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New fest to fill Popkomm hole

Industryites plan to set up new event

Following the cancellation of this year’s Popkomm music confab, industryites in Germany plan to set up an alternative international event.

The Association of the German Music Industry and other organizers pulled the plug on Popkomm, due to run Sept. 16-18, citing continuing difficulties in the industry and sinking revenues because of Internet piracy.

Consultancy agency Newthinking Communications, one of the initiators of the new event, dubbed all2gethernow! Berlin Music Market, said in a statement that blaming “the Internet for the cancellation showed little understanding of the situation, which demands new alliances and greater networking.”

The group also includes Tim Renner, head of local music label Motor Entertainment and former CEO of Universal Music Germany.

A longtime critic of the music industry’s business model and its focus on battling piracy, Renner, in an interview with Welt Online last week, said: “Canceling Popkomm out of protest against Internet piracy sounds to me like calling off Christmas in protest against the Berlin winter. The reasoning shows that the majority of the music industry continues to look for guilty parties rather than solutions.”

Renner says Europe would benefit from a talent festival similar to Austin’s South by Southwest, open to the industry and public.

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