The connections between brands and music are becoming ever closer and creative, the cooperations ever more diverse. Many brands have firmly anchored music sponsoring in their marketing strategies, the use of music and songs in advertising and film is increasing, influencer marketing in the field of music is a natural part of the mix. Agencies create innovative analog and digital formats online and offline, build new platforms and develop new forms of cooperation. In short: the cooperation between the music industry and the advertising industry is more established than ever before. And it is fully accepted by fans - if it is well done and offers added value. In the ideal case, the result is a win-win-win situation - for artists, for brands and for fans.

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the programming section BRANDS & MUSIC will bring together all those who contribute to the success of such mutually enriching cooperations: advertisers, marketers, media makers, musicians, rights holders, the music industry and the advertising industry. For a whole day, we offer insights into the relevant topics and present cases, discuss with agencies, consultants, companies, managers and music makers about the status quo and the future of the connection between music and brands – artists and advertising.

We will address the question of how music in general and advertising music, in particular, control our emotions. We will examine what interests need to be reconciled, not just business interests, when a song comes together with a clip or a musician with a brand. We will gain insights into the music strategies of major international brands. We will ask why some brands suddenly have their own festivals. And we will investigate how festivals themselves become brands in order to be perceived as tourist events. For the finale, we will listen to the first interactive song with voice-controlled assistant Alexa - and will hear about the story behind it. And we will offer all participants a platform to enter into new cooperations themselves.



Since the beginning of digitalization, the music industry has been a driving force behind key technological developments and trends to establish new business models and revenue opportunities for creative professionals. The DIGITAL MUSIC section of the c/o pop Convention 2019 on May 2 and 3, 2019 will bring together professionals from the music, creative and digital industries to discuss key issues and challenges facing the music industry in the digital age. The latest technological findings, developments and visions will be examined from the perspective of the music industry in various thematic focuses. At the same time, we want to develop guidance for politics that focus on creative people and their interests.

One focus is devoted to the increasingly urgent need for innovation in the music industry. As a stimulus, we will present interesting new ideas and cases from the fields of audio and video, label work, data management and artificial intelligence. In a blockathon, we will be working on bringing a breath of fresh air into the ecosystem of the music industry. We will also talk about new licensing models that are not only driven by new technologies, but also by a new willingness to cooperate.

We will explore how musicians can use digital platforms such as Bandcamp to generate revenue, and show how music streaming could be improved, so there will be something remaining for the creators in the end. We will outline how green technologies can make clubs and festivals more sustainable. And we will offer time and space for the exchange of creative people and digital start-ups, authors and distributors, thinkers, doers and users.


Networks are the main arteries in the globalized field of action and work of the creative and music industries. Be it in the local or transatlantic network of music creators and consumers, of business and politics, of institutions and companies - the exchange of knowledge and information is more important than ever.

Within the EXCHANGE & CONNECT section, we will be presenting examples of how networks occupy and deal with topics, how they are used to articulate and disseminate interests, and how they generate new ideas and at times also add new value.

These are some of the topics that will be discussed on May 2 and 3, 2019: What is the significance of a night economy for cities and regions? Do we need a night policy in addition to cultural policy, and what might this look like? How can we move from a strategy of prevention to one of empowerment? What concepts are there to protect live music venues from the spiral of gentrification? Are live music venues cultural assets and therefore worth protecting? How can networks be used wisely to set the right course?


To bring music successfully into the world, more precisely into the world of media and social networks, to the shops, clubs, and concert halls - that is the job of music managers, bookers, and promoters or label operators. But not every musician and every small label can afford to have all these experts work for them, but they have to take on these jobs themselves. This is not an easy undertaking, especially since most of them only want one thing: to make their music. That's why basic knowledge from and about the music industry can't hurt, and you also need to get in contact with them and maintain it.

On Friday, May 3, 2019, as part of the c/o pop Convention, in the NEW TALENT program section we will once again impart practical industry expertise, establish networks and offer assistance. Experts will share their knowledge and advice with you, and you will learn how you can effectively promote and market your music.


Convention program at a glance
Convention program at a glance

c/o pop Convention @ c/o pop xoxo - The program at a glance. Check back from time to time, new ones are added daily!


Gender biases and discrimination in AI (Rachel Falconer, Christine Bauer, Stephan Baumann, Amélie Heldt, Ronny Krieger)
(Language: English)

Where's the revolution? (Flavia Ferreira, Anne Wellmer, Ronny Krieger)
(Language: English)

The Power of Creative Communities: Together we are strong (Sandira Blas, Ronny Krieger)
(Language: English)

Eternally young: Is there a formula for success for musicians? (Frank Spilker, Suzie Kerstgens, Patrick Wagner, Ronny Krieger)
(Language: German)

The Talks are hosted and presented by c/o pop Convention and VUT e.V. in collaboration as the VUT Indie Days Köln.

Expert Sessions

How to #makestreamingfair with a user-centric payment system (Richard Wernicke)
(Language: English)

How to Patreon - Membership success and reliable monetization opportunities for the creative industry (Sarah Kockler, Ronny Krieger)
(Language: English)

Breaking down the process: a human’s role in creativity with AI (Portrait XO)
(Language: English)

Mistakes - Traps - Videos (Anne Schulte)
(Language: German)

c/o pop xoxo Convention Online-Ticket
c/o pop xoxo Convention Online-Ticket

As a conference with a focus on networking, the c/o pop Convention offers individual online workshops as well as the streaming program. In these Breakout Sessions, small groups can work on a topic. Almost as usual. To sign up for the Breakout Sessions, you need to get a c/o pop xoxo Convention Online Ticket. You can register for it here free of charge.

After registering for the online ticket you will get access to our delegates database. There you can apply for the breakout sessions for free. Places are limited - first come, first serve!

Within the Delegates Database you will also have the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other participants.

Get your c/o pop xoxo Convention Online Ticket here

c/o pop xoxo - FAQ
c/o pop xoxo - FAQ

c/o pop xoxo – hugs & kisses from Cologne! Both analog and digital, in Cologne and around the world. A special edition of the c/o pop Festival and the c/o pop Convention. The most important facts in a nutshell:


c/o pop xoxo is a special edition of the c/o pop Festival and the c/o pop Convention for 2020 because due to COVID-19, we were unable to conduct the event we had planned for April.


From October 21 to 24, 2020, we are presenting a digital and interactive Festival and Convention program on our website to send out virtual hugs & kisses!


Canceling our regularly planned festival and convention left us with grief - however, we see our special edition as an opportunity to test out new content, concepts, communication formats and technical options. c/o pop xoxo combines live events compliant with the COVID-19 regulations with new digital formats. The experimental concept includes concerts, interviews, talks, workshops and showcases of all kinds. Get ready for over 120 program items!


Our diverse international program planned for April cannot be moved to October completely. Therefore in October, we focus on the key concept of our work: supporting pop music newcomers. We present newcomers from Cologne and NRW to you as well as cooperations from Germany and Europe: You will find out about our pandemic-proof program in mid September.


Discover new locations: From the roof terrace with a view of the Cologne cathedral to opulent music halls, junkyards, parrot houses - not to forget our new headquarter, the HERBRAND's ehrenfeld.


Should the coronavirus situation allow it, we will also present live concerts and give away tickets via Facebook and Instagram. Just follow us!


The c/o pop Convention is a conference for professionals from the music and media industry and for young artists at the beginnings of their careers. That's why, normally, we offer our visitors many panel discussions, talks, interviews, workshops and tutorials to discuss current issues of the industry, identify problems and pass on specific know-how. Additionally, the convention always offers plenty of space and time for networking. Since these kinds of meetings are not possible at the moment, we are shifting our convention program to the World Wide Web. Panels, talks and interviews will be shown live in the streams. Furthermore, we will provide breakout sessions via video call software, i.e. workshops, that take place apart from the stream. There, you can examine specific topics, almost like in normal workshops.


You don’t need tickets to attend at c/o pop xoxo’s. The program presented in our stream and on our social media channels is free of charge and publicly accessible. Should the Corona situation allow it, we will give away tickets for (a few) live concerts via Facebook and Instagram. Just follow us! Due to Corona, it won’t be possible to purchase on-site tickets for the Convention program either. Only the Breakout Sessions require pre-registrations free of charge. The free c/o pop Convention Online Ticket is available here. As soon as you have an Online Ticket, you can register for the Breakout Sessions.


With the c/o pop xoxo Convention Online Ticket you get the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other participants in the Delegates Database. Free of charge!


Safety first! Of course we will comply with all prevailing hygiene and distancing regulations at all events.


Hugs & Kisses to all our sponsors and partners for making this virtual c/o pop Edition possible! Special thanks to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Initiative Musik, the City of Cologne, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Creative Europe program and the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, who are taking this unusual step and support our semi-virtual Festival and Convention Special Edition. Without you all this would not be possible!

c/o pop xoxo - Content Partner
c/o pop xoxo - Content Partner

The c/o pop xoxo program is supported by a number of organisations, including the VUT - Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmer*innen e.V. (Association of Independent Music Entrepreneurs) which holds the first VUT Indie Days Cologne, TINCON which offer talks on socially relevant and pop culture topics, popNRW with its tried and tested New Talent Sessions and WDR COSMO. These four partners will be presenting several programming elements in the stream - it's going to be exciting, and we're really looking forward to it!

AI Song Contest & Prize
AI Song Contest & Prize


This year at the c/o pop xoxo for the first time the DIANA trophy goes to musicians who have written and produced songs using the AI software Boomy and open source lyric generators. Our mission is to actively promote the creative and playful dialogue between musicians and AI software. Our goal is to kick off inspired collaborations as well as strong songs beyond genre bubbles.


The only things that matter for participation are your skills as a songwriter, your creativity and your curiosity. At the event, you will be divided into small teams and prepared for the interaction with the applications by our AI experts in a waythat will be easy to understand. No previous knowledge of AI software is required!


The DIANA Songwriting Camp will take place on October 20, 2020, in Cologne - of course under conditions suitable for the pandemic. You can apply by e-mail until September 25, 2020. The awards ceremony will be streamed as part of the c/o pop xoxo program on October 23 and 24.

You'll find all information here.

c/o pop xoxo – with love from Cologne!
c/o pop xoxo – with love from Cologne!

NEW DATE: OCTOBER 21 TO 24, 2020.

The coronavirus crisis has caused all of us to rethink what we consider normal. One thing is clear: even in October 2020, there can't be a c/o pop Festival and c/o pop Convention in the regular form. Instead, we'll be exploring new digital and analogue paths together - with c/o pop xoxo from October 21 to 24, 2020.

Cultural life during and with the coronavirus pandemic has changed: Clubs had to close, festivals were cancelled, many artists fear for their existence. And a back-to-normal scenario is still a long way off. From the "live from home" of the coronavirus days back to "back to live" is a tricky path. We want to accompany this transition with an experimental concept that mixes classical concert performances and talks with new digital formats. Because we have resolved to one thing: Cologne will have a festival in autumn!

We are thrilled that many of our partners from April are also supporting this special edition, such as popNRW, the network We are Europe and the VUT - Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmer*innen e.V.


Our aim with c/o pop xoxo is to build a bridge from events held under social-distance conditions to interactive live formats. In doing so, we do not want to lose sight of the core idea behind our programme: to promote and support the next generation of pop musicians. We also want to reduce the lack of physical contact between visitors with c/o pop xoxo and at least virtually distribute Hugs and Kisses: XOXO.

As always, the goal is to support the most interesting artists and bands from Cologne, NRW and the entire country on their way, to present them to an interested audience and to bring them into contact with industry professionals from Germany and abroad.


To be able to hold c/o pop xoxo as an event suitable for the pandemic, we are planning a festival and a convention which will focus on significantly fewer stages and which will additionally be presented digitally on a multi-channel platform.

c/o pop xoxo will have a headquarters in both the analogue and digital world: For three days, we will produce and broadcast a wide range of pop culture content from Herbrand's in Cologne-Ehrenfeld on various platforms: concerts, interviews, readings, talks, workshops, tutorials and showcases of all kinds. Complemented by activities on our social media channels.

Xoxo with love from Cologne!

The c/o pop Festival & c/o pop Convention 2020 are funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Initiative Musik, the City of Cologne and the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the European Union (Creative Europe Program).

We are Europe Faces 2020
We are Europe Faces 2020

The Faces of We are Europe 2020 are online - four of them are part of the c/o pop Convention 2020! Nominated are those who inspire us through their talent, but especially through their commitmentand convictions. Artist and Creative Director Portrait XO (Factory Berlin), Co-Founder of teenage engineering, David Möllerstedt, WDR COSMO Head of music, Francis Gay, and founder and curator of the ART@TECH Art Festival, Victoria Blechman-Pomogajko, would have been part of panels and workshops at the c/o pop Convention. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we had to cancel the c/o pop Convention in April. The planning for the c/o pop Convention in October is in full swing and we hope that this four personalities can attend the event in October, too.

For more info on We are Europe click here: http://weare-europe.eu

Online Talk
Online Talk

Our online talk "Tanz die Systemrelevanz" will enter its second round on Friday, July 3, at 1 p.m.: with Jan van Weegen (Gebäude 9 / KLUBKOMM, Cologne), Pamela Schobeß (Gretchen / Clubcommission, Berlin), Terry Krug (Clubstiftung Hamburg) and our c/o pop Convention director Ralph H. Christoph

A little over two months ago, when everybody was still under the influence of the first month in lockdown, we held a c/o pop Convention Online Talk about the question of how systemically relevant the cultural industry actually is. Back then, we also tried to look into the future and consider what possible exit strategies might look like. Today we know at least one thing for sure: the club and live entertainment industry was "first out" and will definitely be "last in".

Since then, a lot of money has gone into supporting the various cultural sectors, at the local, regional and national level. But even the "Kulturmilliarde" (Billion for Culture), which is intended to save private cultural institutions as part of the bailout and future programme "NEUSTART KULTUR" (New Start Culture) launched by the Minister of State for Culture and Media, has not ended the debate about the fit of the coronavirus relief measures since there is no end of the pandemic in sight.

We will discuss the specific situation of the clubs and venues in "Tanz die Systemrelevanz, Pt. 2". Therefore, we will look at Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne and want to find out how the support of the scene has advanced in these cities. At the end, there will be a Q&A session - post your questions into the chat, and we will answer them at the end of the talk.

This talk of the c/o pop Convention is sponsored and supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Cologne and We are Europe.

Click here for the stream.

Please note: The talk will be held in German!


Jan van Weegen has been the operator of Gebäude 9 in Cologne since 1996. Since 2014, he has also held the position of First Chairman of Klubkomm, the Verband Kölner Clubs und Veranstalter e.V. (Association of Cologne Clubs and Organisers).

Pamela Schobeß has been managing clubs in Berlin for over 20 years. After her Club Icon was displaced from Prenzlauer Berg by gentrification, she has been managing the Kreuzberger (Live-)Club Gretchen since 2011. Since 2016, Pamela has been on the managing board of the Berlin Clubcommission. She is also a member of the IHK general assembly, the IHK committees for the creative industries and urban development, the supervisory board of the Berlin Music Commission and the advisory board of the Musicboard Berlin.

Terry Krug has given her heart to the club culture as the manager of the legendary Tanzhalle St. Pauli. She is one of the founding members of the Clubkombinat and was the managing director of the Hamburger Interessenverband for several years. During this time Terry Krug actively supported the foundation of the Bundesverband Livekomm and helped give birth to the Stiftung zur Stärkung privater Musikbühnen Hamburg, better known as Club Foundation. Today she is the first chairwoman of the organisation, which is still unique today.

Ralph Christoph is one of the founders of the c/o pop Festival in Cologne. He was programme director of the c/o pop Festival from 2004 to 2007, and since 2014 he has been in charge of the c/o pop Convention and is responsible for international relations and the strategic direction of the whole brand c/o pop.


Since all participating speakers are donating their share, 100% of the income of this stream will go into a solidarity pact for the Cologne club culture, which can help venues and organisers to save jobs, bridge financing gaps and also to provide cultural offers for you after the crisis.

Thank you for your support!

Solidarity Stream for Cologne Club Culture
Solidarity Stream for Cologne Club Culture

c/o pop Convention & Festival @ COLOGNE CULTURE STREAM

The COLOGNE CULTURE STREAM gave us the opportunity to transport some festival atmosphere into your living rooms from April 22 to 26. You can still watch the talks, lessons and interviews on www.dringeblieben.de or on our Facebook page. We discussed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the cultural industry with experts and affected people from the music and concert industry and also presented some lessons for artists and bands with specific information to carry on projects during this crisis.

Please note: The program was held in German. This is why we do not provide any information on the program in English. Thank you for your understanding.

We care because you do!
We care because you do!

Information from April, 3, 2020:

We regret to inform you today that the c/o pop Convention and c/o pop Festival in April will not take place as planned.

Due to current developments arising from the coronavirus, the pandemic and the resulting restrictions placed on the staging of events, there is a general ban on events in Cologne up to and including April 19, 2020.

The City of Cologne has now come to the conclusion that major events beyond that date cannot be permitted until the end of May 2020, as such events carry a high risk of spreading the coronavirus. At this time it is to be expected that events must be prohibited after April 19, 2020, too, as far as they have not been canceled yet.

After close consultation with the local authorities, our sponsors and partners, we, therefore, have decided to cancel our planned events in April. After all, the health of all people involved is still our top priority. Moreover, it is currently not predictable whether, and if so to what extent, the restrictions on public life will be eased after April 19, 2020. This will be decided by the federal and state governments in the coming weeks.

However, we are very pleased that we have found a solution after consultation with our sponsors and partners and that the c/o pop Convention will take place in October 2020. The new date will be announced shortly.

The planning for the c/o pop Convention in October is in full swing and all information on this you can find here on our website or in our newsletters. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move the entire scheduled April program to October.

We are sorry we were unable to make this decision until now and appreciate your understanding.

Tickets for the c/o pop Convention remain valid for the new date in October - except combination tickets for the c/o pop Convention and the c/o pop Festival. Combination tickets will be refunded anyway. Tickets will be refunded by our ticket partner Ticketmaster. All ticket holders will receive further information by e-mail in the next couple of weeks. We apologize for any inconvenience should there be a delay in the return process - the tickets will be refunded under all circumstances.

We wish you peaceful days and hope to see you in October!

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@c-o-pop.de.

All the best and kind regards,
your c/o pop Convention team

Information from March, 19, 2020:

The last days were very exhausting for all of us. Our life situation has changed rapidly and in part drastically. Today we would like to inform you about the current state of affairs regarding the c/o pop Convention 2020.

The local authorities (State of NRW and City of Cologne) have imposed a ban of all events. However, this ban currently "only" applies until April 19, 2020. There are currently no guidelines or recommendations to cancel events after that date. This is a very difficult situation for us.

Our highest priority is the health of all participants and we would like to contribute - like other organizers - to containing the spread of the corona virus as much as possible.

Of course, we follow the reports and orders of the authorities and are also in close contact with our sponsors and partners. We are also working on possible options to postpone the c/o pop Convention 2020.

We are hoping to be able to give you detailed information about this as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we will show you projects and ideas of our sponsors, partners and local locations on our social media channels so that you can still fill this time of waiting with music and cultural content.

We wish you peaceful days and hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@c-o-pop.de.

Information from March, 11, 2020:

c/o pop Festival & Convention provide information on the latest developments concerning the corona virus COVID-19

It goes without saying that we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries about the status of planning and holding our event from April 22 to 26.

Therefore, we want to provide you with current information from now on!

As the organizers of the c/o pop Festival and the c/o pop Convention, we are aware of our responsibility towards our visitors, artists, speakers, partners, sponsors and staff, and we are taking this very seriously. For this reason, we are keeping in close contact and constant exchange with the local authorities and closely follow the communication of the Robert-Koch-Institute, the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the Federal Ministry of Health.

On March 10, the city of Cologne ordered that events with more than 1,000 expected visitors should be cancelled. The city of Cologne has also decided to initially set the ban until April 10, 2020 (Good Friday).

Based on the current state of information and the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the city of Cologne, we therefore assume that the c/o pop Convention, the c/o pop Festival and c/o Ehrenfeld can take place as planned.

Just as it is said about citizens of the Rhineland, we are optimistic for the time being that we will be able to experience some great days together in these difficult times. If anything should change regarding the assessment and the guidelines of the responsible authorities relating to the organization of events in Cologne, you will find it out here immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@c-o-pop.de.

c/o pop joins Keychange
c/o pop joins Keychange

The c/o pop Festival and the c/o pop Convention have joined the Keychange Initiative - with this we set ourselves the goal of achieving a balanced gender ratio both on the festival stages and at the convention by 2022.

The Keychange Initiative, launched by the British PRS For Music Foundation in 2017, initially only focused on music festivals - more than 180 international festivals have so far joined the initiative. As of September 2019, this declaration of intent on gender equality will be extended to related areas in the music industry such as recorded music, publishing and music radio. Until 2023, the EU Commission has allocated 1.4 million euros to the programme which is now under the direction of the Reeperbahn Festival. "We have been discussing the under-representation of women in a pop cultural context for years in protected spaces. There are so many women who make fantastic music or have a keen sense of business. However, this is not only reflected in their successes. Men still dominate art and its market. The Keychange initiative now harbors the tremendous opportunity to eliminate this imbalance," says the newly appointed Keychange ambassador Joy Denalane. We are striving even more than in previous years for a high share of women among our speakers at the c/o pop Convention 2020 - we want to achieve the 50:50 quota by 2022 at the latest, in accordance with our agreement with Keychange.

Highlights Professional Program April
Highlights Professional Program April

Within the Professional program of the c/o pop Convention 2020 keynotes, panel discussions, presentations, workshops and training sessions will provide a practical look into the future. We had an amazing program for the c/o pop Convention in April. The planning for the c/o pop Convention in October is in full swing. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move the entire scheduled April program to October. Some of the Professional program highlights would have been:

Gaming&Musik (Gustav Käll, Bernhard Mogk)

Music Supervision (Nora Felder)

Artists as brands (Josh Greenberg)

Musik im Podcast (Thomas Theune, Tina Jürgens, Samira Leitmannstetter, Jule Wasabi, Schiwa Schlei)

Spotify Masterclass (Michael Schneider, Stephan Szillus)

Deezers User-Centric Payment System (Richard Wernicke)

FemPower: Schritte zur gender equality mit Keychange (Lena Ingwersen, Katja Lucker, Dena, Francis Gay, Victoria Blechman-Pomogajko)

DIANA AI Song-Contest & Preisverleihung

VUT Indie Days Köln

Europe in Synch (Nis Harvey Bøgvad, Nuno Saraiva, Markus Linde)

Sync Summit: French Publishers meet German Supervisors

Highlights New Talent Program April
Highlights New Talent Program April

The New Talent program of the c/o pop Convention provides practical industry knowledge for tomorrow's musical pros. You can see some program highlights that we would have presented in April below. The planning for the c/o pop Convention in October is in full swing. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move the entire scheduled April program to October.

Music production (Olaf Opal, Jan Philipp Janzen)

AI in Music production (Jovanka v. Wilsdorf, Portrait XO)

Music video production (Brigitta Jahn, Anne Schulte)

Listen Up: Podcasting from A-Z (Tim Thaler, Victor Redman)

Effective booking (Corinna Jacke)

What's your story? Artist marketing (Niloufar Behradi-Ohnacker)

Green Touring (Jasmine Klewinghaus, Mariko-Ann Zimmer, Fine Stammnitz)

Artist and tour sponsorship (Lena Engeln)

"Steps Ahead" Listening Session (Tim Thaler)

University cooperations

Premiere: VUT Indie Days Cologne
Premiere: VUT Indie Days Cologne

In 2020 the VUT Indie Days should have taken place for the first time in Cologne, as part of the c/o pop Convention. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the first VUT Indie Days Cologne in April have been cancelled, too. We are already working on the program for the c/o pop Convention in October and we hope to be able to reschedule parts of the VUT Indie Days Cologne.

For the last four years the VUT West has been our co-organizer for the New Talent workshops. Now, for the first time, the entire, nationwide operating VUT – Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmer*innen e.V. would have been taking part as our partner, with the VUT Indie Days Cologne. For April 2020 there were planned diverse panels and several workshops and expert sessions.

The following speakers were confirmed for the VUT Indie Days Cologne in April: Kerri Pollard (Patreon, USA), Frank Spilker (Die Sterne), David Möllerstedt (teenage engineering, SE), Mag. DI Dr. Christine Bauer (Johannes Kepler University Linz, AT), Rachel Falconer (Goldsmiths University of London), Dr. rer. nat. Stephan Baumann (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH), Yier Erin Bargeld (Cybernaut Europe GmbH), Flavia Ferreira (Patch Point, ES), Anne Wellmer (nonlinear, NL), Sandira Blas (Factory Berlin), Sara-Lena Probst (BlackbirdPunk), Suzie Kerstgens (KLEE), Volker Rieck (FDS File Defense Service UG), Houwaida Goulli (recordJet), Caoimhe McAlister (DICE Conference + Festival), Aida Baghernejad (Journalistin) and Ronny Krieger (VUT e.V.).

The following topics would have been part of the program of the VUT Indie Days Cologne:

The Power of Creative Communities: Together we are strong
The creative community and its relation to individual creativity and the social purpose of a creative network.
Speakers: Kerri Pollard, Sandira Blas, Yier Erin Bargeld
Moderator: Ronny Krieger

Ewig Jung: Gibt es eine Erfolgsformel für Musiker*innen?
Wir gehen der Frage nach, wie Künstler*innen ein Leben lang kreativ, fit und relevant bleiben.
Speakers: Frank Spilker, Suzie Kerstgens
Moderator: Ronny Krieger

Gender biases and discrimination in AI
Artificial intelligence cannot be objective, because it is based on traditional patterns of attitude. How can discrimination through AI be remedied?
Speakers: Dr. Christine Bauer, Rachel Falconer, Dr. Stephan Baumann
Moderator: Ronny Krieger

Where‘s the Revolution?
New instruments and technical achievements have contributed to the emergence of new musical genres in recent decades. We investigate which equipment will give rise to new forms of music today and tomorrow.
Speakers: David Möllerstedt, Anne Wellmer, Flavia Ferreira
Moderator: Ronny Krieger

Neues Urheberrecht im Praxischeck. Was bedeutet die Umsetzung von Artikel 17 der EU-Richtlinie für Musikunternehmer*innen?
Das Panel wirft einen Blick auf die bisherige Praxis der Musiklizenzierung sowie die Chancen und Risiken, die sich durch die Richtlinie insbesondere in Artikel 17 für Nutzer*innen, Plattformen, Kreative und ihre Partner*innen ergeben.
Speakers: Volker Rieck, Sara-Lena Probst
Moderator: Reinher Karl

VUT Music Industry Women präsentiert: „Multi-issue lives“ – Intersektionalität und Musikbranche
Gängige Musikbranchen-Praktiken bringen verschiedene Diskriminierungsformen zutage. Welchen Stellenwert hat Intersektionalität in der Popkultur? Wessen Körper, wessen Stimme und wessen Geschichte darf in der Popmusik repräsentiert werden?
Speaker*innen: Houwaida Goulli, Caoimhe McAlister, Frank Spilker
Moderation: Aida Baghernejad

Jörg Heidemann the managing director of VUT says about the premiere in Cologne:

"The music industry is constantly changing and requires from our members to stay up-to-date on current problems, solution approaches and innovative developments. To further strengthen the exchange with one another we are expanding our yearly industry meeting during Reeperbahn Festival on the c/o pop Convention and are happy to also be in Cologne with the Indie Days!"

Ralph H. Christoph, Head of the c/o pop Convention, adds:

"It has always been a central objective of the c/o pop Convention to strengthen the independent music scene as a talent pool and driver of innovations, thanks to the cooperation with the VUT we are able to offer even more concrete input and chances to network at the VUT Indie Days Köln for people who work in the independent music business, so they can strengthen the position of the musicians in a changing market."

University cooperations
University cooperations

As an industry meeting for the music industry, the creative industries and the digital economy, the c/o pop Convention not only aims to bring together professionals, but also to explicitly reach the experts of tomorrow. That's why each year we approach new universities and organise collaborative events during the c/o pop Convention.

In 2020 we wanted to cooperate with the Folkwang Institute for Pop Music (Essen), the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (Cologne) and the SRH School of Popular Arts (Berlin). Due to the cancelation of all events in April we cannot realize these cooperations. We are now checking possibilities to reschedule the cooperations to October 2020.

In April, the cooperations would have included showcases of bands from these universities as part of c/o Ehrenfeld, panel discussions and much more.

With the SRH School of Popular Arts we wanted to organize the "Steps Ahead Listening Session" with Tim Thaler as well as the Expert Session "Listen Up: Podcasting from A-Z" with Tim Thaler and Victor Redman.

The cooperation with the Institute for Pop Music at the Folkwang University of the Arts would have included an expert session on the topic "The Road to Freedom - How do you position yourself as a young artist in 2020? Major? Indie? DIY?"

Abstract: Due to Myspace a new era for young artists began in 2003. Suddenly the world was only one upload away - and it soon seemed clear to everyone: why negotiate with a label when you could get gigs in Rio, New York and Tokyo. By now, Myspace is nothing but a dusty marketplace on the Internet, but there is still no lack of functional social media communities with the promise of fast networking and thus career kick-offs. And yet the atmosphere is not as euphoric as it was a decade ago. Between the disillusionment of streaming and ticketing monopolies, even in 2020, young artists still have to think about what partners they should position themselves with in order to get their career off the ground.

Speakers: Gunther Buskies, Katharina Köhler, Anton Teichmann
Moderation: Tanja Godlewsky, Thomas Venker

The cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne would have included an expert session on the topic "Songwriting: Is that something you can study?"

Abstract: Chorus, hook, refraub, ramp, topline, middle eight - what? Your song has all the important elements, it sounds awesome - but it still leaves everyone cold? Your songs are not like the ones on the radio - is that good or bad? You don't know what to tell - or you doubt if you have something to tell? And - is it even possible to learn all of this? You can. The Cologne University of Music and Dance (HfMT) offers songwriting as a major subject as part of the bachelor's degree course in jazz-pop. At the HfMT Expert Session, Stephan Scheuss (major subject teacher and study group leader for songwriting), Anikó Kanthak (major subject teacher), Christoph Rieger (songwriting student) and Julia Leimenstoll (alumna) will answer your questions about studying songwriting and pop music at the HfMT Cologne and share their experiences with you.

Speakers: Stephan Scheuss, Anikó Kanthak, Julia Leimenstoll, Christoph Rieger

​c/o pop Convention goes c/o Ehrenfeld
​c/o pop Convention goes c/o Ehrenfeld

In 2020, the c/o pop Festival will once again be hosting the diverse and free program named c/o Ehrenfeld. c/o Ehrenfeld includes numerous concerts, readings and other great activities in the Cologne district of Ehrenfeld - all free of charge. Some of the events of the c/o pop Convention will also be part of the program for c/o Ehrenfeld. Due to the cancellation of all events in April, we are working on the program for October and hopefully will be able to reschedule most of the c/o Ehrenfeld program.

You can find all the convention events originally planned for April that are part of the c/o Ehrenfeld program here:

"Machiavelli - The Podcast about Rap & Politics" with Jan Kawelke, Vassili Golod, presented by WDR COSMO

"Say My Name - Diversity in Music Journalism" with Malcolm Ohanwe, Salwa Houmsi and Aria Nejati, presented by Uh-Young Kim, curated by COSMO

"Sound of a Revolution" with Francis Gay and guest, curated by COSMO, presented by We Are Europe

"Höme Festival Club"

"Lady Bitch Ray about Madonna", reading with Lady Bitch Ray, moderated by Yeşim Duman

Quality on the Web: Grimme Online Award
Quality on the Web: Grimme Online Award

Music often also contributes to the journalistic quality on the Internet. The nominations for the Grimme Online Award 2020 were once again supposed to be presented at the c/o pop Convention. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we had to cancel the c/o pop Convention in April. And so the nomination event of the Grimme Online Award in Cologne had to be cancelled, too. The event will take place online via livestream instead on April, 22nd.

The Grimme Online Award will be presented for the 20th time in summer of 2020 by the Grimme Institute. The Grimme Online Award is a perfect addition to our DIGITAL MUSIC program. Since the beginning of digitalization, music has been a driver of central technological developments and trends on the Internet, which is also reflected in the Grimme Online Award.


The conference for digital youth culture was supposed to come to Cologne for the very first time this year - in cooperation and at the same time with c/o pop Convention. Due to the cancellation of the c/o pop Convention for April 2020 and the current ban on public assembly in Germany the TINCON Cologne becomes TINCONLINE and will take place online only on Friday, April 24, 2020.

As an interdisciplinary event for digital youth culture, TINCON imparts media competence and social participation in a broad spectrum of topics that reaches the entire young, digitally raised generation of 13- to 25-year-olds. On stage, young speakers also stand on an equal footing with well-known professionals. With talks, Q&As, workshops and discussions, the conference will focus on culture, technology and games, on education and science, on YouTube & Lifestyle as well as on coding, politics, the environment and society.

Please find all information here: https://tincon.org/tinconline/

The cooperation between TINCON and c/o pop Convention is sponsored by Stadt Köln and KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH.

TikTok & Spotify Masterclasses
TikTok & Spotify Masterclasses

TikTok Masterclass

TikTok is the fastest growing social network in the world and the music industry has recognized the potential it presents for musicians. The TikTok masterclass will explain how to make money with content on TikTok.

Please note: The masterclass will be held in German. Participation for the masterclass is only possible for convention ticket holders and after prior registration. The registration form will be unlocked again as soon as the program for the c/o pop Convention is fixed.

Spotify Masterclass

The Spotify masterclass is aimed at artists, managers and label representatives. Stephan Szillus (Senior Editor) and Michael Schneider (Artist & Label Marketing Manager) from Spotify Germany will provide you with all the information and tools you need to effectively build and expand your presence on Spotify.

Please note: The masterclass will be held in German. Participation for the masterclass is only possible for convention ticket holders (Professional Ticket and New Talent Ticket - no Student Ticket!) and after prior registration. The registration form will be unlocked again as soon as the program for the c/o pop Convention is fixed.

"Steps Ahead" Listening Session

To hear your own song on the radio, on a label or in advertising: At the "Steps Ahead" Listening Session held as part of NEW TALENT on Saturday, April 25, 2020, "new talents" can come a couple of steps closer to this goal. Young musicians have the chance to present their music to decision makers from the industry and the media, who will give direct feedback and perhaps also add the track to their programs.

If you want to be a part of it, you can apply: Simply send a song as an MP3 file with accompanying information (band name or artist name, song title, social media details, brief description of the project – max. 500 characters, contact details) to schulz@vut.de by March 15, 2020.

The members of the jury are Olaf Opal (Producer and Mixer), Donata Kramarz (NOSOYO), Tilmann Köllner (WDR 1LIVE), Sara-Lena Probst (BlackbirdPunk) und Thorsten Mathieu (Deutschlandfunk Nova). Tim Thaler will moderate the session.

The format "Steps Ahead" was developed by Tim Thaler and Robert Lingnau at the SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (Berlin) and is a cooperation with them.

This was the POP Summit 2020
This was the POP Summit 2020

POP Summit at the IHK Cologne provides new impulses for 300 participants

On January 21 and 22, 2020, the IHK Cologne 300 actors from politics, administration and the music industry as well as artists and independent pop promoters met on invitation of the Bundesverband Popularmusik and the Initiative Musik. This made the POP Summit, with it high-class speakers, the largest nationwide event on this topic so far. For two days, the participants from all over Germany and guests from abroad took the opportunity to exchange views on the state of pop music promotion in Germany and Europe and to develop new concepts for a more modern orientation of promotion programs and institutions. Around 60 speakers provided practical input in keynotes, landscape talks and panels.The consequences of digitalization for the music market and pop promotion were just as much an issue as the importance of networks, the dismantling of the gender gap and, in general, the creation of more diversity, the protection of cultural areas in the densifying metropolises or the need to develop and demonstrate an attitude when the freedom of cultural institutions is threatened by the right.

Pop Summit 2020
Pop Summit 2020

Every pop career starts at the base – in clubs, rehearsal spaces, studios. That's why it's all the more important to start here with a targeted promotion. But how up-to-date and sustainable are the promotional structures in this country, and what needs to be done better by who and where? In cooperation with the Initiative Musik GmbH, the Bundesverband Popularmusik e.V. (Federal Association for Popular Music) is organizing a federal conference on pop promotion that will find answers to these questions: the Pop Summit 2020 on January 21 and 22, 2020 at the IHK Cologne.

As partners, we co-organise the conference and, together with actors from politics and administration, associations and institutions, companies in the music industry as well as artists and independent pop promoters, we want to depict the status quo of pop music promotion in Germany, as well as to develop scenarios on how promotion should be organized under the current conditions.

Further information can be found at www.popsummit.de. If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to kontakt@popsummit.de.

Cologne Music Conference 2019
Cologne Music Conference 2019

Around 190 protagonists of the cultural scene, politics and administration of Cologne came to Cologne's Stadtgarten on October 21 to discuss the situation of Cologne's culture and especially of music in the context of the new cultural development strategy.

Katja Hermes of Sound Diplomacy introduced the Music City Manual, which gathers strategies for the development of a music city. In her opinion, Cologne is already on the right track in several areas – in the future, a special focus should be placed on securing spaces for artists and creative people. In addition to clubs, this also includes rehearsal spaces and studios, where artists careers begin. In the subsequent panel "We built this city on music", Hans Nieswandt (Institute for Pop Music), Suzie Kerstgens (Klee), Keshav Purushotham (Keshavara) and Oliver Minkh (MINKH) declared that as artists they have found a home in Cologne in which they have private roots and a good professional network. "We cannot complain about Cologne as a place," Hans Nieswandt put it in a nutshell. He also suggested establishing an artistically oriented pop institute in Cologne with the potential to develop attraction and radiance.

In his keynote speech, Thore Debor of Clubkombinat Hamburg explained the Hamburg Club Cadastre, which is intended, among other things, to serve as an early warning system to identify future developments in urban planning that might be relevant for music clubs – such a cadastre has already been commissioned for Cologne.

During the second panel "Develop, plan, protect", Susanne Laugwitz-Aulbach (Assistant Head of the Department of Art and Culture of the City of Cologne) and Markus Greitemann (Assistant Head of the Department of Urban Development, Planning and Construction of the City of Cologne) assured that they would support the protection of cultural spaces. In the future, suitable measures should be taken in advance to prevent cultural sites from being endangered by impending residential developments – the safeguarding of cultural areas is then one of the basic conditions with which an investor must and can plan.

The third panel was opened with a keynote lecture by Melike Öztürk, who presented the manifold activities of the Musicboard Berlin, especially those directly for musicians. In the following panel discussion on "Networks and their Significance" it became clear that creative people should make their interests clear to politicians, together with a strong voice, in order to gain more attention. Lorenz Deutsch, member of the Landtag, spoke about "kicking in doors". Norbert Oberhaus, Managing Director of cologne on pop GmbH, agreed that on the creative side there was sometimes a lack of networking and coordination. On the political side, offers for the music industry are often not well enough coordinated because they are connected to various ministries and institutions and there is a lack of a clear-cut course. He explained that he was discussing the establishment of a MusicOfficeNRW with state politics and other institutions, which could play a coordinating role in and for North Rhine-Westphalia.
c/o pop xoxo New Talent program
c/o pop xoxo New Talent program

The c/o pop Convention's New Talent Program provides knowledge and tips from experienced professionals for young artists and bands. These topics are included, with more to follow in mid-October:

Breaking down the process: a human’s role in creativity with AI (Language: Englisch) with Portrait XO, Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Creative Director at Factory Berlin

How to Patreon - Membership success and reliable monetization opportunities for the creative industry (Language: Englisch) with Sarah Kockler & Ronny Krieger, Patreon

Mindset as success factor for musicians - an introduction (Language: German) with Corinna Jacke, SOUNDSGOOD Music Agency

What's your Story? (Language: German) with Niloufar Behradi-Ohnacker, Digital Coaching Academy

Mistakes - Traps - Videos (Language: German) with Anne Schulte, Videojournalist

How to: Female Looks - Visual identities of female musicians in pop (Language: German) with Tanja Godlewsky, Institut für Pop-Musik der Folkwang Universität der Künste

All chords and when you should use which - A crash course in harmony for pop musicians (Language: German) with Gregor Schwellenbach, Institut für Pop-Musik der Folkwang Universität der Künste

Apply now! Funding opportunities of the Initiative Musik for musicians (Language: German) with Initiative Musik

The New Talent section of c/o pop xoxo is hosted by popNRW - Nachwuchsförderung für junge Talente aus NRW, VUT West and the c/o pop Convention.

c/o pop xoxo Breakout Sessions
c/o pop xoxo Breakout Sessions

As a conference with a focus on networking, the c/o pop Convention offers, in addition to the streaming program in October, individual workshops that take place online. In these Breakout Sessions you can work in small groups on a topic - almost like in a normal workshop.

Our topics are:

How to sync in G/S/A (Language: Englisch) with Pia Hoffmann, Music Consultation, Copyright Clearance, Music Supervising

Mindset as success factor for musicians - an introduction (Language: German) with Corinna Jacke

What's your Story? by Niloufar Behradi-Ohnacker

How to: Female Looks - Female Looks - Visual identities of female musicians in pop (Language: German) with Tanja Godlewsky

All chords and when to use them - A crash course in harmony for pop musicians (Language: German) with Gregor Schwellenbach

Apply now! Funding opportunities of the Initiative Musik for musicians (Language: German) with Initiative Musik

The Breakout Sessions are not running in the stream and can only be accessed by login. The number of seats is limited for each session - admission will be granted upon receipt of registration.

To register you need the free c/o pop xoxo Convention Online Ticket. After registering for the Online Ticket, you will automatically receive access to our delegates database, where you can register for the Breakout Sessions and network with other participants.

Click here for the Online Ticket.