What is Pop-Kultur?

Pop-Kultur is an international festival hosted by Musicboard Berlin GmbH, taking place for the sixth time in 2020 between the 26th and the 28th of August. After previous editions in Berghain, throughout Neukölln and most recently at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, this year the festival will be held in the digital realm for the first time. Pop-Kultur rests on four pillars: Live (Sessions, Digital Works, Talks & Films and Commissioned Works), Nachwuchs, Netzwerk and Lokal.

Live & Commissioned Works

Numerous concerts, exhibitions, installations, talks and films form the heart of Pop-Kultur. The festival emphasises internationality and the biggest possible diversity of perspectives represented in the programme, offering pop culture a discursive space in which they get reflected, contextualised and celebrated. We stand for interdisciplinary exchange, including academic discourse.

As an extension of the Live programme, which in 2020 comprises the so-called Sessions, which are shot in Berlin, and the Digital Works, which are produced externally by the artists all over the world, Pop-Kultur enables local and international artists to create and present new Commissioned Works. All of these contributions will be combined into one long show each day and each individual production and performance can be found in full at the Mediathek on our website after the streaming premiere.

Furthermore, Pop-Kultur is committed to deepening international cultural exchange. Besides co-productions with other international festivals and partners and increasing cooperation with musicians from Eastern Europe and the African continent, a new digital residency between Tel Aviv and Berlin is planned for 2020 to strengthen collaborative work between German and Israeli artists. A special focus will also be put on Canadian pop music in 2020.


For the Nachwuchs programme, Pop-Kultur welcomes 250 young talents from Berlin and around the world to around 40 workshops and networking opportunities with artists from the Live programme along with bright minds from business, politics and the music industry. The primary aim is the professionalisation of newcomers in the fields of music practice, music business, club and festival culture as well as interdisciplinary fields. In the long run, this will lead to an international network of creative people who bring progress to pop culture.

In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, the Pop-Kultur festival has enabled ten young musical talents from the Global South, the Middle East and Asia to take part in Pop-Kultur Live and Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs since 2015.
One alum of Goethe-Talents gets the opportunity to return to Berlin the following year for a four-week Goethe Residency to develop a collaborative project with a Berlin-based artist and present it in the festival’s main Live programme.


The Netzwerk get-together is seen as a variable space in which the German capital’s professional music and cultural scenes can share ideas with other national and international artists from the music and creative industries, young pop-culture talents and other decision-makers within politics and business. International players in the music and creative industries are given insights into international developments in pop music and into Berlin and Germany as production sites for pop culture.


Although Pop-Kultur is international in scope, it by no means neglects Berlin’s local scene, striving to put a spotlight on outstanding concepts. The Pop-Kultur Lokal programme has taken place every year since 2018, organised with Dominique Schweizer and the Off-Kultur project. Four events are selected by an independent jury, to be presented in the months that lead up to the main festival. Furthermore, Pop-Kultur Lokal also focuses on long-term exchange with the organisers: every year, one of the organisers from the previous year is invited to design and realise a separate part of Pop-Kultur’s main programme.

Information about awareness and accessibility at Pop-Kultur can be found here.