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Popkomm 2009 Canceled

BERLIN (VIP-NEWS) — Germany’s pop music industry has canceled its most important annual trade fair. Popkomm organizers blame a decline in potential exhibitors on the recession and on-line piracy.

Popkomm, Germany's annual trade fair that normally showcases the pop music industry and youth entertainment trends in Berlin and abroad has been canceled for this year.

Dieter Gorny, who initiated Popkomm, originally in Cologne, said unpaid music downloads by Internet users had left companies struggling. Gorny blamed politicians, saying the exhibition's cancellation was the result of their inaction on piracy. They had failed to grasp its serious impact, said Gorny, who heads of the German BVMI music industry association.

"The digital crisis has hit the music industry head on. Losing revenues to illegal downloads on the Internet, many companies can simply no longer afford to participate at Popkomm."

If legislative action was not taken soon all efforts by the music industry would fail to bear fruit, said Gorny.

The BVMI says that for every legally purchased download in Germany, eight others are pirated.

Visitor numbers down

Popkomm organizers decided to cancel the fair, saying an anticipated 50 percent drop in visitor numbers for this year would have made it impossible to keep the event on a sound professional footing. Although Popkomm 2008 attracted 842 exhibitors from 52 countries, plus 14,000 industry participants, overall visitor numbers had already dropped by 20 percent..

Popkomm chief Ralf Kleinhenz said there had been a lot of positive feedback after the event was shifted from Cologne to Berlin back in 2004. But this year there were simply not enough exhibitor and visitor registrations to guarantee a successful event for 2009.

It had been scheduled to take place in mid-September. Aside from the exhibition, the organizers have also called off the pop music festival that usually adds zest to business transactions at the trade fair.

Popkomm organizers say they are working on a new concept for the next trade fair in 2010. There will be a sharper focus on networking between participants, as well as a conference and more attractive public events. –According to DW