Our documentary: »Pop-Kultur – A Festival for Everyone«

What can a festival look like – how should it look – to be as accessible as possible for everyone? For our 2019 edition, we considered this topic more carefully then ever before. Together with the nonprofit Sozialhelden, we produced a short documentary video at Pop-Kultur 2019 to show in detail the steps we took to make the festival more inclusive.

More information about accessible event planning and funding for inclusive projects can be found at www.ramp-up.me and www.musicboard-berlin.de

Ready for take-off? It’s only two days away!

Nothing can go wrong now. The launchpad scaffolding is upright, the turbines are starting to run and we’ve packed three days’ worth of astronaut food. As long as no one gets »The Final Countdown« stuck in their head, we can get started without disruption: in two days, we’re taking you into unknown realms at the Kulturbrauerei!

And as the rocket launch is approaching, we’re surveying what awaits us from the 21st to the 23rd of August one last time, like Major Tom (and we promise to pick another career than he did). And we’re doing it at the speed of light:

Then get into your suit and helmet and out into space!

Information on accessibility, contact points and awareness at Pop-Kultur 2019

We’re hoping that many cultural identities will come together at next week’s Pop-Kultur and that nobody will be excluded from what we have on offer. Through our awareness teams and a mostly accessible infrastructure, we want to ensure that our guests experience the festival grounds in the Kulturbrauerei as a sensitive and safe environment from the 21st to the 23rd of August.

Discrimination of any kind of will not be tolerated. We believe that the definition of a border violation lies with the person whose border has been violated. With this in mind, Pop-Kultur is committed to representing the interests of all guests.

Our awareness team and the mobile service team for guests with disabilities can be reached at +49 1573 879 5555 (also via WhatsApp) and inklusion@pop-kultur.berlin.

We would like to provide some advance information about on-site accessibility, inclusive offers and programme elements as well as our social ticket.

On-site accessibility

All of our venues are well to very well accessible for wheelchair users

A barrier-free floor system facilitates mobility on the cobblestone terrain.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

Many of our programme elements are accompanied by sign-language interpreters. Information at the »Treffpunkt.«

Our mobile inclusion team is available to guests with disabilities via the service number +49 1573 879 5555.

Further information on accessible arrival, parking and regulations for accompanying persons as well as an overview of sign-language services can be found on our website.

If you have any questions, please contact us at inklusion@pop-kultur.berlin.

Concerts accompanied by sign-language interpreters

In cooperation with the inclusive cultural association Handiclapped e.V. , many programme elements will be accompanied by sign-language interpreters in German.

This includes the following concerts:

Wednesday, 21st of Aug.:
21 Downbeat feat. Jens Friebe: »Der Ring«. Eine Pop-Oper nach Richard Wagner (Kesselhaus)
Jungstötter (Palais)
Die Heiterkeit (Palais)

Thursday, 22nd of Aug.:
Die Kerzen (Frannz)
Lali Puna (Kesselhaus)
Planningtorock (Kesselhaus)
Masha Qrella: »Wie soll ich dir das beschreiben?« (Palais)
Station 17 (Palais)
ÄTNA (Palais)
Shabazz Palaces (Palais)

Friday, the 23rd of Aug.:
International Music & The Dorf (Kesselhaus)
Deerhoof (Kesselhaus)
CocoRosie (Kesselhaus)

Furthermore, numerous talks will also be interpreted in German sign language:

Wednesday, 21st of Aug.:
Pop-Hayat: »Pop-Hayat Talk« (Kino 5)
»Inklusive Kulturformate in der Popkultur« (Haus der Poesie)

Thursday, 22nd of Aug.:
Deutschlandfunk-Kultur-Talk: »Darf ich noch Michael Jackson hören? Und wenn ja, wie? Pop, Ethik und Identitätspolitik« (Kino 5)
»I’ve got 99 problems but being a feminist listening to rap ain’t one« (Kino 5)
»Postmigrantische Identität« (Kino 5)

Friday, the 23rd of Aug.:
»Die Notwendigkeit eines unabhängigen Musikjournalismus« (Haus der Poesie)
»Rap, Antisemitismus, Identitätspolitik: über Verantwortung im Pop« (Haus der Poesie)
»Let’s Talk About Gender, Baby« (Kino 5)

An overview of the programme elements with sign-language interpreters can also be found on our website at https://2019.pop-kultur.berlin/en/about/accessibility/.

Interpreter needs can also be requested at inklusion@pop-kultur.berlin.

Inclusive concerts and talks

In addition to performances by the inclusive band Station 17 and the RambaZamba house band 21 Downbeat, who have produced a commissioned work for Pop-Kultur with Jens Friebe, inclusion will also be a theme in the festival’s supporting programme.

On Wednesday (21st of Aug.), Christian Fleck and Sebastian Stuber from the band Station 17 will join Uwe Nicksch from the project Sozialhelden at the Haus für Poesie to discuss inclusive cultural formats in pop. What obstacles are getting in the way of inclusion efforts and how might they be removed?

The workshop »Kultur für alle – inklusive Angebote« by Dennis Knoll (Initiative Barrierfrei feiern) on the 21st of August from 11:00 to 13:30 in the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« programme deals with the topic of cultural participation and accessible offers. Non-participants may request to attend this workshop on short notice at nachwuchs@pop-kultur.berlin.

In the non-public talk »Inklusive Kulturarbeit – Wer ist eigentlich zuständig?,« guests from the field of cultural work and specialists from the department for inclusion will discuss how Berlin’s cultural offerings can be made accessible for everyone and what needs to happen to allow that. The talk will be moderated by diversity manager Elnaz Amiraslani (PARVENUE Kulturbüro).

Social ticket

The social ticket is also part of our claim of making attendance of the festival as low-threshold as possible. In addition to talk and film tickets (5 € plus fees), day tickets (25 € plus fees) and regular festival passes (60 € plus fees), a social ticket will be offered again this year. Pop-Kultur guests presenting their berlinpass receive a discount of 50% at the box office.

Free tickets for social institutions

Social institutions, integrative homes and charitable initiatives of integration work can request free tickets. The allotment is limited. Please inquire at inklusion@pop-kultur.berlin.

Second part of our programme, Commissioned Works and day tickets

Dear friends of Pop-Kultur,

The astronaut ice cream is packed, and the space suit fits like a glove. In anticipation of takeoff for the 21st through the 23rd of August 2019, we’re transmitting the next announcement. Next to Mykki Blanco, CocoRosie, Jenny Wilson, Die Goldenen Zitronen and Jungstötter will be Anna Calvi, Planningtorock, Perel, Karies, Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch, Dirk von Lowtzow, Okzharp & Manthe Ribane, One Mother, молчат дома and many others, blasting off into deep space from the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg. No fewer than 99+ concerts, DJ sets, talks and films are planned – an overview can be found at the end of this newsletter.

This is all bolstered by 15+ »Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works«, taking place across different venues and surveying previously unknown frontiers. ANDRRA, Ilgen-Nur, KlitClique, Lisa Morgenstern & Bulgarian Voices Berlin as well as Rosaceae will be followed by further confirmed names.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri, Magic Island will transform the Gewölbekeller together wie Anatomie Fleur into an immersive installation between hell, purgatory and paradise. Equally ambitious is the house band of the RambaZamba theatre, 21 Downbeat, teaming up with Jens Friebe for a new interpretation of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle »Der Ring des Nibelungen« (trimming it down to a one-hour pop-opera spectacle). In »Picture Me Different,« Janto Djassi Roessner deals with questions of identity, while Masha Qrella offers insight into her work inspired by the output of author Thomas Brasch and Nikko Weidemann becomes a human jukebox offering an autobiographical revue. Jauche, on the other hand, is a project allowing its members Max Rieger, Ralv Milberg und Thomas Zehnle, to improvise for six hours long.

If you can’t commit to a three-day trek through the Pop-Kultur universe, you can still go on a cosmic day-trip. Once again, we’re offering day tickets for 25€ plus fees. They’re valid for every event happening that day, for every venue till they reach capacity.

And of course we can’t forget about our »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« programme. With about 45 workshops, it will connect 250 young talents from around the world with artists from the live programme with players from the business world, politics and the music industry. The application period is already in full swing and continues through the 24th of May. More information is available at nachwuchs.pop-kultur.berlin.

We’re also looking forward to the second event from our »Pop-Kultur lokal« series! Weeeirdos welcome you to Fitzroy on the 23rd of May for a concert and performance evening of a different kind. More info is coming shortly.

And since we’ve thrown a lot of info at you at warp speed, here are all of the confirmed commissioned works and the live programme at a glance:

Pop-Kultur 2019
August 21-23, Kulturbrauerei

15+ Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works von: 21 Downbeat & Jens Friebe / ANDRRA / Ilgen-Nur / International Music & The Dorf / Janto Djassi Roessner / Jauche / KlitClique / Lisa Morgenstern & Bulgarian Voices Berlin / Magic Island / Masha Qrella / Nikko Weidemann / Rosaceae / weitere Programmpunkte folgen

99+ Konzerte, DJ-Sets, Talks und Filme von: Adelle Nqeto / Ah! Kosmos / alyona alyona / Anna Aaron / Anna Calvi / ÄTNA / Blu Samu / BNNT / Camilla Sparksss / CocoRosie / Dacid Go8lin / Decibelles / Deerhoof / Die Goldenen Zitronen / Die Heiterkeit / Die Kerzen / Dirk von Lowtzow / Haszcara / IOTAPHI / Jenny Wilson / Jessica Einaudi / Juicy / Jungstötter / Karies / Lali Puna / Léonie Pernet / Little Annie / Maarja Nuut & Ruum / Malonda / Mauvais Œil / Michelle Blades / молчат дома / Mona Mur / Mykki Blanco / Núria Graham / Odd Beholder / Okzharp & Manthe Ribane / One Mother / Oum Shatt / Perel / Planningtorock / Prada Meinhoff / Repetitor / Rosemary Loves A Blackberry / Shabazz Palaces / Shari Vari / Shuma / Someone Who Isn’t Me / Station 17 / SYTË / Teresa Rotschopf / UMA / Voodoo Beach / Xen / weitere Programmpunkte folgen

Pop-Kultur 2019: the 25 first live acts and commissioned works; »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«

Fotos: CocoRosie, Jenny Wilson, Mykki Blanco by Julia Burlingham, Die Heiterkeit, Jungstötter

The stars are aligned – today’s the day: we’re announcing the first 25 names for Pop-Kultur 2019! Over the past ten days in our Countdown 2019, we’ve already revealed the following musicians: CocoRosie, Shabazz Palaces, ÄTNA, Repetitor, Ilgen-Nur, Mykki Blanco, KlitClique, Station 17, Lisa Morgenstern & Bulgarian Voices Berlin and Die Goldenen Zitronen.

They’ll all be there when Pop-Kultur begins its fifth orbit around the Sun, blasting off from the 21st to 23rd of August, 2019, at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, with 15 different stages spanning concerts, DJ sets, talk formats, world premieres of commissioned works and other uncharted frontiers. »Pop-Kultur is staying true to its mission of offering food for thought – not only with rousing musical works but with exciting panels and workshops as well,« says festival director Katja Lucker.

Apropos of our commissioned works, world premieres of works created especially for Pop-Kultur come courtesy of Hamburg musician Ilgen-Nur, Vienna’s KlitClique, Lisa Morgenstern together with the choir Bulgarian Voices Berlin, Rosaceae and ANDRRA. Following these five, we will be unveiling further exclusive debuts in the coming months.

For now, we are thrilled to announce concerts by alyona alyona, Blu Samu, Deerhoof, Die Heiterkeit, Haszcara, Jenny Wilson, Juicy, Jungstötter, Lali Puna, Michelle Blades, Rosemary Loves A Blackberry, Shari Vari and UMA!

When it comes to music and art, part of the Pop-Kultur philosophy is dealing with socially relevant topics and with interdisciplinary, diverse perspectives. »We want to shift the theme of identity against the populist trend into a constructive focus, for example,« emphasises co-curator Christian Morin. Not only onstage, of course, but behind the scenes as well.

With that in mind, we are continuing our commitment to supporting the next generation of musicians and creatives. In parallel with the festival, »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« will gather 250 newcomers from all over the world for around 45 workshops, connecting them with artists from the lineup and with movers and shakers from business, politics and the music industry. The application phase begins on the 25th of April at the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« website. »Fresh talent is part of our lifeblood, and we have the unique opportunity to network up-and-coming artists with experienced professionals, giving them a boost of support and inspiration along the way. We’ve seen multiple Nachwuchs participants go on to take the stage within the following year,« says co-curator Martin Hossbach.

Low-income access remains a central concern of ours this year, as is the case with our core program. In addition to the regular 3-day festival pass for the price of 60€ (plus fees), we are once again offering a social ticket. Holders of a berlinpass may present theirs at the »Pop-Kultur« box office and receive a 50% discoun

We will publish the second half of the live program in early May, and in June will announce our lectures, discussions and film screenings.

Pop-Kultur 2019
August 21-23, Kulturbrauerei

Commissioned Works: ANDRRA / Ilgen-Nur / KlitClique / Lisa Morgenstern & Bulgarian Voices Berlin / Masha Qrella – mehr Namen in Kürze

Live: alyona alyona / ÄTNA / Blu Samu / CocoRosie / Deerhoof / Die Heiterkeit / Haszcara / Jenny Wilson / Juicy / Jungstötter / Lali Puna / Michelle Blades / Mykki Blanco / Rosemary Loves A Blackberry / Repetitor / Shari Vari / Shabazz Palaces / Station 17 / UMA – mehr Namen in Kürze

Pop-Kultur lokal: The Jury Decision

On the 3rd of April, we will reveal the first round of acts appearing at this year’s Pop-Kultur (the 21st through 23rd of August), but before that, we would like to present the four »Pop-Kultur lokal« events leading up to the festival. »Pop-Kultur lokal« is a collaborative series first introduced in 2018, developed with Dominique Schweizer and »Off-Kultur« and sponsored by us. Once again, four local promoters will each organise an event in a different location, monthly from April through July.

Without the ›lokal‹ Berlin players putting on shows every day, a festival like ours would not be possible, and cultural life in our city would be only half as exciting. This is why we think it’s important to support the regional scene, diverse live offerings, the widening scale of music, and performances that pull different arts and cultures together. And because we want these events to be as widely accessible to the general public as possible, entry will be free for all.

Out of 33 total applications, our jury – DENA (musician), Michael Aniser (Off-Kultur), Dominique Schweizer (Amiont), Anton Teichmann (Off-Kultur), Ella Zwietnig (musician, UMA) and Matthieu Jimenez (Pop-Kultur) – has decided on the following projects for »Pop-Kultur lokal«:

April: »Grüntaler«

May: »Weeeirdos«

June: »Suck My Lips!«

July: »Afro x Pop«

It starts in April with »Grüntaler« by Izumi Yamamoto. The event series began in November 2018, with each edition set in a different location, focusing on »the curation, production and promotion of experimental music, sound art and related practices« and aims to bring attention to the local scene and artists »with an emphasis on gender diversity and visibility within the male-dominated field of contemporary music.« Grüntaler presents musical and artistic perspectives that adapt to each given space. So, this event will be one of a kind, in more ways than one. Stay tuned for further details.

And by the way: the 2nd of April is the last day to purchase a three-day festival pass for the special price of 40€ (plus fees)! Our Countdown 2019 will also continue until then: every day, we will unveil a new element of the festival programme via Facebook, Instagram and our Website.

Pop-Kultur lokal: Call for Concepts


Deadline: 6 March 2019, 10 a.m. / The application form is available here and must be sent as a PDF to info@pop-kultur.berliheren.

Since 2018 »Pop-Kultur« has been operating a new program called »Pop-Kultur lokal«: a subsidized monthly music event series that runs from mid-April to mid-July. Each event takes place at a different location and is organized by one of four different local event organizers and venues.

We’d like to invite all interested Berlin-based event organizers to submit a PDF of their application form (see above/below) via email by 10 a.m. on 6 March 2019. The funding for each event is awarded as a one-time payment of €2,000 and is meant to cover the concept, featured artists, and realization. Admission to the events themselves must be free.

The main focus of this program is live performances by Berlin-based musicians, although it’s possible to combine these with DJ sets or talks (all participants should be based in Berlin). When planning the content of each event, please ensure that female artists make up 50% of the overall program. Applicants are required to ensure barrier-free access to the event and should try to include people with disabilities in their line-ups. Applications that exhibit a commitment to diversity will be given preference.

The jury that determines which events receive funding is composed of the following six people: DENA (musician), Michael Aniser (Off-Kultur), Dominique Schweizer (Amiont), Anton Teichmann (Off-Kultur), Ella Zwietnig (musician, UMA), as well as Matthieu Jimenez (Pop-Kultur). »Pop-Kultur lokal« will be connected to the official festival communications office and will receive financial and marketing support from the festival.

The events will take place once a month beginning in April 2019, always on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Preference will be given to event organizers who have not yet received funding from Musicboard.

The application form is available here and must be sent as a PDF to info@pop-kultur.berliheren.


The time has finally come!

Dear friends of Pop-Kultur!

The time has finally come: on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, as guests at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, we will present our Commissioned Works, i.e. world premieres of music performances, concerts, talks, readings, films, and an exhibition, all specially produced for us. We’ve been busy for an entire year preparing for these three days. If you’d like to learn everything there is to know about the status quo of pop in the year 2018, you’ve come to the right place.

Let yourself wander and drift — after all, the most impressive experiences are often the ones we aren’t prepared for! And the most standout concerts are often the ones given by artists we never knew existed.

What’s left to say? Well, not much. We’ve described our programme in detail in past newsletters; you can find extensive information about all of our artists on Facebook and Instagram, both leading up to and during the festival; and of course you can also continue to consult our website. Visit our Ticketshop to purchase day passes and festival passes as well as 5€ tickets for the film and talk programme.

If we don’t see each other there, we’ll be hearing from each other again over the next year. We promise!

Warm regards,


Border Movement/ Cooperation/ Sign Language Interpretation and Accessibility/ Pop-Kultur lokal

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur!

We have some news to announce. You can learn more about our comprehensive programme on our website, where you can also buy day and festival passes as well as €5 talk and film tickets.

Additions to the Commissioned Works

Since its founding in 2012, the Berlin-based and Goethe-Institute-funded platform Border Movement has seen itself as a »cultural catalyst« and as such it values interactions—especially those between Germany and the South Asia region. On two different festival days at Club 23 (August 15th + 16th), the activist and journalist Sarah Chawla (New Delhi, India), the musician Mohamed Manal (Malé, Maldives), and others will represent the bandwidth of Border Movement’s work with concerts, DJ sets, and talks. The Berlin artists Anika,Dan Bodan, and (most recently) She’s Drunk have all participated in the exchange programme, and now the Pakistani artist Natasha Humera Ejaz aka Stupid Happiness Theory will come to the German capital from Islamabad.

Cooperation with the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei

Most documentaries about 1968 seem convinced of the idea that that particular year was a »pop« phenomenon. Beat and rock music are considered parts of a »soundtrack of the revolution« and Che Guevara posters are regarded as icons of political pop. If you look directly at the sources of time, though, things can sound quite different: in 1968, »Leave your guitars in the corner and talk to each other!« was a pop-friendly command generated at the Festival Chanson – Folklore International at Burg Waldeck in Hunsrück, one of the birthplaces of the German-language protest song. As part of a cooperation with the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei, the cultural historian Bodo Mrozek (Chair of Theory and History of Popular Music, HU Berlin) will discuss withKathrin Fahlenbrach (Professor of Media Studies at the University of Hamburg) and Berlin writer Bernd Cailloux (author of »The Fiscal Year 1968/69«). Entrance for the talk on August 16th is free.

Sign Language Interpretation (DGS)

As an interpreter of German sign languageLaura Schwengber has accompanied concerts and music videos by AnnenMayKantereit and the Babelsberger Filmorchester and translated Deutsch rap songs for a deaf audience with her entire body. At Pop-Kultur she will interpret the following programme elements: Kat Frankie’s commissioned work »Bad Behavior: Exploring the Sounds of Protest« (August 17th), the joint talk by Lizzie Doron and Klaus Ledererunder the title »Boycott« (August 15th), and the play and accompanying talk »Rausch Royal«, the commissioned work by the RambaZamba Theatre (August 16th + August 17th).


It is important to us that our festival be as barrier-free as possible. Detailed information about accessibility at our various venues can be found on our websiteFor further information please contact us by mail. 

Pop-Kultur lokal

The series »Pop-Kultur lokal«, which has made stops at Monarch, Refugio Berlin, and Schrippe Hawaii, will come to a close on July 18th and 19th at Loophole, Boddinstraße 60. Under the title »Invincibility«, six works commissioned by Loophole will be presented live by the artists ANY, Marta Zapparoli, and WJM (July 18th) as well as Angelic Sintesis, Greta Christensen, and Maria Jiki (July 19th). Entrance is free!

Warm greetings,