FAQs

Covid-19 updates

A go fund me page of a group of low-income/precariously employed artists+freelancers from the Berlin arts scene raising money to support other artists and freelancers like us who are taking financial hits as a result of closures and lost income from Covid-19. 

This is a form to check your current state, if you need help or can help. 

This list IS: an aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

Here are a few recommendations from our friends of Music Women Germany

The coronavirus is affecting the life of so many people right now. However, musicians who have their tours cancelled suffer great loss of income. Here are 10 digital actions you can take as a musician right now. Thanks for this blackbirdpunk.com.

The attorney's office Härting created a free emergency hotline, which you can call concerning acute law questions during this crisis( insurances, taxes, laws etc,) You have to send a short mail to corona@härting.de and describe your problem, after that someone will call you back. Please be adviced this hotline is only for topics that involve this current crisis and not normal law requests. Link to website

 

Artists, employers and self employed in from within the arts and culture sector is heavily influenced by this current situation. The colleagues of  Creative City give an overview of information here (in German).

KSK

Everyone who is insured by/through the KSK, who have to fight the current income crash due to the Covid 19 crisis, is recomended to let them know till the end of March that your income will be substantially lower than usual, in order to possible pay a lower share from May onwards. 

Here is the from the  KSK (in German).  If you have further questions please register for a free consultation with our consultant Olaf Möller.

The coronavirus is affecting the life of so many people right now. However, musicians who have their tours cancelled suffer great loss of income. Here are 10 digital actions you can take as a musician right now. Thanks for this blackbirdpunk.com

Everything depends on the contract. All information to the current legal status you can find on the website of Kanzlei Laaser (in German).

This FAQ was composed together with touring artist.

General

Free one-hour orientation consultings take place every Wednesday and Friday. To make an appointment, click on "Consulting" and fill out the web form. An orientation consulting is a prerequisite for an individual coaching session. In order to particapte at a workshop, please register with the web form. 

Music Pool Berlin is financed by the European Union (European Social Fund and European Fund for regional developments) and Musicboard Berlin. 

all2gethernow e.V./ Music Pool Berlin shall not be liable for the completeness of the published information nor for its suitability for use and shall not be responsible for ensuring that it duly reflects the interests of any specific user. Furthermore, it shall accept no liability for the currency of the content.
touring artists wishes to expressly point out that the information can only provide a starting point for an optimal final draft in any specific case of use, it is intended for orientation and inspiration. Their use cannot replace expert legal advice under any circumstances.

Music Pool Berlin is a consulting and advice platform for musicians and people working in the music business who live in Berlin. We offer free one-hour orientation consultings as well as workshops and  in-depth consultings.  Music Pool Berlin is not a new funding body - we don't fund projects. We are also not a music school.

Being self-employed as a musician in Germany - registration and taxation

If you want to make any kind of income with your activities (even as a side activity), you must register them at your local tax office. After filling out a questionnaire called “Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung,” you will be assigned a tax number (“Steuernummer”) which is both specific to your local tax office and the activities you registered. You can find guidelines on how to fill out the questionnaire in English here, here, and here. Note that the tax number is not the same as the tax ID (“Steueridentifikationsnummer”) which is assigned to you automatically when you move to Germany for the first time. While the tax ID can only be used for employment, invoices as a self-employed person/freelancer can only be legally written with a valid tax number. General guidelines on becoming self-employed in Germany are provided by the BMWi business start-up portal. You can find information on which details have to go in an invoice here.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

In Germany, self-employed people are classified as either liberal professionals (sometimes also translated as ‘freelancers’ or ‘catalogue professions,’ in German: “Freiberufler”) or trade/business-style (“Gewerbe”). Most activities in the cultural and creative sectors belong to the liberal professions. But, for example, if you sell recorded music directly to a customer, start a label or organize your own concerts, you have to register a trade/business-style self-employed activity instead. Sometimes, it’s not so clear which category your activities belong to - but we can help you in an orientation consultation. You can find information sheets in English on this topic on the touring artists website and existenzgruender.de.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

A group that consists of several self-employed people can create its own entity. The most common legal structure is a civil law partnership (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts, GbR). More information and contract templates can be found (in German only) on the BackstagePro website.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

This depends on many factors. As a self-employed person, you have to pay income tax on your profit, no matter what kind of self-employed activity you conduct. Important: if you have mixed income sources (i.e., employment and self-employment), all types of income are added to determine your income tax rate for your self-employed activities. Self-employed people always have to file an income tax declaration. To roughly calculate your income tax rate, you can use a tool provided by the Ministry of Finance. Note that fees paid for gigs abroad might be subject to source taxation that the promoter abroad has to deduct from your fee. More on this in the section “On tour abroad”.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

According to German labour laws, some activities aren’t allowed to be conducted on a freelance/self-employed basis. Instead, your client has to give you a proper employment contract. This is mostly the case if you cannot make your own decision regarding place, duration and time of your activities, and if you are “embedded” in your client’s work environment. In the music industry, this often concerns people working technical jobs as well as music teachers who don’t recruit their own students. Note that controlling authorities investigate the individual relationship between a presumed self-employed person and their client. Having multiple clients isn’t proof in itself to be considered a “real” self-employed person. The touring artists offers an information sheet in English on the topic. The trade union ver.di has compiled information for music teachers, and PAP for contracts in the performing arts field (both in German only).
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

EU citizens can work in another EU member state as an employee or as a self-employed person without any prerequisites (freedom of movement). Note that EU citizens do need to get German health insurance if they move to Germany long-term. Non-EU citizens need a residence permit to move to Germany. Privileged nationals (Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, USA) can apply for a residence permit for any economic activity directly in Germany after entering without a visa. All other nationals need to apply at a German embassy or consulate in their country of residence. Note that there is no “artist visa” for Germany. In Berlin, a pro-artist interpretation of the Residence Act exists (§ 21 Abs. 5 AufenthG) which might facilitate the application process. In general, residence permits can be applied for any purpose, but they are limited to the activities that are applied for. For instance, a residence permit might be granted for a self-employed musician. The permitted activities are then restricted to being self-employed as a musician, other economic activities (any employment, any other self-employed activities) are not allowed. More information can be found on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office and the Berlin Immigration Office. Also check out the relocation checklist provided by touring artists.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

If your projected turnover/revenue is below 22000 Euro per year (proportionally less if you start your activities later in the year), you can classify yourself as a “Kleinunternehmer” and write invoices without VAT. If you are in the VAT system, you have to add either the regular VAT rate of 19 % or the reduced rate of 7 % to your invoices. The reduced rate applies to most performance fees and license fee payments. If you add VAT, you also have the privilege to claim back VAT paid on business expenses. General information can be found on the touring artists website.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Artist development and training

Every artist has their own individual needs - so it’s impossible to come up with a general answer to this question. But did you know that, in addition to our workshop program, we also offer affordable expert coachings on artist development and promotion strategies? During a free orientation consultation we can identify your needs and then match you with an expert. Other organizations that offer similar services include the Creative Service Center, the Kreativwirtschaftsberatung (free consultations for self-employed people in the culture and creative industries) and the Crowdfunding Campus.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Check out our own workshop program here. The band office at ORWOhaus offers newcomers practical advice. Workshops for women, trans and non-binary persons are offered by Spoon, No Shade, Urban Arts Berlin, and Éclat. Amplify Berlin is a residency program hosted by ACUD MACHT NEU, designed to support emerging Berlin-based musicians through mentorships with more established ones in order to facilitate creative development through guidance, a focused work environment and access to resources. The project “Information about the Music Job Market in Berlin - Personal Advice and Accompaniment” makes the network of the Landesmusikrat Berlin (State Music Council) available to musicians who were forced to leave their home countries for political reasons. The GSBTB - Open Music School (OMS) is a musical skill-sharing community with a focus on the integration of newcomers into Berlin’s music scene. The Pop-Kultur “Nachwuchs” programme offers workshops, talks, and lectures to selected participants. Berlin’s district’s music schools are listed here. More providers, institutions and training possibilities are listed in Musicboard’s Popguide (in German only) and in the database of the Deutsches Musikinformationszentrums.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Collecting societies, contracts, licensing and copyright

GEMA (German Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights) is Germany’s government-mandated collecting society and performance rights organization for songwriters, composers and music publishers. Here’s a 2-minute video in English explaining how they work. GVL, on the other hand, enforces ancillary copyrights of practising artists and sound recording producers. They pay fees that they collect on a fiduciary basis e.g. from radio and TV stations and for the public performance (e.g. in restaurants or cafés) to their members. Watch the GVL’s explanation video here. In case you write and perform your own songs, you may be entitled for a remuneration from both collecting societies. If becoming a member is beneficial for you depends on many factors - we can guide you through the process.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

GEMA is connected with collective music management organisations (CMOs) abroad via a network of so-called reciprocal agreements which ensure a mutual rights assignment and rights administration. Find more detailed information on the GEMA website.

ClubConsult regularly organises information events such workshops, seminars, round table events and free expert consultations to give individual advice on various issues across this sector. You can also find more information on the GEMA website.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with ClubConsult.

In addition to our workshop program, we also offer affordable expert coachings on these topics. During a free orientation consultation we can identify your needs and then match you with an expert. You can find general information on contracts and the status of artists as well as on German copyright law on the touring artists website.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Busking and free open airs in Berlin

The BVG (Berlin’s public transport company) allows busking under certain conditions and at certain locations in the connecting tunnels of the U-Bahn network (busking on board of trains is forbidden!). You need to apply for a permit. The permits are handed out every Wednesday from 7am until 11am at the service counter inside the Wittenbergplatz station. The permit is valid for the following week and costs 10 Euro per day. It’s also valid as a transportation ticket, but for the applicant only (non-transferable). For groups consisting of up to three people one permit is enough, but the permit is only valid as a transportation ticket for one person (the applicant). Further information on permitted musical instruments can be found on the BVG’s website (in German only). Note that the S-Bahn is operated by a different company, and busking at S-Bahn stations has to be approved by their station management. For any other public spaces, there is no office that hands out permits. It's up to the individual districts and its "Ordnungsamt" (regulatory authority) to determine if busking is considered a “disturbance” or not (source, in German only). Decisions are usually made on a case-by-case basis. Amplified instruments or playing recorded music (backing tracks, etc.) are generally allowed if played at a "normal" volume.
Busking/street music is generally not considered as a disturbance if:
it takes place between 8am and 1pm or between 3pm and 8pm
the performance doesn't exceed 60 minutes at one location
the distance to the closest apartment building is more than 20 meters, the distance to the closest sensitive building (hospital, old-age home...) is at least 60 meters
it doesn't take place close to a church during a church service
it doesn't take place in viewing distance to a school during class hours
Busking/street music can be considered as a disturbance if:
very loud instruments are involved (trombones, trumpets, timbals/kettledrums, drums)
the musical group consists of a very large group
other local or temporal circumstances that cause busking to be considered a disturbance
Berlin Street Music compiled more additional information on regulations. Save Mauerpark is an advocacy group for street musicians in the city. The Fête de la Musique festival, which takes place every year on June 21st, allows street musicians to perform according to specific conditions (link in German only). Note that every city/municipality in Germany has different rules. BackstagePro has more information on rules in other cities (in German only).

The Open Air Starterkit, part of the “Kiez Toolbox” project provides check lists and documents on the legal and organisation aspects of music events outdoors (in German only). You can request further information and help from the Clubcommission.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with ClubConsult.

The Berlin music scene - networks

Music Pool Berlin puts together a monthly Community Evening featuring panels and discussions on a specific topic in the music world. The monthly Artist Meetup offers a platform for musicians to share their music projects with a wider musician community, ask for feedback, ideas or support, and get to know each other. You can find the current dates here. We also have a community group on Facebook. BackstagePro is a large concert booking networking site, and berlinmusiker.de offers contact forum connecting musicians and bands, while Creative City Berlin connects actors from the cultural and creative sector in general, including a large job exchange. Regular open mic/open stage events are listed here, here, and here, and jam/jazz sessions are featured by Berliner Sessions and Jazzy Berlin.

The event magazines tip, Zitty, Exberliner (in Englisch) and the daily/weekly papers Berliner Zeitung, Berliner Morgenpost, taz.die tageszeitung, Jungle World and Tagesspiegel list dates and review concerts. Listings from the electronic music scenes are courtesy of Resident Advisor  while, Echtzeitmusik and the Initiative Neue Musik/Field notes have calendars for the experimental/improv and contemporary music scenes. Siegessäule is Berlin’s main outlet for LGBTQI+ event listings. Publications and blogs that cover shows and other scene gossip are: Ask Helmut, Berlin Beat, Berlin Sessions, The Chop, The Clubmap, Digital in Berlin, Diproton, Das Filter, Groove, Gusto, hhvmag, Indie Berlin, Kaltblut, Knox (Punk/Hardcore), Konzerttagebuch, Lola, Mai Magazine, Melodie & Rhythmus, Missy Magazine, Monarchie & Alltag, Musik Muss Mit, Nothing But Hope And Passion, Renfield, Renk Magazin, Schmutz, Spex, Stressfaktor (left-wing subcultures), Trust (Hardcore Punk), VAN (classical music) and Wahrschauer (Metal/Punk). Berlin-based independent and internet radio stations include Alex, ArchipelByteFM, Cashmere, FluxFM, multicult.fm, Pi Radio, Radio On and reboot.fm. Radio shows dedicated to local newcomer acts are Fritz Unsigned and ByteFM Anstoß. A general overview on music venues can be found via Musicboard Berlin’s Clubkataster map and the Clubcommission’s member list. Electronic Beats has compiled an ultimative guide covering almost every club in the city.

Vinylhub and recordstores.love are databases that list almost every record store in the city. Editorial lists can be found here, here, and here, and on the Musicboard Berlin website.
 

Financing and funding

Music Pool Berlin doesn’t offer any funding programs. Musicians who are registered in Berlin can apply for the funding programs offered by Musicboard Berlin (most ‘popular’ genres, including electronic music) and the Senate Department for Culture and Europe (contemporary music, classical modernity, sound art, and jazz). Musicboard’s funding guide (in German only) compiles further funding possibilities. On a national level, Initiative Musik and Musikfonds are fund projects. For smaller projects like concert series, the project funding programs organised by Berlin’s districts are also worth looking into. Impuls neue Musik funds projects supporting the exchange between musicians based in Germany, Switzerland, and France. Kulturförderpunkt Berlin is the city’s main free consultation service to help with funding applications and identifying suitable funding programs.

Musicboard Berlin has a program funding bands who go on tour as support acts. Berlin-based jazz musicians can apply for a program organised by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. On a national level, the short tour funding program by Initiative Musik supports trips that include showcase festivals or events in other countries. Artists from the heavy metal and hard rock scene can apply for funding with the Wacken Foundation. Berlin-based actors from the music industry are supported by Berlin Music Commission’s Music Ambassador program to represent the city of Berlin at networking and industry events in Germany and abroad. Artists-in-residency programs for Berlin-based musicians are available via Musicboard Berlin,  the federal government and the Goethe Institute. Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe also offers travel allowances for work abroad. The information portal On the Move offers free mobility information guides and a newsletter containing current calls for applications.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

In general, tip jars go to the artists 100 %. Door split deals usually involve 50 - 70 % of the fees for the artists. If a venue is rented by a promoter (or if an artist acts as the promoter), the promoter also needs to budget for mandatory fees (GEMA and KSA) and other costs (security, insurances, etc.), and deduct value-added tax from the gross ticket sales (if applicable). In this case, artists often receive a guaranteed fee according to their popularity and the venue capacity. After ticket sales cover all costs, the artists can receive a split after break even. Fees for events that receive public funding often depend on the artist’s popularity as well, but also check out the standard guidelines issued by the German Association of Independent Performing Arts (in German only) and the declaration of intent regarding minimum fees issued by the Union of German Jazz Musicians (in German only).

The platform Crowdfunding Berlin contains a list of contacts, networks, and information portals. Our own consultant Petra is a certified crowdfunding expert and can also advise you as part of a free orientation consultation.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Rehearsal spaces and equipment

You can search for spaces on the platforms berlinmusiker.de, Proberaum-Auskunft, and the Performing Artists Program Proberaumplattform. Large providers include the ORWOhaus, Noisy Rooms, and the Berliner Rockhaus. In cooperation with the GSE Gesellschaft für Stadt Entwicklung gGmbH, the Senate Department for Culture and Europe also administers rehearsal spaces for pop and jazz bands and musicians based in Berlin.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

Recording studios are listed at berlin.de, the ZLB library website, and on this map. Die Senate Department for Culture and Europe, in cooperation with derArt gGmbH and the district office Marzahn-Hellersdorf offers publicly funded recording studios.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

KSK, social insurances and mental health

The KSK is a Social Security fund for self-employed artists and writers. The KSK is not an insurance provider, but serves as an intermediary between the self-employed person and a public health insurance provider of their choice. Members of the KSK only need to pay half of their contributions to health, pension and long-term care insurance. The other half is subsidized by a Federal Government grant and a fee (“Künstlersozialabgabe”) that “users” of self-employed services have to pay to the KSK. For artists who generate the majority of their income with their self-employed artistic activities, KSK membership is always worth it and can save a lot of money. You can find a quick English-language overview and a list of prerequisites on the KSK’s website, and more information on the touring artists website. Need help with your application? Make an appointment for an orientation consultation.
 

Subsidized health care via the KSK is both financed by a grant from the federal government (20 %) and by a social security contribution paid by users who regularly hire self-employed artists and writers (30 %). This social contribution is called “Künstlersozialabgabe” (KSA). It has to be paid to the KSK whenever a self-employed artist or writer is hired, and constitutes a percentage of their net fee (the percentage changes every year, in 2020 it’s 4.2 %). The contribution also has to be paid if the self-employed person isn’t insured via the KSK, and, since the territory of application is the Federal Republic of Germany, also has to be paid if the artist doesn’t reside in Germany, but still conducts an artistic service (for example, playing a concert) in Germany (see the KSK’s English-language infosheet). KSA also has to paid if a “band leader” distributes fees to self-employed musicians “for hire”. For more information, check out the touring artists website, including the detailed checklist on social security contributions for artists.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with ClubConsult.

Popambulanz,” a project by the SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (hdpk) offers events and consultation hours for Berlin-based musicians (until April 2019). Also check out Help Musicians UK and their Music Minds Matter 24/7 support line and service.

Besides liability insurances or musical instrument insurance, personal insurances like accident and occupational disability insurances are equally important for many musicians. You can find information on the different insurance types and on consultations with specialized independent insurance brokers on the touring artists website. Also consult the American Federation of Musicians’ guide to flying with musical instruments.
Questions? Sign up for a free orientation consultation!

On tour abroad - what do I need to consider?

EU citizens can perform in any other EU member state as an employee or as a self-employed person without any prerequisites (freedom of movement). Non EU-citizens need to check if they need a work permit in the country they want to perform in. This also applies to those non-EU citizens who are long-term residents in a EU member state if they want to work in another member state. While the issuance of entry visas is harmonised in the Schengen Area, work permits are still a national issue, regulated by each country individually. Note that the United Kingdom is very strict on this issue: non-EU citizens need a Certificate of Sponsorship (work permit) for all artistic activities, even if they are unpaid. This could also be implemented for EU citizens after the UK has left the EU. For performances outside the EU, thorough research is recommended to determine if an entry visa and a country-specific work permit is needed.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

Within the EU, posting with a A1 form is a practical solution for keeping one’s national health insurance coverage when temporarily working in another member state. Posting is only possible if the working stay abroad is limited in time beforehand (such as a scheduled concert performance). As a posted worker, your status (for example, as a self-employed person) and your national health insurance travel “with you” and temporarily overlap and disable the regulations of the country in which you temporarily work. Employees can be posted by their employer, and self-employed people can post themselves. A1 forms are issued free of charge by your health insurance provider (for other countries, here is a country-by-country list of issuing authorities). In some European countries, posting with a A1 form is necessary to avoid having to be treated as an employee and to avoid having national social insurance contributions deducted from performance fees. For shows outside of the EU, you must check if the country you are insured in has signed a social insurance agreement with the country you will perform in. You can find detailed information on the touring artists website and in the Cookbook for Cultural Managers: Social Security in an International Context.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

Normally, people only pay income taxes on their worldwide income in their country of residence. However, performing artists (those “on stage”) are subject to a special rule which is valid almost in every country: their performance fees can also be taxed by the country in which the performance takes place. This is called “source taxation” or “withholding taxation” (the German term is “Ausländersteuer,” foreigner’s tax). The legal basis is a so-called double taxation agreement between two countries. In most cases, the concert promoter or organizer abroad has to deduct these source taxes from the negotiated performance fee and pay it to the national tax office. To avoid double taxation in your country of residence, the promoter needs to give you a confirmation letter that the tax was paid. In general, it’s important to talk about this issue during contract and fee negotiations. You can find a checklist for negotiations, further information and a detailed information for promoters in Germany on the touring artists website, a general introduction to the topic is available in the Cookbook for Cultural Managers: Artist Taxation in an International Context. 
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

There are different rules if the “recipient” of a service (for example, a concert promoter) is a business or a private individual. If the recipient is a business (B2B), the place-of-supply principle applies: according to the reverse charge procedure, the recipient is responsible to pay value-added tax according to the rates of the country where the performance takes place to the tax authority of that country (intra-community services). If the recipient is liable to add value-added tax, she/he can deduct the value-added tax as input tax, so that no tax is actually paid. Both artist and recipient (promoter) need to include their international VAT identification numbers on the invoice. If the recipient is a private individual (B2C, for example in the case of a private party or if the artist directly sells tickets to private individuals for concerts abroad), the place-of-performance principle applies: the artist has to add the respective value-added tax rate of the country where the performance takes place and pay it to the tax authority of that country.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

Within the EU customs union, musical instruments and merchandise can generally be transported without any customs formalities. When leaving the EU customs union and importing goods into another customs territory, they might be subject to import duties, for example, when selling merchandise in Switzerland. For a temporary export of goods such as musical instruments that are used on tour, customs formalities can be reduced with a document called Carnet ATA. If you intend to travel with musical instruments that include parts made out of protected or endangered species outside of the EU, you need specific CITES documents. Contact the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation for more information. General information on the topic can be found on the touring artists website and the Pearle guide for musicians and ensembles travelling with musical instruments containing protected species. The International Federation of Musicians published a ranking of airlines regarding their treatment of musical instruments.

Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.

Inclusion, diversity, and migration

Diversity Arts Culture’s mission is to strengthen diversity within Berlin’s cultural sector: provide equal access to art and culture for everyone and dismantle discrimination within the cultural sector. The network Diskriminierungsfreie Szenen für alle (discriminatory-free scenes for all) organises events on the topic. Berlininklusion is a network for accessibility in arts and culture. Advice on the topic of accessibility is also available via Musicboard Berlin, Ramp-Up, and the “Bundesfachstelle Barrierefreiheit” (Checklist for accessible events, in German only). The Zurück zu den Wurzeln Festival is a music festival with a special focus on accessibility. The Berlin State Office for Equal Treatment and the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency provide (legal) counselling free of charge.

musicBwomen is Berlin’s advocacy group for women in the music industry. Workshops for women, trans and non-binary persons are being offered by Spoon, No Shade, Urban Arts Berlin and Éclat. Network organizations include Bang On, Creamcake,female:pressure, DICE, Heroines of Sound, LaDIYfest Berlin, Music Empowerment Mobility Exchange (MEME), Ruby Tuesday Music, Saloon Berlin and Sirens on Stage. Here’s a listing of women, femme & non-binary electronic music DJs in Berlin; Many Many Women s an index of over 1000 female artists in the field of sound art and Improvisation. The cultural centers Südblock (including the event space Aquarium), SO36 and SchwuZ are important venues for the LGBTQI+ music scene. Additional networks include Queer Music Berlin (lesbian/gay/queer music ensembles), the Schwule Museum, the Siegessäule (magazine and event calendar), Transnational Queer Underground(funding and networking of queer artists worldwide) and the Whole - United Queer Festival.

The GSBTB - Open Music School (OMS) is a musical skill-sharing community with a focus on the integration of newcomers into Berlin’s music scene. In 2019, subject to the availability of funds, Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe will provide funding for “Weltoffenes Berlin” fellowships for a period of up to a year for professionals working in art, media, and culture who have left or intend to leave their countries of origin due to the current political situation there. The Senate Department also supports the project “Information about the Music Job Market in Berlin - Personal Advice and Accompaniment” that makes the network of the Landesmusikrat Berlin (State Music Council) available to musicians who were forced to leave their home countries for political reasons. International Artists Info Berlin, a joint project of touring artists with the Universität der Künste Berlin – Berlin Career College offers individual consultations on international projects as well as on questions on how to achieve a future career in Germany for arriving artists. Artist Training for Professionals is a qualification opportunity offered by the Berlin Career College for the qualification, consulting and networking of artists in exile. General information for both artists and cultural institutions can be found on the touring artist website, including a large section for artists from Turkey, translated into both Turkish and English.

On tour

There are multiple companies based in Berlin specialized for touring musicians. For a list, simply conduct an online search, for example “Tourbus mieten (+Berlin)”. Listings and offers can also be found on the platform bands-vans.net and in Facebook groups like this one.

A tech rider lists the technical prerequisites needed for a performance. You can find general tips on the CDBaby and Sonicbids blog,  Platforms like Ridline, Tecrider, and Musicotec can help you generate tech riders and stage plots online.

Check out the Green Touring Guide compiled by students of the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg in collaboration with the Green Music Initiative and kollektif. More initiatives that deal with mobility and sustainability can be found on the touring artists website.

Labels

You can find some basic information in the checklist published by VUT (Association of Independent Music Companies) and the information sheet by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Berlin (both in German only). The Berlin Music Commission can help with the basics of starting a record label in Berlin.
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with Berlin Music Commission.