Music Cities Convention, Berlin 2017

The full programme for the upcoming Music Cities Convention has been announced and will bring together panels and presentations at Rotes Rathaus (City Hall), Germany. It is expected that 500 delegates from over 170 cities and 30 countries will attend the 4 April conference to debate the value of music in urban planning, quality of life, city policy and development strategies.

The convention connects musicians, politicians, planners and developers who will share their experiences of their roles developing ‘music cities’. Among the confirmed sessions will be a focus on data solutions and a special artist panel called ‘Living on the Edge – How Do Artists Benefit from Music Cities’.

Speaker and founding member of The Human League, Martyn Ware, said: “Artists should be at the heart of discussions and forming policy regarding the development of music strategies for cities.”

The panel will discuss the artist’s role in the development of a music city and also features Charlotte Hatherley (Bat for Lashes, Ash), UK artist Denai Moore, and the Australian Berlin based singer Kat Frankie, together with moderator Michail Stangl, director of the infamous Boiler Room Berlin.

‘Music Cities in 2045? Music’s Role in Planning Towns and Cities’ considers the role of music in the future planning of towns and cities, panel members include Charles Landry, author of The Creative City; Dr Janet Merkel of the City of London University; Professor Dr Lee Dong Yeoun, master planner of a Music district in Seoul; Slavis Pozecbutas, architect and urban planner; and Victor Yankov, deputy director of the City of Culture in Bulgaria, Plovdiv 2019.

Slavis Pozecbutas said: “There is an ever-growing global hunger on fresh ideas, creative solutions and state of the art products, but limited understanding on the needs for those who experiment to mobilise ideas. Creative communities require spatial freedom and plurality and prosper in collective and affordable spaces; such environments which are increasingly vanishing in our cities.”

Fellow panelist, Dr Janet Merkel, added: “Culture and creative industries — and music as part of these sectors of cultural production — are intrinsically linked with the urban experience and situation. The importance of music and creative communities in any city is not just about the financial significance, but rather what distinguishes them is their contribution to the advancement of social and cultural life in cities and, thus, cities’ overall liveability.”

Previous editions have taken place in Brighton, England and Washington DC. Music Cities Convention was initiated by Glastonbury booker and Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne, along with global music cities advisors, Sound Diplomacy. It is part of the Music Cities Events series.It is supported by Musicboard Berlin and the Berlin Convention office of Visit Berlin.

Tickets are €245 and available on the Music Cities Convention website.