Musicboard Berlin is celebrating ten years of existence – as advocate, advisor, facilitator and accomplice of Berlin’s pop-cultural music scene since 2013!
Since appearing in early 2013, Musicboard Berlin has maintained its mission of promoting Berlin’s pop music scene in new, innovative ways while also strengthening the capital’s cultural and economic appeal on an international level. Founded ten years ago as a joint initiative of the Berlin music scene and the state of Berlin, the institution has been operating under the direction of Katja Lucker ever since. In 2023, Musicboard Berlin is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
Musicboard’s work began a decade ago with an extraordinarily good response; at the time, it was the only funding institution of its kind nationwide. To this day, Musicboard has set standards in pop music funding throughout Germany and has also received international attention. Over the last ten years, Musicboard has been able to provide significant incentives to promote diversity-oriented, inclusive and content-based music. In 2013, it was the only institution in Germany to grant artist-centred scholarships in the field of pop music, something that has since become standard practice in music funding. Musicboard also awards up to twelve residencies per year in cities such as Accra, Detroit, Los Angeles, Paris and Tel Aviv. Through the residency programme, which has expanded steadily over time and especially in recent years, Musicboard has established a strong and sustainable international network, facing up to its responsibility to decolonise transcultural work.
Throughout its existence, Musicboard has been able to pinpoint emerging needs in the field of pop culture, serving as a connecting point in the discourse on cultural policy. It supports Music Pool Berlin, the Clubcommission, the Rockhaus – which offers rehearsal spaces to over 1,000 musicians – and, since 2020, the Tag der Clubkultur (Day of Club Culture). As a result, Berlin’s multi-layered musical landscape is strengthened in a long-term and low-threshold manner, making an essential contribution to the city’s cultural identity. Musicboard’s project funding has been continuously expanded over the years in close dialogue with musicians, organisers and experts.
POP-KULTUR FESTIVAL AND FETE DE LA MUSIQUE
Since 2015, Musicboard has been organising the annual festival Pop-Kultur, which has become a model of best practice for an inclusive cultural event, and which began bringing interdisciplinary commissioned works in the field of pop music into its funding practice. Every year, the three-day festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors thanks to its international lineup, an array of discourse and a workshop programme for newcomer talents. Pop-Kultur enjoys broad support and appreciation, funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Community of the State of Berlin from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Initiative Musik with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and the Goethe-Institut.
Since 2018, Musicboard has also organised the Fête de la Musique in Berlin, which takes place every year on 21st June, having boasted over 200 stage locations throughout the city at its 2023 edition.
FACTS & FIGURES
Musicboard’s total annual budget has grown from 1 million euros in 2013 to up to 6 million euros. The core team has grown from two to ten permanent employees. Since its founding, Musicboard has awarded a total of over 450 grants and residencies; supported over 580 projects in the programmes Karrieresprungbrett Berlin, Pop im Kiez and Festival Funding; funded over 140 support tours; and awarded over 90 Label Funding grants.
Since 2015, Musicboard has operated as a state-owned limited liability company. Since 2017, the Senate Department for Culture and Community (before 2023: the Senate Department for Culture and Europe) has been responsible for Musicboard Berlin GmbH.
A detailed review of the activities of the Musicboard can be found in the annual reports.
The pop music scene continues to be of great importance for Berlin’s identity and public image. At the same time, it faces great challenges due to structural changes, displacement and precarious working conditions. Musicboard’s goal is to continue its many years of successful work, to improve infrastructures, working conditions and networks, and to innovatively shape the funding landscape of the future.