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Popkomm pulls plug on 2009 event

Music confab reps anticipated trade downturn

BERLIN — Popkomm, one of Europe’s leading music industry confabs, has been canceled due to continuing industry difficulties and sinking revenues amid mounting piracy.

The decision to nix the event, which was to have been held in Berlin Sept. 16-18, was backed by the Assn. of Independent Sound Media Companies and the Assn. of the German Music Industry. Popkomm was skedded to return next year.

“A situation that was becoming clear early this year at the Midem music event in Cannes also seems to be affecting Popkomm in Berlin,” Popkomm managing director Ralf Kleinhenz said. “Despite a satisfactory number of bookings by exhibitors, we anticipate a considerable decline in trade visitor attendance because of the economic situation. Out of responsibility to the exhibitors, we have therefore decided to postpone Popkomm for a year.”

Last year, 843 exhibitors from 52 countries took part in Popkomm, which attracted more than 14,000 trade visitors from major and independent labels, publishers, and companies from music-related sectors such as the concert, movie, television, advertising, gaming and mobile entertainment industries.

Popkomm reps estimated that the number of trade visitors would have been down 40% to 50% this year.

The event includes the Popkomm Festival, which usually attracts more than 400 bands and artists from around the world onto the stages of Berlin clubs, as well as the Popkomm Conference, which covers topics such as the live sector, digital marketing, mobile music, pop and politics and artist-relevant issues.

Originally based in Cologne, Popkomm moved to Berlin in 2004 as more and more major labels relocated their headquarters to the capital.

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