like some noise seems to be Girl Band, again at Kantine. So I’ll take them along and then I’ll probably get pretty hungry and will have to leave urgently.«


The complete programme of Thursday and the rest of the festival can be found here. If you want to turn Sibylle Berg’s recommendations into a ticket for yourself you can safe 10% with our combo-ticket option called »Wahl-Abo« for Thursday. There’s currently a crowdfunding campaign to bring the English version of her feminist play »Und jetzt: Die Welt!« on a tour through the UK.

How to Pop-Kultur mit … Dirk von Lowtzow

Dirk von Lowtzow

Über 60 verschiedene Acts treten bei unserem Festival in sechs Venues auf. Pop-Kultur-Freunde stellen von nun an ihre Favoriten vor.

Den Auftakt macht Tocotronics Dirk von Lowtzow: »Am Freitag gehe ich zunächst zur Lesung von Bernard Sumner in der Garderobe. Ich bin großer New-Order-Fan, wie man vielleicht auf dem neuen, roten Tocotronic-Album hören kann. Dann besuche ich meine Freundin Sophie Hunger in der Halle am Berghain. Wir verstehen uns prima, leider verpasste ich ihre Konzerte in der Vergangenheit regelmässig. Später schlendere ich ins Berghain, ich will das Duo 18+ sehen. Ich glaube die sind sehr modern und sollen toll sein. Danach bin ich voraussichtlich betrunken und gehe nach Hause.«


Das gesamte Programm für das Festival und den Freitag sowie den Timetable findet Ihr hier. Wer sich Dirk von Lowtzows Empfehlungen in einem Ticket zusammenstellen will, bekommt mit dem »Wahl-Abo« für den Freitag einen Rabatt von 10%. »Tocotronic«, das neue Album der Band, ist bei Vertigo / Universal erschienen.

No Michanika, but Anika solo

We regret to inform you that the premiere of Michanika, the collaboration between Michael Rother and Anika during our festival, sadly has to be cancelled.

Anika in her own words:

Due to time constraints and pressing individual artistic commitments, our collaborative project ‘Michanika’ must be put on hold for the foreseeable future and all performances of ‘Michanika’ are cancelled. Furthermore, there will be no Anika cameo performances on the forthcoming Michael Rother tour to Spain and Portugal.
Many thanks for understanding!

Anika will perform a solo show instead. Pop-Kultur is currently working with her on turning this concert into a special and exclusive performance. Date and time will be the same: August 27, Berghain – joining a bill with MssingNo, Kiasmos and The Juan McLean among others. Our complete festival programme can be found here. Please, stay tuned!

My first steps… with Kiasmos’ Ólafur Arnalds

Kiasmos are Janus Rasmussen (on the left) and Ólafur Arnalds

As a project of two friends Janus Rasmussen and Ólafur Arnalds like to describe their common baby, electronic outfit Kiasmos. Conceived other many years in various relaxed recording sessions, last year’s debut album presented the listeners a rich techno-narrative one might have not expected from the two. For Pop-Kultur Kiasmos will now join our multi-level approach, playing not only a surely memorable show at Berghain, but also hosting a workshop on »Live Composing« during »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«.
Reason enough to collect some first words of advice already. So on the day before leaving for a big US tour one half of the duo, Islandic BAFTA winning musician, composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds took some time off reviewing his first step to success.

ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: As I kid I went to a music school. Later, when I started out making music, I was very ambitious and did everything myself. I grew up in the punk scene, a very DIY environment, where nobody has an agent and nobody has a manager. I got into music that way and I didn’t have a record label around me nor any program. To be honest, there wasn’t very much support for me in the beginning but still I was happy.
I was also very ambitious with playing live and booked all my tours myself. I think, if you do it like this you will meet and find the right people to work with. But if you just sit around waiting for someone to discover you and make you famous nothing ever will happen. My agent and I met quite early for instance.
In 2008, two or three years after I started touring, I stopped working in my side job as a sound guy at a venue, so that was also a music-related job. I had also worked in bars for short periods of time.
And I didn’t have a mentor or someone similar. I just went out and did things. You learn from your mistakes. You learn just by doing stuff. This way you develop an idea of what you want to be. And you have to go to gigs and see other acts. When I’m playing a festival set with Kiasmos today I always try to see as many other act as possible. You can get your inspiration from basically everywhere.
Also, I wouldn’t have a career without the internet. Here I met Robert of Erased Tapes. But wait, no, I guess I would have found other ways if it hadn’t been there. I never had a plan B. I don’t know who I would be if I wouldn’t have become a musician. There was never anything else I wanted to do.

Kiasmos will appear live at Pop-Kultur on August 27, playing Berghain together with MssingNo, Michanika (Michael Rother & Anika), The Juan McLean among others. You can get your ticket in our online-shop. Also, Neneh Cherry with RocketNumberNine, Herbert, @NeinQuarterly, Mute’s Daniel Miller, Mourn are up for this day – so might want to get yourself a 10% discount by buying the »Wahl-Abo« (combo ticket option) for this day. Young musicians, DJ’s, producers, label-, club-, and festival-managers, journalists, bloggers and students of these disciplines can apply for »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« from now on until July 10th, 2015.

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«: Apply now!

Young musicians, DJ’s, producers, label-, club-, and festival-managers, journalists, bloggers and students of these disciplines can apply for the program from now until July 10th, 2015.

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« is part of the new festival »Pop-Kultur«, which premieres in August 2015 at the Berghain in Berlin. The newcomer program consists of workshop- and talk-formats as well as case studies with professionals from the music business.

Internationally renowned musicians, producers and theorists, that will also appear at the »Pop-Kultur«-festival, share there expertise in the nearby workshops of the Stage Services of the Berlin Opera Foundation from August 26-27, 2015.

Ólafur Arnalds, Jens Balzer (Berliner Zeitung), Ben de Biel (Maria), Stephanie von Beauvais, Anne Haffmans (Mute, Domino), Matthew Herbert, Native Instruments, Dota Kehr, Moses Schneider, Sookee, Maurice Summen (Staatsakt), Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt (University of Hildesheim) and many more will be involved with the workshops.

Their experience reports and background stories will convey a realistic and practical view on working in the pop-music-business. Moreover the experts offer their support in the development of your individual talents. And all this happens right in the middle of an inspiring environment: the site of creative production for the theatre- and opera-stages of Berlin.

Until July 15th, an expert jury will choose the 150 participants of »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« from all applications. The chosen participants will be notified shortly after. The workshop registration will be possible from that moment on. Expense contribution for both days will be 35€, including lunch.

Apply now!
Please, spread the news!

Confirmed: Norbert Bisky, SPEX, Balbina!

We are beyond happy to announce a few more additions to our festival programme:

On Thursday, August 27, at Berghain’s cloakroom internationally renowned German painter Norbert Bisky and neurologist Dr. Tom Fritz will speak about the incredible effects music and composing can have on the human mind, creativity and his ability to recover, fighting diseases such as Alzheimer. The second part of this module will see this year’s German pop breakthrough artist, Balbina, read some partly still unreleased lyrics and poetry. Both, the talk and the reading will be held in German, though.

Tickets / Facebook event / more information and links

On Friday midnight at Schlackehalle Berlin-via-Cologne pop-cultural magazine SPEX will now ask you to join a very special session in the light of their 35th anniversary. The talk will focus on a problem that is older than the magazine itself: the still outstanding appropriate representation of female musicians and journalists in festivals, label-catalogues and in the music media. This talk will also be held in German.

Tickets / Facebook event / more information and links