It’s on: This week, the seventh Pop-Kultur festival is taking place in Berlin from the 25th to the 28th of August, 2021. And it’s happening live with an audience and 120+ slots, with Conny Frischauf, Eunique, John Moods, Ata Canani, JONU, Liraz, Erika de Casier, Alexander Scheer, Freak de l’Afrique, 21 Downbeat and more, set in the familiar and beloved indoor venues of the Kulturbrauerei as well as the creatively designed outdoor spaces and stages. Alongside concerts, commissioned works, Berlin collectives, talks, workshops, films and installations, a highlight of the festival is also the communal experience. The outdoor areas of the festival grounds invite visitors to relax and enjoy art through the commissioned work by Berlin studio wkc in collaboration with the Ikebana artist and floral designer Han Le Han. Their piece will flourish in the form of a botanical intervention meant as a feminist commentary as well as a questioning of supposed norms and standards of the collective space. “This year, in the wake of the pandemic, we have rethought and tested out a lot of new ideas, and we can’t wait to finally bring the site to life along with our artists, team and festival-goers. More than ever, we see this year’s edition as a holistic experience, enabling a truly live experience with other people,” says Katja Lucker, festival director and managing director of Musicboard Berlin.
Pop-Kultur is a hyphen between the perspectives of artists and the society they engage with. Launched in 2015, the festival returns this year with a mix of outdoor and indoor concerts as well as an online presence. In addition to the live shows, commissioned works premiering at the festival, the Nachwuchs programme, the Goethe Talents programme and residency programmes, the programme also includes talks, readings and films.
Just as pop culture couldn’t develop without discourse, Pop-Kultur as a festival wouldn’t be able to progress without it, either. The festival sees itself as a process in which the audience and artists participate alongside the team: Collective approaches, post-migrant identities, intersectional discourse, inclusive projects, diasporic narratives, queer perspectives and the breakaway from musical expectations all contribute to creating a space for mutual exchange.
Just as the accessible and pandemic-resistant approach aims to provide access and participation for everyone, other cultural creators from the city and beyond are invited to join in: Leading up to each edition of the festival, Berlin-based organisers offer inspiration within the Pop-Kultur lokal series.
In 2021, six collectives will present their work, and Studio 21, a festival-within-a-festival organised in cooperation with the RambaZamba Theater, will take place in the vaulted cellar beneath the grounds of the Kulturbrauerei, the first club in the city to be organised and run exclusively by people with disabilities. After all, that’s what hyphens are for: to make connections where there are still too many exclusions.
The safety of all participants, along with the art, is top priority
A common, careful approach to one another will ensure that the festival is an enjoyable experience for everyone present. Detailed information about the applicable hygienic measures – such as the obligatory regulation to be vaccinated, recovered or tested – ticketing, the accessible infrastructure and the admission procedure can be found online at: www.pop-kultur.berlin/en/faq/
It is recommended to arrive at individual events on time. This is because some indoor venues may quickly fill their limited capacity, restricting further access. But don’t worry: there will be a wide selection of events at all times, and furthermore, the Kesselhaus programme will be broadcast by ALEX Berlin in the courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei on an LED screen – plus surprises. This year’s programme will be even stronger than previous editions, thanks to the multifaceted nature of its events. So it is always worth checking out the various indoor and outdoor areas of the Kulturbrauerei. The cost of day tickets ranges from 12 to 20 euros, plus advance booking fees.
Wednesday, 25.08. – Friday, 28.08.2021
Kulturbrauerei | Knaackstraße 97 | 10435 Berlin/Prenzlauer-Berg
Image credit: Pop-Kultur Festival