Pop-Kultur 2017 is over: A Thank You

Photo by Camille Blake

Thank you! Thank you for visiting Pop-Kultur 2017 and for making the Kulturbrauerei even livelier than it already is. Thanks for jumping up and down at Little Simz, for starting a mosh pit at IDLES, and for making music together with Erobique. Thanks to ABRA for her hypnotic dance with a specially designed avatar, to Arab Strap for the power of nostalgia, to Evvol for a truly unique commissioned work, and to Lady Leshurr for delivering the amount of female power that is needed these days. Thanks to the Berlin label institutions Shit Katapult, Karaoke Kalk, and Monika Enterprise, which despite celebrating their cumulative 60th birthday party SKM60 at Pop-Kultur have stayed fresh and young. We’d likewise like to thank all the artists in the programme for the music, the exchange, and the open hearts and ears.

Thank you for the exciting conversations about gender quotas, vocoders, religion, depression, krautrock, and even about the importance and unimportance of our festival itself. It was a compelling struggle for new perspectives and ideas. Thank you to all of the collectives that agreed to show their work in the context of Pop-Kultur: ausland, We Make Waves, Berlin Community Radio, and Antje Øklesund.

The event remains one of the most carefully curated in Germany.’

(Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Little Simz (Photo: Roland Owsnitzki)

Thank you to the State Minister of Culture Prof. Monika Grütters and to the Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe Dr. Klaus Lederer for finding clear words in light of the recent boycott attacks against »Pop-Kultur«. We also thank everyone once again who has engaged in dialogue and continues to believe in the unifying power of art, creativity, and culture beyond all borders. That was never as important as it is today, and we will continue to emphasize its importance in the future. In the arena of gender equality, the slightly better but still-unacceptable results of the new FACTS survey by female:pressure confirms that there is still much work to be done.

Last but not least, we’d like to say a very special thanks to the 250 participants of our »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« programme, all of whom have made us excited about the future with their unbridled spirit of discovery.

Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs Workshop mit Circuit Des Yeux (Photo: Annett Bonkowski)

Pop-Kultur will return in 2018, once again different and surprising but with the same aspirations, values, and hopefully once again with you. Stay in touch via social media and newsletter, and don’t forget to celebrate pop for the other 362 days of the year, too. We’ll be doing that, in any case.

See you soon,
Your Pop-Kultur Team

Additional photos can be found in our press area.

Statement: BDS Campaign against Pop-Kultur


The international BDS (»Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions«) Movement has identified Pop-Kultur as one of the targets of its global campaign. The goal of the movement is wide-reaching boycott against collaboration with Israeli artists and intellectuals as well as boycott against any artistic performances in Israel.

We have Israeli artists in our festival programme, just as we have artists from Tunesia, Syria, Russia, Poland, the UK, and other countries. The culture department of the Israeli Embassy in Germany contributed a 500 (five hundred) Euro grant towards travel costs for artists. For this reason, the embassy is listed on our website, as are the rest of our cultural partners.

The BDS campaign has put an enormous amount of pressure on all the Arabic artists in our line-up. At this point, four artists from Arabic countries have cancelled: Abu Hajar, Emel Mathlouthi, Islam Chipsy & EEK und Hello Psychaleppo. Artists from Germany, other countries in Europe, and the USA have also reported that they have received emails, Facebook comments, or Twitter messages from BDS activists. We therefore assume that all artists or their agents have been or will be contacted. The BDS Movement claims that Pop-Kultur has been »co-organised« or «co-financed« by the Israeli state, which is not true.

We believe that the only way to deal with conflict in this world is through critical discourse and dialogue. As artists and cultural workers, we in particular have the responsibility for building relationships and networks across borders, even if we disagree on certain points.

UPDATE 17 – 20.08.17
Annie Goh and Iklan featuring Law Holt have cancelled their performances at Pop-Kultur 2017.

UPDATE 23.08.17
In the meantime two more bands have cancelled their performance at Pop-Kultur: Oranssi Pazuzu and Young Fathers.

A list of the cancelled artists can be found right here.

Information about artist cancellations


The artists Abu Hajar, Emel Mathlouthi, Islam Chipsy & EEK, and Hello Psychaleppo have cancelled their performances at Pop-Kultur 2017 due to the partnership of the Israeli Embassy with the festival. The Israeli Embassy partly contributes to the travel expenses for artists performing at the festival.

Pop-Kultur offers a platform for artists from different territories across the world, regardless of religion or culture, encouraging exchange beyond all borders. Partners and sponsors of Pop-Kultur do not have any influence on the programming of the festival. Therefore we regret the cancellations of the artists above.

An extended statement about the issue is available right here.

UPDATE 23.08.17
The following artists won’t be part of the festival: Abu Hajar, Annie Goh, Emel Mathlouthi, Hello Psychaleppo, Iklan featuring Law Holt, Islam Chipsy & EEK, Oranssi Pazuzu and Young Fathers.  

The complete programme of Pop-Kultur 2017 can be found right here.

We have to talk: Pop-Kultur 2017 presents diverse talk-, film-, and exhibition programmes

Dear Pop-Kultur audience,

Once again, Pop-Kultur looks forward to an extensive programme outside of our live concerts and new Commissioned Works. It’s about time that we introduce our talk programme and everything beyond that. The big themes are pop, culture, art, creative spaces, role models, future, and past.

The opening talk on August 23rd features Berlin’s cultural senator Dr. Klaus Lederer, Anke Fesel, and Christian Reckmann of the festival »Zurück zu den Wurzeln«. It will focus on the importance of the city’s creative free spaces. Aside from that, we’ll speak with Yeşim Duman, Hengameh Yaghobifarah (Missy Magazine), and shooting star Ilgen-Nur about the ever-current topic of gender, though from a special perspective. Diana McCarty, co-founder of the international art radio station reboot.fm and Mo Loschelder and Bettina Wackernagel of the festival »Heroines of Sound« are all too aware of the persistence of a »Gender Gap«, and they call for an urgent appraisal of this situation. Other topics in the talk programme address the relationship between religion and pop music, the pop-cultural significance of the vocoder, and, in a collaboration with Off-Kultur, the essential question: »Pop-Kultur – Is This Even Necessary, Anyway?«

Dr. Klaus Lederer, Ilgen-Nur, Sky Deep, Max Dax

More than any previous edition, Pop-Kultur 2017 is united through recurring themes that facilitate interdisciplinary exchange and new perspectives. A special installation will resurrect the Berlin club Antje Øklesund, which was sadly demolished in 2016. Pop-Kultur 2017 will also join forces with female:pressure to present the results of their now-third FACTS survey for the first time, and then together with journalist Christine Kakaire, researcher Annie Goh, producer & label owner Sky Deep, and curator Marlene Engel will discuss the steps that need to be taken next.

Fans of qualitative pop documentation will get a glimpse into the world of the  Sleaford Mods (in the film »Bunch Of Kunst«), the comeback of THE THE (in »The Inertia Variations«), and the colourful world of the female electronic music scene in Berlin (in »Raw Chicks.Berlin«). All film screenings will be followed by a discussion.

Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon) im Kino Sputnik, Wedding, 17.04.85 als Teil der Ausstellung »Keller – 80 Fotos aus den 80er Jahren« von Roland Owsnitzki

We’d also recommend taking a close look at our exhibition programme, which will  be presented on the grounds of the Kulturbrauerei. The photographer Roland Owsnitzki introduces his exhibition »Keller – 80 Photos from the 80s«, which gives a comprehensive glimpse into the concert culture of West Berlin before the fall of the Wall – crazy hairstyles and outfits included. In addition, an exhibition curated by Tim Tetzner about Hype Stickers awaits you in the gallery of the cinema. Right, exactly: those are the ones stuck on your record sleeves and CD cases – the things you were never quite sure if you should take off.

And there you have it. As you can see, plenty of variety awaits you. The complete Pop-Kultur 2017 programme can be found here . And you can buy festival passes as well as day tickets for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday right here.

Foto-Credits /// Klaus Lederer (SenKultEuropa), Ilgen-Nur (Pressefoto), Sky Deep (Alexa Vachon), Max Dax (Luci Lux)

Want a Little More? Pop-Kultur 2017 Announces New Programme Elements

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur,

It’s about time to pick up the pace. That’s why now we’re giving you even more reasons to say ‘I like‘ to Pop-Kultur 2017.

1. More Programme

We’d like to welcome the following new acts to the roster:

Alex Cameron / ANDRRA / ANNA VR / AUF / David Laurie & Simon Price / Decadent Fun Club / Gaika / Happy Meals / Hello Psychaleppo / How To Dress Well / IDLES / JACASZEK / Jakuzi / Jens Balzer / Jessica Pratt / Ilkan featuring Law Holt / Lenki Balboa / LeVent / Liars / Little Simz / Lucidvox / Manuela / Michelle Blades / Miss Natasha Enquist / Oligarkh / Oranssi Pazuzu / Piano Wire / Rouge Gorge / Shirley Collins & Ian Keary / SKM 60 (incl Barabara Morgenstern, Gudrun Gut, T.Raumschmiere and more) / Smerz / Soft Grid / Throwing Shade / Tobias Bamborschke

They join a programme of over a dozen already-confirmed concerts, DJ sets, talks, and other events. A complete overview is available here.

New on board: T.Raumschmiere, Smerz, Little Simz, Liars

2. More Tickets

No more confusion à la “when exactly does Arab Strap play?” – starting now, our lineup is sorted by day and there are separate passes available for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And for those who’d like to experience more of the entire programme, we’d recommend the full festival pass. It’s all available for purchase here.

3. Mehr »Commissioned Works«

You’ve already heard quite a lot about our commissioned works, but now there’s even more info regarding these in-house productions. Balbina envelops things in white, rapper Abu Hajar and Jemek Jemowit aka Ausländerbehörde connect Arabic hip hop with European techno, Jens Balzer and Tom Krell of How To Dress Well deliver a lecture-performance, and Circuit des Yeux builds a ‘Big Black Box’ in the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei. We guarantee an extraordinary  programme. Find out more about the »Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works« here.

4. Mehr Linien

For us, it’s not just about the performances themselves but also about everything else that can happen in connection. Various cross-programme thematic lines play more central of a role this year than ever before. Henryk Gericke addresses the topic of Ost punk in several events unified under the heading “Too Much Future.” Messer frontman and author Hendrik Otremba leads visitors into “Typewriter-Klangwelten” [“Typewriter-Worlds of Sound”] and looks for intersections between text, music, and speech together with distinguished collaborators like Andreas Spechtl of Ja, Panik! and Annika Henderson. What’s more, we are dedicating an entire evening to the “Secret Queen of England,” as Shirley Collins is often called. She will join us for a talk and an exclusive acoustic performance at Pop-Kultur. And those are just a few of the events outside of our concert programme. With the project SKM 60, which takes place over three evenings, the festival celebrates the birthdays of the Berlin labels Shitkatapult, Karaoke Kalk, Monika Enterprise, which each turn 20 and together turn 60. For the entire overview, click here.

Legendary Shirley Collins is just once of many new highlights

5. Mehr für die Talente

Attention all you young people crazy about creativity! You too will be a part of Pop-Kultur 2017. The application phase for our Nachwuchs programme has begun, and we’re already excited to welcome about 250 talents from across the globe. Yes, that’s right! This applies to songwriters, producers, booking agents, event organisers, or journalists – everyone who loves art is welcome and can apply here until June 14th.

And? Have we convinced you? Then quick! Grab a ticket of your choice, and spread the word to family and friends – the more the merrier. After all, Pop-Kultur is for anyone and everyone!

See you there! Yeah? Yeah!!!!


Happening in Berlin: Pop-Kultur is back!

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur,

it’s getting to be that time of year again! Pop-Kultur will return from August 23rd to 25th at the Kulturbrauerei! Today we also have the first program announcements, a new ticket system and more irresistible reasons to welcome Pop-Kultur 2017 in your heart.

10+ Commissioned Works by

ABRA / Abu Hajar & Jemek Jemowit / Andreas Dorau / Balbina / Circuit des Yeux / Darkstar & Cieron Magat / Evvol  / Fishbach & Lou de Bètoly / Grandbrothers / Hendrik Otremba / Romano / Steven Warwick

70+ Concerts, DJ-Sets, Talks and Movies by

Alexis Taylor / All diese Gewalt / Anna Meredith / Arab Strap / Boiband / Emel Mathlouthi / Erobique / Friends of Gas / Islam Chipsy & EEK / Lady Leshurr / La Femme  / Let’s Eat Grandma / Noveller / Riff Cohen / Sophia Kennedy / Tasseomancy / Young Fathers

Reason 1: Now there’s one ticket for everything. And it’s cheap!

No offense to our old module system, but isn’t it also nice sometimes to let art lead you where it wants you to go? That’s why this year there’s a ticket for the whole experience, for maximum on-site discovery at Kulturbrauerei—and it’s just 60 euros (plus fees). Don’t worry—in May we’ll begin selling day passes too. Until then, everyone else can click here.

Reason 2: The »Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works«

It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds. More than ten in-house productions and performances will enrich our 2017 festival and act as its heart and soul. We’re already working hard with Balbina, Darkstar, Romano, Fishbach, and all the other artists to be able to tell you much more about the »Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works« very soon!

Von links nach rechts: ABRA / Steven Warwick / Balbina / Romano und andere präsentieren “Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works”

Reason 3. A line-up you’d only find here.

From quiet to loud, from Egypt to Scotland—as always, Pop-Kultur’s programme is unmistakeable and one-of-a-kind. In concrete terms, this means: La Femme, Hot Chip mastermind Alexis Taylor, all-purpose entertainment weapon Erobique, UK Grime shooting star Lady Leshurr, the one and only Arab Strap, Let’s Eat Grandma, Anna Meredith, and the powerful Young Fathers.

Reason 4. Over 70 program elements

You’ll like this: Talks, workshops, concerts, DJ sets, and things that are so unbelievably interdisciplinary that we’re still not quite sure how to categorise them. Pop-Kultur will also work together with collectives like female:pressure to fight for empowerment. We’ll explore the connection between literature and pop, delve into the history of the East German Underground, and, with the project SKM 60, we’ll celebrate the birthdays of Berlin labels Shitkatapult, Karaoke Kalk, and Monika Enterprise. As you can see, we like to take plenty of »zeit« for the zeitgeist.

Reason 5. Short Distances and New Multifunctionality—Well Hello There, Kulturbrauerei.

It’s true: we can hardly picture a better place to celebrate art and creativity. Three enchanting summer nights await you on the grounds of the Kulturbrauerei. It’s a space that lends itself to  hosting a wealth of inspiring, gravity-defying ideas.

Reason 6. Last But Not Least, We Really Truly ❤ Our Young Talents

The Pop-Kultur »Nachwuchs« programme will once again act as an important component of the festival. 250 young talents from around the world will come together in 40 workshops designed to address the pop-cultural challenges of the future. The application period begins on May 10th, but no worries—we’ll be in touch again before then!

So, have we won your virtual love yet? There’s a lot happening over here, and we’ll keep you up to date. Check up on our social media channels now and then — here, here and here. Or have a listen through our Spotify-Playlist with music by our confirmed artists. Oh, right, and don’t forget to buy tickets. Not sure how you’re all feeling, but we’re getting pretty excited for the spring, summer, and everything after that.

You like? We like!

Tickets for Pop-Kultur 2017 can be purchased right here


Steven Warkwick (PR)
Balbina (Photo by Max Zerrahn)
Romano (PR)
All Diese Gewalt (Photo by Max Zerrahn)
Lady Leshurrr (PR)
Let’s Eat Grandma (PR)
Young Fathers (PR)