The Industry

BIMM Berlin’s Best Music Industry Walk-Ins

28th March 2018


At BIMM Berlin, we pride ourselves on using our music business links to connect our students directly with the industry. In fact, we do this quite literally, by taking our classes out and about to key areas of the city’s music scene to give them an exclusive insight into the working lives of big industry players. We call them ‘industry walk-ins’ and here are our best ones so far.

1. Max-Schmeling-Halle

BIMM students visited the huge Max-Schmeling-Halle arena – where Madonna and Justin Timberlake have performed – to meet with General Manager Sybil Franke and the man responsible for marketing and press, Patrick Wiechert-Paulsen. The group was given a run down of the logistics that go into creating these large gigs, which often take a full year of planning, and went backstage to see the venue’s state-of-the-art kit and access all areas, including the VIP section.

2. Piranha Arts

Piranha Arts has been staging cutting-edge festivals and providing production services for events since 1987. Drawing on more than 25 years of experience as cultural innovators, technical developers, curators, partners and multipliers, the Piranha Arts tree now has six dynamic branches: Piranha Events, Piranha RecordsWOMEX, Consult, Classical:NEXT and Karneval. Our students met with Piranha’s CEO, Frank Klaffs, who explained the different departments within the business and described the processes involved in organising such huge events.

3. Native Instruments

Fourteen of our students had the chance to visit the Kreuzberg-based sound laboratory and offices of Native Instruments – one of the world’s leading companies in digital music tools, and the birthplace, in 1996, of the first software-based modular synthesiser. Today it’s a global company with 400 staff members and offices in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Shenzhen and Tokyo. Our BIMM students met with Tom Kurth – the company’s Chief Legal Officer – and Head of Education, Alexander Stamm, who outlined NI’s history and philosophy, before giving a tour of the state-of-the-art sound studios, where Sound Designer Antonio de Spirt worked his magic.

4. Dirk Schulz

BIMM visited Swedish band Mando Diao’s Front of House Engineer, Dirk Schulz, at the Columbiahalle on the day of their concert. Preparations were in full swing and Dirk explained the stage set-up, and showed the group the stage system, microphone mixer and front of house area. The students stayed for the line and sound checks, and experienced first-hand the technical challenges a sound engineer has to deal with at a gig with over 3,000 audience members.

5. The Venue Berlin

BIMM students made a trip to The Venue Berlin – a cool creative hub for artists and entrepreneurs in music and audio. The venture is linked to the publishing agency of music magazines including Rolling Stone, Metal Hammer and Musikexpress, and the group chatted to Sebastian Zabel – Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone, Germany – about the relevance of print magazines in today’s digital age.

6. BVMI’s Florian Drücke

Our students were treated to an informative run down of the Germany music market by the CEO of Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), Florian Drücke. BVMI look after the German charts, and are responsible for verifying Gold and Platinum certification awards. BIMM visited their offices, and Florian talked to the group about a range of topics, including the pros and cons of different music formats (vinyl, CD and streaming) and sales split figures across a variety of genres.

7. Mercedes-Benz Arena

Our BIMM Berlin cohort had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mercedes-Benz Arena – one of Germany’s largest concert and event venues, with 60,000m2 of space and the capacity to hold up to 17,000 audience members. The arena has hosted the likes of Madonna, U2, Depeche Mode and Taylor Swift, with performers bringing their own stage and lighting equipment which can often run to nine tons of gear. While the group was visiting, the members of the crew were setting up for an ALBA Berlin versus FC Bayern basketball match, so our team learned the tricks of the trade from the best in the business.

To find out more about studying at BIMM Berlin, order a prospectus.


Lucy Donovan

Lucy is the International Marketing Manager for BIMM Berlin and Hamburg.