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popNRW is supporting promising and ambitious young bands from all over North Rhine-Westphalia since 2012, with the aim of strengthening the top-class music scene in NRW and making it nationally competitive. The year-round support programme is geared to the special needs of young musicians and consists of various modules and offers. Among the best-known NRW acts that popNRW has discovered and promoted in recent years are Giant Rooks, AnnenMayKantereit, Roosevelt, International Music, Amilli and Die P.

popNRW is funded by the NRW Ministry for Economics, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy and made possible by the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science, the Landesmusikrat NRW and the NRW KULTURsekretariat.

popNRW Prize

The popNRW-Preis (popNRW Prize), introduced in 2012, is one of the best-endowed and most prestigious awards for pop musicians (on their way to the top) in Germany. In 2023 it will be awarded for the twelfth time to successful musicians and promising newcomers from the region who, in addition to the prize money of 10.000 and 2.500 euros, can look forward to an enormous boost in popularity. As a fixed component of popNRW, the prize also directs the national attention to this statewide sponsorship programme, based on an effective and sustainable network of artists, promoters, venues and pop promotion institutions. Up-and-coming musicians from NRW, that are nominated for the popNRW-prize can get support in their plans to tour and get the chance to be presented in popNRW-showcases.


popNRW is the music export office of North-Rhine Westfalia, Germany’s biggest federal state. Since 2012, popNRW supports local artists and festivals to strengthen the local pop music scene. Additionally, it promotes them abroad through showcase activities at relevant international festivals like The Great Escape (Brighton, UK), Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg, GE) or Waves Festival (Vienna, AUS), crossroads festival (Roubaix, FR) or Strasbourg Music Week (Straßburg, FR). At some of these activities we also work together with the Initiative Musik and other pop-offices in Germany.

popNRW Events

One of the highlights of the programm , are the shows called popNRW Abend or presented by popNRW, that shine a light of some of the many talented acts from the popNRW-pool. In cooperation with important local festivals as c/o pop in Cologne, juicy beats in Dortmund or New Fall Festival in Düsseldorf, newcomer acts get the opportunity to play in front of a bigger audience during a festival.

Some of these acts, that started in this context are well established now. Names as Giant RooksMesser, AnnenMayKantereitRoosevelt und International Music come to mind.


popNRW is also offering coaching for newcomer acts through their workshop-programm: Bands and artists can get tipps & input from professionals during the New Talent workshop-programm that popNRW is presenting every year at the c/o pop Convention in Cologne. Topics like social media, artist development, songwriting or booking as well as mental health and awareness, are presented in talks and workshops by proffessional business people for NEW TALENT. This programm is presented in cooperation with the VUT west and c/o pop Convention.