Germany

berlin/schokoladen 06.06.2010


description of/satisfaction with:
gentrification is a problem.
schokoladen has been around for 20 years. first squatted and then sold or evicted three times.
the lack of stability creates tension in the scene.
alternative culture has been crushed by commercial interests, building owners and real estate laws.
both clubs and residential buildings face problems of gentrification.
there has been lots of public support, but to no avail.
it is a house by house issue, sometimes involving the owner, sometimes rising rents, etc.
the köpi has a history of no compromise. no bands that play there are registered with GEMA. it is a 100% volunteer space. the entrance prices are always low. three years ago it was raided and then sold in a secret auction. the köpi people struck an illicit deal with the new owner for a 30-year contract.

music distribution/manufacturing:
independent music cd sales are very low now.
the noisolution record label can’t afford to pay even one assistant.
most people download mp3s, but only a small percentage of those sales get back to the label.
an independent internet distribution store is tricky because of the controlled payment methods.
bands have a good opportunity to distribute over the internet, but they can’t earn money to pay for record production unless they play shows.
bands can say goodbye to selling records at shows. all bands take in now is a percentage of  the door.

supporting the scene:
schokoladen splits the door 70% bands, 30% schokoladen.
in the early 90’s many places booked techno shows to pull in money to support other types of shows.
too much on offer now for people to be curious about new music or unknown bands.
it’s hard to imagine building an internal support structure with so little money coming in.
the scene is not large enough to financially support itself.
booking agents should curate bands more on the reliability of those bands to put on a good shows.
musical styles in the scene have become very divided.
the electronic scene is very active.
can we learn by exchanging information between different parts of the independent scene?
holding success against independent bands damages the scene.

publicity:
there isn’t a really independent radio in berlin now, but one is being reorganized.
there is an independent radio in hamburg that announces shows and plays music by unknown bands.
scenes in some other cities use university stations to announce shows and get independent music played.
in berlin there is one public radio, which plays local bands and some non-local little-known bands.

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