Köln als Pop-up-Store
Where Berlin and Cologne pop culture meet Photo: Axel Roschlock

Cologne pops up in Berlin

c/o pop will be turning 20 next year and the celebrations are starting this year, with a pop-up location in Berlin that brings together Cologne and Berlin pop culture.

In 2004, after 13 successful years in Cologne, the prestigious music meet-up that was Popkomm relocated to Berlin. The move proved detrimental: just five years later, the event was dropped. Back in Cologne, Popkomm was replaced in 2004 by c/o pop (Cologne on Pop), with a convention that’s extremely popular among industry experts and a festival that music fans adore. Every year, the curators exhibit seismographic precision in their ability to identify future trends in electronic music and indie rock, booking Electro duo Moderat, live techno combo BrandtBrauerFrick and indietronica musician/singer Dillon (to name but a few) long before their respective breakthroughs.

Cologne pop culture goes Berlin

20 years of c/o pop: celebrations already underway in Berlin

With c/o pop celebrating its 20th anniversary next spring, a pop-up location in Berlin will be paying homage to the event in a showcase of Cologne and Berlin pop culture entitled “Köln Experience“, running until the end of October.

The location is housed in a former games arcade at Nollendorfplatz, just a couple of doors up from the famous Club Metropol. At the end of last year, art collective Dixons moved in here in a collaboration with fellow artists, combining urban and digital art with a “Game Over” theme. Where casino tables and one-armed bandits once prevailed, augmented reality, virtual reality and mapping joined forces with analogue formats. Using a special app, visitors were able to explore this fascinating universe until the end of September 2022.

c/o pop, Art Cologne and street art: the ultimate Cologne experience

Over the past few weeks, a group of urban and street artists have transformed this inspiring, temporary location into a collaborative work of art. Jens Tümmel aka Gogoplata (Berlin) and Kai Semor (Cologne), for example, gave the façade a “typically Cologne” design, with graffiti, foil, tape and video art. The motifs return inside the building too, with a gigantic mural by Gogoplata, depicting the city’s many different features.

But visitors get more than just free admission to an art experience. Hidden in the mural is a digital, animated image. Whoever finds it will receive a non-fungible token (NFT) from VisitKoeln – a digitally encrypted certificate of ownership for a unique, digital work of art. The prize also ties in with the prestigious Art Cologne fair from 16 to 20 November 2022, which will be showcasing NFTs alongside established formats.

Pop is colour. Pop is Cologne.

Those aren’t the only gimmicks visitors to the pop-up location can look forward to though. VisitKoeln will be giving away 100 exclusive 3D avatars too. Visitors will be able to create them using a special scanner at the location and then use them freely on social networks. There’s also a chance to take part in a prize draw, in which three lucky winners will get two tickets each for next April’s c/o pop – including travel and accommodation.

Drums, music and bondage: live events to set the stage for c/o pop

A number of live events will add to the excitement in the run-up to the festival. Acts on the first day, 14 October, will include students from the drum academy co-founded by Berlin musician Peter Fox. At the “Female Squad” event on 20 October, the line-up will be exclusively read-as-female performers such as artist Caro Amaya (live painting), stand-up comic Tamika Campbell and DJanes Lolo Sace and Nomi.

The event on 21 October is entitled simply “Punxxx”. Acts will include another live painting artist, Anne Bengrad, and a live bondage show with Chandler Barnes aka Superfly 1.3. Painters Zam Johnson and Norton Wisdom will bring the evening to a close with a musical performance at the crossover point of punk, free jazz and experimental sounds.

c/o pop Pop-up-Store, Nollendorfplatz 6, 10777 Berlin

Opening hours:

Wednesday + Thursday: 3pm–9pm, Friday: 4pm–10pm, Saturday + Sunday: 1pm–7pm

Live events:

Female Squad: 20 October, 4pm-10pm

Punxxx: 21 October, 4pm-10pm

Blvckbvlb: 28 October, 4pm-10pm

Prefer jazz to pop? Step right this way.

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