Pop-Kultur 2016 is Over! See You in 2017

The north of Berlin-Neukölln was even more wild than usual during the Pop-Kultur festival from August 31st until September 2nd. One constantly ran into old and new friends; »You’re going to see Thurston Moore? I’m on my way to see Levin Goes Lightly, let’s meet at the Abra-Show later!« Just swaying to A-WA (or doing the Halay with Selda Bağcan), and then right back into the »Body War« moshpit with Show Me The Body in the dripping hot KELLER. Or maybe a quick snack?

You and 9500 other guests attended the second Pop-Kultur festival to see more than 80 international artists in 6 locations and on 8 stages. But what does remain?

Well, Kurt Cobain’s lighter doesn’t. The central exhibit of Scott Kings partially displayed collection of pop memorabilia was unfortunately stolen on the last festival day. Please submit all information on the exhibits location to us online.

Zebra Katz (Portraitiert von Janto Djassi)
Zebra Katz (Porträtiert von Janto Djassi)

As our Art Director King wants to expand his collection, we warmly recommend the following objects to remember Pop-Kultur 2016 by: Joel Gibb’s shimmering golden suit, that he wore playing new fantastic The Hidden Cameras material in his solo set; the watery napkin, Zebra Katz used as a note for his prominent guest list in spite of all material resistance; the safety vest, Frankie Cosmos wore to change tires on the Autobahn before wearing it for her show in the packed and humid Keller. And of course the bracers Selda Bağcan, unfortunately, had to wear, because she – in her own words – had to evade one of her twenty cats while feeding them and fell.

»Yaz gazeteci yaz!« Write, your journalists, write! Bağcan sang her legendary song even twice during her show at Huxleys Neue Welt, as the first song and in the praised second encore. With this song, originally meant to make the Turkish press report on the neglected grievances in the country’s east, the great singer with the incomparable voice was representative of a program of strong-willed artists with an attitude, to whom Pop is always reflective of society as well.

Selda Bagcan (Foto: Roland Owsnitzki)
Selda Bagcan (Foto: Roland Owsnitzki)

Talking of extraordinary readings: On the stage of the Passage Kino, where Graf Fidi and Enno Park discussed Cyborgs and Disabilities and Juliana Huxtable and Fatima Al Qadiri dismantled the lyrical ex- and inclusion of national anthems in a highly interesting talk, Hendrik Otremba, known from his band Messer, exclusively read first excerpts from his upcoming debut novel. The enthralling detective thriller was accentuated with live effects by his colleague Raune. Rat-ta-ta-tat makes the motorcycle.

Skinny Girl Diet (Foto: Janto Djassi)
Skinny Girl Diet (Foto: Janto Djassi)

Next to other Pop-Kultur acts such as SassyBlack and Colin Newman – as well as further experts like Stephanie von Beauvais, Tina Adams, and Björn Beneditz, Otremba and Herbert gave one of the 42 workshops for the 250 participants of the Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs program. Supported by the Goethe-Institut, almost 500 young people from 24 countries had applied for the program: Uruguay, Colombia, India, Congo, South Africa, Argentina, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Venezuela, Hong Kong, the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, France, Russia, Poland, Egypt and Germany. 250 chosen talents were now able to educate themselves further, collect new inspirations and make new contacts.

Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs (Foto: Janto Djassi)
Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs (Foto: Janto Djassi)

The latter was also done by the many representatives of the scene, the music industry and culture politics who met during Pop-Kultur 2016, e.g. with James Minor, General Manager of one of the most important festivals of the world, the SXSW in Austin, Texas. And not a few agents sought contact to the team of the KELLER, where they might be seen more often in the near future.

»No other festival in Berlin offers a comparable stylistic range. The programmatic diversity is unique and I am very proud of the large proportion of great female artists, that made up a lot of highlights of the Pop-Kultur program. What other festival exhibits such a balance in its booking and asks the same kind of questions as the Pop-Kultur talk program does?«

(Katja Lucker, Head of the Pop-Kultur festival and of the Musicboard Berlin)

A lot has happened in those three days and nights. We have borrowed the closing remarks from Otremba’s upcoming debut novel, as heard in the aforementioned reading: »What was going on in this world? It orbited the sun.«

In conclusion: Thank you for being there! Thanks to all artists and lecturers, all contributors, the teams of SchwuZ, Vollgutlager, Huxleys, Heimathafen, Passage Kino, KELLER, Prachtwerk, von Young Arts Neukölln, the KinderKünsteZentrum and the Hofperle.

May you have many bright days until the next Pop-Kultur Festival.
Because we’ll return in 2017.
We’re already looking forward to it!


Sorry dear May, Pop-Kultur 2016 is going to be better!



You’ll probably have noticed it already. Maybe because you are allergic to grass pollen (Drinking helps!) or maybe because your calendar is bursting. It’s May. Holidays. Memorial Days. Release Days… It’s getting hard to stay in the loop. And now we are popping up and claim:

Forget May! The change of August into September is the true summer!


Ye-hes, we’re completely serious. 100%. Then again, we already know the full program of our festival’s second edition, running from August 30th to September 2nd in Berlin-NeuköllnPre-Sale is starting at this moment!

What shall we say? Where shall we begin? We booked more than 70 artists. Old heroes, the local scene and the German debuts of some of the most promising newcomers of the year. Once more, we are not “just” showing live music, but concerts, DJ-Sets, readings, film premieres, talks. And again, the special charm of Pop-Kultur is that almost everything you’re going to see is something new – from the premieres of new albums to a lot of newcomer’s first ever shows in Germany. If you do not show up, you’ll be missing out. Sometimes, it’s that simple.

Two weeks ago, we were able to present you with some extracts of our 2016 program. Today, we want to introduce another 50 (fif-ty) names. But that would flood your inbox – and this newsletter. That’s why we allow ourselves to most politely throw all the confirmed acts at you, in alphabetical order, while sweetening the deal with a nice GIF. Moreover, we kindly refer you to our website, where all the acts and their specific endeavors at our festival are presented extensively. The headliner is whoever you think is your personal highlight.


cat gift

Pop-Kultur 2016
Abra, Al English, Alex.do, Alex Murray-Leslie, Alice Cohen, Algiers, Ana Ana, A-Wa, Best Friends, Brandt Brauer Frick, Cat’s Eyes, Colin Newman, Deadbear, Diät, Eska, Exploded View, Ezra Furman, Fai Baba, Fatima Al Qadiri, Fishbach, Frankie Cosmos, Girls Names, Heimer, Hendrik Otremba, Imarhan, Immersion, Jens Balzer, John Roberts, Jon Savage, Karies, Keøma, Levin Goes Lightly, Liars, LUH, Malcom Middleton, Mark Farrow, Matthew Herbert, Miko, Missincat, MogwaiMule & Man, My Bubba, Naked, Nancy Pants, No Joy, Pins, Phil Collins, Phoebe Killdeer, Richard Hell, Roosevelt, Royal Comfort, rRoxymore, Ryan Vail, SassyBlack, Schwund, Scott King, Selda Bağcan & Boom Pam, Show Me the Body, Skinny Girl Diet, Sarah Miles, Stara Rzeka, Tellavision, The Hidden Cameras (solo), The KVB, The Numero Group, The Weather Station, Thurston Moore BandTrümmer, Tygapaw, U.S. Girls, Valerie Trebeljahr, Your Friend, Zebra Katz, Zola Jesus

Just as we did in 2015, we divided the festival into different modules. Thusly, each guest only has to pay for the parts of the program he or she really wants to see. The tickets cost between 5 € – e.g. for a talk-module in the Prachtwerk or the Passage-Kino – and 25 € for one of the three large concerts at Huxleys (e.g. Brandt Bauer Frick with Roosevelt or Selda Bağcan & Boom Pam plus Keøma); plus pre-sales fee. But the best part is that you can put together your individualized festival ticket, including the 10% Pop-Kultur Discount if you buy more than two tickets.

Furthermore, there are still tickets available for Mogwai and their live performance of the soundtrack for the film »Atomic« on the eve of the festival. More information on Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs, our workshop program for talents from all areas of the music business will soon be released.

And for all allergy sufferers: Stay strong, in the end of August, you’ll be fine.

Yours truly

Dr. Pop-Kultur


Mogwai prelude and Neukölln venues unveiled

Poster Mogwai play Atomic

To all Lovers, dear Community: We lied to You, in a way. But we don’t think we have to apologize for it now. Quite the contrary! So, Pop-Kultur doesn’t last for three nights this year, it’s actually four.

On August 30th, already one day ahead of our 2016 edition – taking place from August 31st to September 2nd – we organize a special event in Berlin’s Admiralspalast, outside of our regular program: On August 30th no other than the Scottish instrumental rock band Mogwai introduces their new album Atomic as a unique film concert for the first time live in Germany. The album is the soundtrack for an impressive, eponymous BBC-documentary about nuclear energy and its dangers, that brought the band and the film team to Hiroshima among other places. Advance sale (30,00 € plus advance booking fees via AD Ticket) was just opened on our website.


Afterwards, we move to Neukölln. Pop-Kultur and the seven… well, eight Venues – that’s the title of this years little fairy tale. If you followed us in the social media (If not, you should change that immediately through the links at the end of this email!), You could spot red velvet, glittering décor and mysterious dance floors in the last couple of days. Some of you might have recognized their favorite club, for everyone else we’ll lift the veil now:

The venues in dynamic Neukölln are the SchwuZ, the Heimathafen Neukölln, Huxleys Neue Welt, the Passage Kino, the Prachtwerk, and the Keller. Additionally, the Vollgutlager serves as meeting place for the professional, international music and culture scene and the Neukölln Opera will be hosting the workshop and educational program »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«.

Thus, »Pop-Kultur« is less tied to Grimm’s fictions, then to Berlin’s rich history. The legendary queer event center SchwuZ, now residing in the Rollbergstraße, will be this year’s festival main base. This is, where once the Kindl-Brewery was erected in 1872 when most of Neukölln was still grassland. Nowadays, the bass pumps through the former head office of the brewery. Already in 1867, a beer garden opened at the Hasenheide. After the century turned, it was updated with a large hall – today housing Huxleys Neue Welt. The building survived the moved modern times of Berlin and was later stage to concerts of Jimi Hendrix, Udo Lindenberg or Patti Smith – and now the acts of »Pop-Kultur«.

All further information on the program and the advance ticket sale will soon follow. Remain in our favor and lend us a heart (or two) on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

We will remain truthful from now on. We promise!