© c/o pop, Marcel Kamps

c/o pop in Cologne

A music festival and a sector meeting

Imagine the Venloer Straße in Cologne, the main artery of the Ehrenfeld district: lots of snack bars, restaurants, shops, streams of traffic. And now imagine what happens when the street is closed for cars — and opened up for music and parties. Voilà — and welcome to c/o pop. That’s when the Venloer Straße is transformed into a lively thoroughfare filled with throngs of people having a good time. Music floats out of the bars and restaurants and lines are forming outside the clubs. After enjoying a concert in a boutique, you can move on to a live act in the shop next door to check out the next promising newcomer on the music scene. In short, there’s a wealth of highlights at the annual c/o pop in cologne.

© c/o pop

c/o pop = Cologne on pop

c/o pop is a music festival and also a meeting place for the music sector. It consists of the c/o pop, the c/o pop Convention and the c/o Ehrenfeld. The music festival, which has been held annually since 2004, offers countless gigs and live acts, shows and concerts, discussions, workshops and panel discussions — and lots of fun.

The venues of c/o pop are not limited to the usual indoor and outdoor stages — instead, the live music and networking are spread out over all kinds of venues in Cologne, ranging from kiosks to churches, pop-up stages and shops. On top of all that, c/o pop presents a diverse supporting programme consisting of numerous pop-culture events.

Across all genres

Urban, experimental, alternative, underground, electro, indie, wave-pop, rap, post-punk and many more

As a visitor to c/o pop, you’ll get a deep insight into contemporary pop culture. In principle, just about every genre is represented in the festival’s programme. It offers a broad spectrum of musical cultures with strong potential for the birth of new and exciting trends — but you’re also free to simply submerge yourself fully in your favourite musical style.

A festival of discovery

Many established artists from the music sector come to Cologne for the c/o pop, but it’s primarily a festival of discovery that focuses on promising newcomers who are already experiencing some success and are on the way to becoming the stars of tomorrow. Bands such as The Whitest Boy Alive, AnnenMayKantereit and Brandt Brauer Frick performed at at c/o pop in Cologne before making their breakthrough.

© Christian Faustus

c/o pop Convention

A sector meeting parallel to the festival

For professionals in the music sector and cooperating digital businesses and games, the c/o pop Convention is held in parallel with the c/o pop festival. It features panel discussions, workshops, keynote events and training sessions for professionals and interested amateurs — and lots of networking.

At the weekend: c/o Ehrenfeld

A highlight of c/o pop is the c/o Ehrenfeld, featuring the many concerts traditionally held in the Ehrenfeld quarter of Cologne during the festival weekend. There’s music in every possible venue. The c/o Ehrenfeld styles itself as a festival within a festival. Here’s an especially attractive feature of the festival weekend: all the concerts and other events of the c/o Ehrenfeld are free of charge.

© c/o pop

Popkomm departed, c/o pop arrived

Popkomm, an annual trade fair for the music and entertainment sector, also offered music events at many venues in the cathedral city from 1990 to 2003. After Popkomm’s move from Cologne to Berlin in 2003, c/o pop established itself as its successor in Cologne, and it’s still going strong today. Meanwhile, in 2009 Popkomm disappeared from the music scene in Germany and was integrated into a number of other formats.

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© KölnTourismus, Foto: Christoph Seelbach

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