Image Alt

That’s HYPE



Teaching, Learning, Professionalizing and Researching with HYPE&FRIENDS

HYPE&FRIENDS is an agency festival for Young Professionals in music. Since 2021, it has opened up perspectives for them as they work on their careers in front of, behind, and beside the stage; involving them in helping to shape the future of music through new teaching, learning, practice, and research formats; and honouring contributions that have supported Young Professionals with the HYPE&FRIENDS Awards at a BigBand Gala.

At HYPE&FRIENDS, Young Professionals work with players in Agency Art Labs and Agency Show Cases on the cutting edge of current research on personal challenges and those central to the future of music. They learn how the future of music is made - with guests as friends whose personal commitment makes the Agency Art Labs, the Show Cases and the BigBand Award Gala unique.

Chapter 1 reconstructs how the HYPE&FRIENDS Agency Festival was developed from reflections on how jazz/rock/pop students can open up professional perspectives as part of their studies. Chapter 2 explains the contexts of HYPE&FRIENDS with reference to the history of festivals and to degree programs as structures for the future; Chapter 3 explains the goals and activities of HYPE&FRIENDS as teaching, learning, professionalisation, and research innovations, and the strategies used to pursue them. Chapter 4 presents activities planned for 2023 for Agency Art Labs, Agency Show Cases, and the BigBand Awards Gala in the context of concretized goals before Chapter 5 briefly looks at HYPE&FRIENDS 2024.

1. HYPE&FRIENDS as an answer to the question „What opens up sustainable career prospects for 'Young Professionals in Music'?"

HYPE&FRIENDS was initially a response to the question of how students from Jazz/Rock/Pop (JRP) can be sustainably opened up professional orientation during their studies. It was developed in the context of considerations for the re-accreditation of study programs at the Jazz Rock Pop (JRP) Institute. To these JRP Institute speaker Jun.-Prof. Dr. phil. Raphael Thöne, Dr. Antonia Gohr, former head of the Department of Academic Affairs of HMTMH, and I, Carsten Winter, as Dean of Studies of SK III, to which the JRP study programs belong, were requested to do so by the Presidential Board. That we would be hosting the first HYPE&FRIENDS (a rather private event due to Covid 19) as an innovation in teaching, learning and professionalization on June 17, 2021, was not foreseeable but consequential. Therefore, the path to HYPE&FRIENDS through Covid-19 insights will be briefly reconstructed here.

Initial considerations for the development of professional perspectives in the JRP programmes - since the artistic contents of the programmes are indisputably excellent, as previous accreditations have shown - were directed towards customisable modules. These modules have been introduced very successfully, for example, at the JRP Institute or at the Institute for Journalism and Communication Research (IJK). They allow students to acquire professionally relevant qualifications through individual activities related to their desired fields of occupation. How, we asked ourselves, could JRP students become better acquainted with professionally relevant institutions, stakeholders as well as current challenges within the framework of their studies? First, we thought of possibilities in the space of digital (data-) flows: It is the space to which more and more music-related activities are being shifted and where artistic students are active when they reduce the distance to fans and supporters with everyday digital network media like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok accounts, the associated analytics, media creativity and with friends. Therefore, and also because extracurricular courses like Social Media Marketing for Artists were always overbooked, we wanted to pick up on this and complement the artistic teaching in JRP programmes in this area and, in the best case, make it more visible.

Then Covid-19 broke out.

For professionalization efforts of Young Professionals, there were suddenly almost only spaces of digital (data-) flows. There were no more opportunities to play live or to network both on the stage and behind it in spaces of the places and to meet and get to know professionally relevant people face-to-face. Spaces of places of music were suddenly passé. In living and learning music in the space of digital (data-) flows, many new things were tried out that would certainly not have been tried before. That was definitely a gain. This also applies to teaching. But much was no longer possible.

We discovered more precisely than would otherwise have been possible what does not work well, or at all, in people business music in the undeniably relevant space of digital (data) flows for Young Professionals, but which is essential for the development of their professional careers.

Day by day we were learning that Young Professionals in Music Art and Music Business were not only missing live music venues. For the development of their professional careers, they lacked places where they could initiate, build, develop and deepen relationships more personally: Situations in which they can meet new people in person that they wouldn't otherwise meet - as especially happens at agency music festivals. These festivals are extended show case and conference festivals that aim to provide visitors with more agency for their activities. Agency music festivals, such as ESNS in Groningen in January, SXSW in Austin in March, Tallinn Music Week in May, MaMA in Paris in October, LINECHECK in Milan in November and in Germany in NRW the c/o pop Festival in April, the Reeperbahn Festival in September in Hamburg and the MOST WANTED: MUSIC in November in Berlin with their show cases and their conferences are now an integral part of the calendars of more and more Young Professionals in music. These are the places where protagonists from the entire industry share their agency and increase their future capabilities: it’s no wonder that Young Professionals use agency festivals to find their professional orientation.

More and more music festivals with show cases and conferences have now become agency music festivals by developing new structures and formats explicitly for personal networking. They now bear a structural importance beyond their live business for networking and building personal relationships across the music ecosystem. In the music industry, they have become even more important in recent years than they already were in the people business of music - since more and more new participants are turning it into a Creator Economy through their activities that are valuable to others, where pre-market activities based on personal relationships are critical to success. Agency festivals are central to initiating, building, developing and deepening relationships in the music business and music culture through their networking formats and structures. These festivals bring together all those who are or want to be involved in the future of music, because here they can meet a greater number and a more diverse range of players than anywhere else, who are important and valuable for their future and the future of music.

The importance of new agency festivals for Young Professionals can apparently hardly be overestimated. Moreover, they are currently the most important new structure of the Creator Economy promoted by more and more creatives. This economy is regarded as the economic form of the future, because it is structurally more open, flexible, diverse, networked and therefore more efficient, effective and productive. Regardless of the very justified criticism of the growing number of individual entrepreneurs and the growing number of players among them whose work interests are not (yet?) institutionally represented and who often have little social security, it is undisputed that there are structural advantages to networked value creation by individual entrepreneurs: A greater number and, above all, a greater diversity of players can be involved in newly created and emerging networks in a more self-willed and sustainable way, because more can be exchanged within them than via markets on the basis of negotiated prices. In networks, they can look beyond markets for new intelligent, inclusive and sustainable solutions and open up and use new perspectives beyond those of market players. Advantages of the Creator Economy are often advantages of and for Young Professionals. They can engage easier in a more openly networked music value creation, where not only monetary value can be created through markets, but where social, aesthetic and cultural capital can be gained. The Creator Economy networks, in which social, aesthetic and cultural capital play a greater role than in a music industry, are easier for Young Professionals to access than traditional music industry markets.

Young Professionals who are working on their professionalisation and who know the possibilities of open, new networks are aware of the opportunities they are able to access at agency music festivals - perspectives that are important to them and that they obviously cannot open up for themselves in a comparable way in the space of digital (data-) flows. Agency festivals are a reaction to, and at the same time a driver of, the digitally and medially increasingly small-scale networked and ever more dynamic Creator Music Culture & Economy, in which their significance for music is simultaneously becoming more important with the significance of the spaces of digital (data-) flows.

For older teachers, this challenge is not entirely new. As noted, music has always been a people business. A business that is changed when people can do new things with reference to music though new resources. This is especially true when there are new opportunities without or beyond established structures. Then the new resources become real alternatives and their use changes the structures in the music ecosystem. Today, Young Professionals have access to more media and personal opportunities to initiate, build, use, develop, etc. new relationships. Program managers must respond to the fact that it is becoming even more important for Young Professionals to build personal relationships in an increasingly small-scale, music-related value creation and, in this context, to learn to network independently in a variety of ways. In an industry where half of the workforce are owner-operators and sole proprietors, and 'creatives' are the most dynamically growing sub-segment of the industry, helping them develop relevant relationships is a serious responsibility. We wanted to respond to this task as best we could in order to meet the challenge set for us by our presidium to develop innovations for the study programmes in the field of JRP in the anticipation of the upcoming re-accreditations - and with more than just classic educational offers.

Our research, in which we at the IJK have been investigating reasons for the global conjuncture of new festivals since 2016, suddenly acquired a new practical significance in the context of the question of how to professionally prepare students for the greater demands on the quality and quantity of personal networking. We learned that festivals in the space of places cannot be functionally replaced by (at least still) functionally equivalent (festival) structures in the space of digital (data-) flows, which due to Covid-19 were in many cases quickly set up professionally. Although these structures open valuable opportunities that allow, for example, participation that is more independent of space and time and less expensive, they obviously do not open up the relationship and networking opportunities that Young Professionals have at agency festivals in the space of places. Realizing that an agency festival for the professionalisation of Young Professionals has been lacking until now, we concluded that such a festival for their professional orientation is overdue. But how could an agency festival for Young Professionals meaningfully expand teaching? What would an agency music festival mean for a (structural) innovation at a university and what would be the specific contribution in the study programme and for the music ecosystems in which students, teachers and the university are involved?

Dr. Raphael Thöne and I consulted with Christine Preitauer, CEO of kreHtiv Hannover e.V. and involved in the IJK festival research, and with Derya Irrgang, who studied festivals in our teaching projects and wrote her master's thesis on agency festivals. Again and again, surprisingly, the question caught up with us: What kind of university agency festival should this be? How can it improve the professional orientation and the ability to operate, or rather the agency of Young Professionals? This text, which is also an orientation for interested collaboration partners with whom we would like to work together even better in the future - for their benefit and that of Young Professionals - answers these questions, which are asked again and again by participants and new students.

2. How does an agency festival in a music university context open up sustainable professional orientation for Young Professionals?

HYPE&FRIENDS offers Young Professionals orientation in several contexts: In the context of a large music academy in the music state of Lower Saxony in the UNESCO City of Music Hannover; in the context of new types of agency music festivals, in the tradition of festivals lifted out of everyday life, and - last but not least - as the first agency festival for Young Professionals and educators. Central to HYPE&FRIENDS is the context of music. A successful agency music festival is a successful music festival. Music artists and music make it extraordinary and valuable. Festival value is also created by the fact that young artists at HYPE&FRIENDS as Young Professionals and their educators, award winners and guests can be their own subjects in their own festival contexts.

For HYPE&FRIENDS, the context of the university is central. The University of Music, Drama and Media (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, HMTMH) is a university with artistic and scientific programs and the right to award doctorates and habilitation. It is a classic multiple agency context and has a self-image as an art location, as a research location and as a cultural engine in the city and the country. For example, HMTMH is known as a concert promoter and for its innovative flexibilization of teaching and learning (see HMTMH Masterplan 2030 for details). HYPE&FRIENDS contributes productively to the music ecosystems UNESCO City of Music and Musikland Niedersachsen in the sense of this Masterplan. Young Professionals become empowered at our university because here they acquire competence, qualifications and knowledge for their future careers. Because knowledge in particular is person-bound, HYPE&FRIENDS is rightly expected to involve researchers who possess knowledge that will sustainably orient Young Professionals and educators. All participants can expect, firstly, to be given a comprehensive understanding of the state of the art in research on the topics discussed, and secondly, to be given the opportunity to work collaboratively at the festival on what is possible with this knowledge with a focus on working on the future of their careers and the future of music.

HYPE&FRIENDS is an agency festival that aims to open up new possibilities for participants. Therefore, the constitution of agency situations is central. The value of HYPE&FRIENDS is therefore measured by the qualitative and quantitative increase in orientation, relationships and agency. Guests with whom this is possible can be expected. Therefore, for HYPE&FRIENDS, as for all agency festivals, it is of vital importance to find suitable and, above all, diverse players for its agency formats: Players who want to and are able to turn festival formats into agency situations for Young Professionals. We are happy to have found players from relevant networks and institutions from the city, the country and internationally, who can place and answer questions about the future of music and its professionalisation in local/regional, national and international contexts and processes.

The question of how an agency music festival for Young Professionals in music can provide sustainable professional orientation confronted us with the classic festival challenge: Like the first festival organizers, for whom the term Entrepreneur (from 'entre' and 'prendre') was invented in France, because they had to make a selection for their festival among the scattered creations of composers who were becoming famous, we had to choose from a wide range of possibilities for show case acts, researchers, teachers, music players as well as themes, that fulfilled expectations of a music festival and agency for professionalisation.

3. Goals, agency activities and strategies of HYPE&FRIENDS as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation

Goals of HYPE&FRIENDS, which were first determined by the upcoming re-accreditation and the Covid-19 pandemic, are - to be upfront - reflected, modified, adapted and, if necessary, extended with new students, faculty and guests. Today, HYPE&FRIENDS comprises various agency formats that are open as process formats depending on the path. In order to be able to participate in them productively and sustainably, a knowledge of their history, goals and strategies is helpful. For this reason, and because collaborations with partners have moved to the center, they will be briefly reconstructed here. The development of collaboration quality, we are convinced, is the best way to make HYPE&FRIENDS more valuable for Young Professionals and our collaboration partners. Hence the title of the of the concept paper: pfadabhängig offen sind. Um an ihnen produktiv und nachhaltig mitwirken zu können, ist ein Wissen um ihre Geschichte, Ziele und Strategien hilfreich. Deshalb und weil Kollaborationen mit Partner*innen ins Zentrum gerückt sind, werden sie hier kurz rekonstruiert. Die Entwicklung der Kollaborationsqualität, davon sind wir überzeugt, ist die beste Möglichkeit, das HYPE&FRIENDS für Young Professionals und unsere Kollaborations-Partner*innen wertvoller zu machen. Darum lautet der Titel des Konzeptpapiers: For Collaborators: HYPE&FRIENDS 2023. True Collaborations for Agency Show Cases, Agency Art Labs & Music Awards for Young Professional Support.

Goals of the first HYPE&FRIENDS at the Musikzentrum Hannover on 17.06.2021

In the run-up to the re-accreditation of the JRP programs planned for 2021, which Covid-19 cancelled at short notice and which did not take place until the fall of 2022, it was central from our students' point of view that they get to know networks and players relevant to them. This was something that Covid-19 had made extremely difficult for them. This was to be achieved by low-threshold panels and show cases, which were also intended to demonstrate the quality of the program in view of the re-accreditation. In order for Young Professionals to get to know relevant players, HYPE&FRIENDS was to open up agency situations for and especially between:

  1. Young Jazz & Pop Professionals in Niedersachsen,
  2. professional jazz & pop educators in Lower Saxony,
  3. players of the Hanoverian culture, creative and music industry,
  4. players in the regional jazz and pop scene,
  5. players in German music culture and music business research,
  6. players in international music professionalisation research,
  7. other institutions that are valuable for Young Professionals locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

We were able to open these agency situations at the Musikzentrum Hannover, which is popular amongst Young Professionals because of its hall, bar and outdoor, wich is used by them as part of their studies, and which is also a training institution for music professions itself. Due to Covid-19, we achieved the goals in a small, almost private setting: the first HYPE&FRIENDS was a single agency situation. Because it was so private, Young Professionals were already in a personal relationship with almost everyone else, which could be deepened and expanded.

The HYPE&FRIENDS took place on Thursday, June 17, 2021. After the greeting including input on the stated goals, we started with interconnected presentations by Dr. Guy Morrow (he is a renowned artist manager and researcher on careers in the industry and has researched, taught and published extensively on this subject area) live from Melbourne (topic: Designing Music Agency Moments & Contexts for Young Professionals) and Dr. Eric Hitters (head of the largest project on live music to date - cf. live) from Rotterdam (topic: Live Music Festival Agency for Young Professionals). Guy Morrow explained the central role of micro-agency experiences for the professionalisation of Young Professionals. Eric Hitters explained the relevance of early career festivals and participation in show case festivals. Their Zoom lectures were extensively discussed, as was the on-site lecture by Prof. Dr. Barbara Hornberger (topic: New Perspectives for Pop Education). The lectures on the international state of research on the topic and the lively discussion helped Young Professionals to classify and orient their own design, live music and study projects. The discussion was eventually followed by the desire to discuss the requirements for professional preparation for festival performances with Dr. Eric Hitters in a more in-depth and personal way and in the context of further results of his large research project poplive (

Following the presentations and discussions, the first HYPE&FRIENDS panel, held in cooperation with UNESCO City of Music Hannover, focused on the opportunities for Young Professionals in music cities. In cooperation with Musikland Niedersachsen gGmbH, the second panel dealt with opportunities at the 'Music Land Niedersachsen'. Impulses from the guests from Berlin, Hamburg and Osnabrück created an agency situation for the Young Professionals present in the context of specific questions and experiences of Young Professionals. They were made possible in particular by unique constellations of players and the personal commitment of the invited guests (see the clip on the first HYPE&FRIENDS at Following the first HYPE&FRIENDS, Young Professionals realized new collaborations, performances, support and artist management. We were almost overwhelmed because we had not at all anticipated this in such a concrete way. Furthermore, this resulted in an invitation to HYPE&FRIENDS for the MOST WANTED: MUSIC (MW:M) in Berlin, which will be discussed later.

Feedback from all participating Young Professionals confirmed how important it was for their career orientation to be able to talk to people from different professional contexts at eye level (including in alph. order with: Prof. Dr. Barbara Hornberger (Head of Pop Studies Osnabrück), with Derya Irrgang (Reeperbahnfestival), with music editor Matthias Köppinghoff (NDR), with Olaf ‘Gemse’ Kretschmar (President Bundesverband Popularmusik e.V. and CEO of Berlin Music Commission e.G.), with concert developer and pianist Hanni Liang (tonali), with Christine Preitauer (CEO kreHativ Hannover e.V.) - to name only those actively involved. The personal quality of HYPE&FRIENDS was made possible by a special format that Hanna Blasyza and Kim Ermler had developed for the Young Professionals work of the Gesellschaft für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung e.V. (GMM e.V.): the 'GMM Future Heads Walk'. It allowed Young Professionals, Educators and guests to prove themselves and get to know each other personally while exploring Hannover's Nordstadt as a music ecosystem. All Young Professionals stated that this Walk was valuable for them personally and professionally. They thus confirmed the agency value of low-threshold, curated, personal networking formats for career orientation and professionalisation.

After the GMM Future Heads Walk, many conversations and selfies, the HYPE&FRIENDS Show Cases with Michèl von Wussow, WAS NUN, Wezn, Joules the Fox and Hagelslag from Hannover as well as Kasimp as HYPE&FRIENDS Guest Act from Osnabrück started at 6 pm. With their great show cases and appreciations by Educators, HYPE&FRIENDS 2021 festively came to a nightly end in personally inspiring constellations and professionally sustainably orienting.

Some impressions of the first HYPE&FRIENDS are given in a small fine clip of our HYPE&FRIENDS video art director Chiara Bon.

HYPE&FRIENDS has functioned as an agency festival for Young Professionals and their educators, the local music and festival scene as well as for participants from the IJK master's program Media and Music M.A.. Not only Young Professionals in Music Art, but also Young Professionals in Music Business benefited from opportunities for personal networking. Artistic and scientific students got to know each other as fellow students and made HYPE&FRIENDS an 'in house' agency context. A context in which marketing, media and management cooperations were realized and are still going on today.

HYPE&FRIENDS will be an Agency Festival for ALL Young Professionals in Music

Consequently, following the request of the students, HYPE&FRENDS has now been further developed as an agency festival for the professionalisation of Young Professionals in music art and music business. The starting point for this further development were four strategic goals jointly developed after the first HYPE&FRIENDS: HYPE&FRIENDS is to be developed as a

  1. teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation for all Young Professionals in Music,
  2. in particular as a professionalisation and networking co-organizer,
  3. as an open future laboratory for music in culture, economy and society, and
  4. as the first Young Professional Agency Festival with international appeal!

The immediate occasion for the further development of HYPE&FRIENDS as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation was the invitation to the MW:M in Berlin. Olaf Kretschmar, who was a guest at the first HYPE&FRIENDS as president of the Bundesverband Popularmusik e.V. (BV-Pop), invited HYPE&FRIENDS to the MW:M in his role as CEO of the Berlin Music Commission e.G. (BMC). It was to introduce itself there as a new agency festival for Young Professional in Music and thus launch a new format at MW:M, in which music activities of the federal states will be presented in the future.

HYPE&LOWER SAXONY FRIENDS go MW:M - on 28.10.2021 at the Maschinenhaus of the Kulturbrauerei in Berlin as part of the MOST WANTED: MUSIC conference festival

The further development of HYPE&FRIENDS into an agency festival for all Young Professionals began during the winter semester in the IJK seminar Current Developments in Media and Music Business. For years, the seminar has included an excursion to MW:M, where students learn about developments on which they conduct research, give presentations, and write academic papers. In winter 2021/22, there was an additional opportunity to use the excursion to research and develop agency formats for HYPE&FRIENDS and its strategic profiling. The format innovations that were subsequently developed make HYPE&FRIENDS even more unique and valuable for Young Professionals.

Based on the HYPE&FRIENDS formats, Niedersachsen at MW:M was realized in cooperation with partners*: from Osnabrück from the Cultural Office and from City Marketing, from Hanover from the UNESCO City of Music Office of the city, from kreHtiv e.V. and from Musikland Niedersachsen. From the latter in particular with Friederike Ankele, who moderated the evening with Carsten Winter, which was very thoughtfully produced by Christoph Heide. After the welcome by MW:M host Olaf Kretschmar, the head of the Osnabrück cultural office Patricia Mersinger presented the new music strategy of Osnabrück. The presentation was followed by a discussion with herself, Alice Moser (UNESCO City of Music Office Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Raphael Thöne (JRP-Institute HMTMH / HYPE&FRIENDS) about opportunities for Young Professionals in Hannover and Osnabrück, where Raphael Thöne presented HYPE&FRIENDS. After show cases from Michèl von Wussow, Kummerfeld and Ottolien, the second panel round with Jakob Lübke (musician and night mayor Osnabrück) and Sina-Mareike Schulte (Musikland Niedersachsen) was mainly about support opportunities in the wake of Covid-19. The HYPE&FRIENDS Sattelite at MW:M in Berlin ended with show cases from Sobi, Modesha and Joy Bogat & Joules the Fox.

The Sattelite HYPE&LOWER SAXONY FRIENDS go MW:M was a successful extension of HYPE&FRIENDS for the orientation and especially professionalisation of HMTMH Young Professionals in Music through the participation of Young Professionals, educators and network partners from Osnabrück and Hannover with panels, show cases and the possibility to participate in the MW:M conference.

Impressions of this first HYPE&FRIENDS satellite at the MW:M in Berlin can be seen in the following clip of our HYPE&FRIENDS video art director Chiara Bon.

The strategic (further) development of HYPE&FRIENDS 2022 with students

After the MW:M-Sattelite in Berlin, the development of the HYPE&FRIENDS formats started as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation for 2022. It was to be developed based on its goals with a view to professional orientation and agency moments for the professionalisation and networking of Young Professionals. This was based on the project work Development of a Fellowship Brand and Collaboration Strategy for an internationally recognized and successful HYPE Festival by students Marit Damke and Carmen Schmidt in summer of 2021, which specifically develops proposals for developing the relationship with HYPE&FRIENDS. The work was considered necessary because, according to the students, HYPE&FRIENDS was too unknown among Young Professionals and relevant players*. HYPE&FRIENDS was to be developed as a festival brand, whereby the interest in this was also the result of a seminar with Soheil Dastyari, whose fellowship marketing oriented the project work of Marit Damke and Carmen Schmidt as well as Hanna Blazyca and Kim Ermler on the GMM Future-Heads-Walk concept.

The project work of Blazyca and Ermler shows how participants in HYPE&FRIENDS can acquire this festival through the Walk format and participate in the festival by taking part in the Walk, while also acquiring relevant knowledge for themselves and having emphatic experiences. Input into the strategic development also held an agency festival development seminar Detlef Schwarte, one of the founders of the Reeperbahn Festival. For the sake of clarity, the festival formats developed in parallel during the winter semester 2021/22 are explained in the context of the reconstruction of HYPE&FRIENDS 2022, where classic formats such as key notes and panels continued to exist.

Developed goals, agency activities, and strategies of HYPE&FRIENDS 2022 as a teaching, learning, professionalisation, and research innovation.

New agency formats, significantly co-developed by students raised HYPE&FRIENDS 2022 to a new level with their focus on precise agency festival goals. As a teaching, learning, professionalisation, and research innovation, the second edition of HYPE&FRIENDS took place for the first time as a three-day festival from June 8-11, 2022. Like the HYPE&FRIENDS Sattelite at the MW:M in Berlin before, it was once again primarily produced by Christoph Heide.

HYPE&FRIENDS 22 started on one hand as a new project and on the other hand building on proven cooperations for which we are grateful: A thank you for their support goes to Alice Moser from the UNESCO City of Music Hannover office, Friederike Ankele and Sina Mareike Schulte from Musikland Niedersachsen, Olaf "Gemse" Kretschmar BV-Pop & BMC, Prof. Dr. Barbara Hornberger, Popstudiengang Osnabrück u. GMM board and - last but not least - Christine Preitauer from kreHtiv Hannover e.V. and the Verband der Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Niedersachsen e.V. (VKKN). And we are happy that LAGRock Niedersachsen was on board for the first time in the context of the presentation of the BV-Pop grant (thanks to Vera Lüdeck) and, (thanks to Carlotta Schlomann!) and a communication team (Marit Damke, Carmen Schmidt, Lisa Schumacher, Mareike Sperzel and Markus Torke, GF of Deep Delta). The great communication team set up and provided the website and Instagram channel for HYPE&FRIENDS, created digital as well as analog information materials (flyers, decorations, assistance) and also have achieved and magicked an immense amount beyond that. Among other things, they helped Chiara Bon to complete the first two HYPE&FRIENDS video clips, contributed to the selection of the HYPE&FRIENDS logo and to many loving details and great personal HYPE quality. Heartfelt thanks! New was also the use of photographers by Amelie Heinrich and Finn Löw. In particular, the professionalisation of media and communication was an important milestone on the way to the institutionalization of HYPE&FRIENDS as the first Agency Festival for Young Professionals in Music at a University of Music, Drama and Media!

For the HYPE&FRIENDS Agency Festival, however, as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation, it was of course particularly important to further develop the agency quality of the festival. For this purpose, new agency formats for Young Professionals were developed: A new Agency BigBand Award Gala and new Agency Art Labs tailored to Agency for Young Professionals. They make the HYPE&FRIENDS Agency Festival in connection with the development of the festival brand 'HYPE&FRIENDS' much more valuable for Young Professionals and their educators and especially for all partners.

Photo Credit: HMTMH


The HYPE&FRIENDS Music-Agency-BigBand-Award-Gala on 08.06.2022 as an innovation in teaching, learning and professionalisation.

In 2022, firstly through more different young professionals, secondly through developed teaching, learning, professionalization formats and thirdly through more research, more agency for the participants should be possible. HYPE&FRIENDS should become even more valuable as an agency festival for young professionals. The first new teaching, learning and professionalisation format was the BigBand Award Gala in the Richard Jacoby Hall, the concert hall of HMTMH. HYPE&FRIENDS 2022 got off to a brilliant start with new collaborations and spaces, before continuing the next day with newly developed Agency Art Lab formats: in the Rampe, a co-working space for musicians, in the new rooms of the JRP Institute, in the Club Weltspiele and in the Olivenhain-Hof, which the Weltspiele share with the JRP Institute, where HYPE&FRIENDS came to a festive end as a club festival after three days.

HYPE&FRIENDS started on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 for the first time in the university's large concert hall, the Richard Jakoby Hall. The participants experienced a brilliant start with BigBand arrangements by Prof. Jonas Schoen-Philbert and the Studio-BigBand of HMTMH, who enchanted with song pearls of NDW or Radiohead in BigBand sound. During the first ever gala, which was hosted by Laura Weinert in a confident, affectionate and personal manner, the event also featured the first five awards, which honoured valuable contributions for Young Professionals in Music. The Richard Jakoby Hall became a valuable HYPE&FRIENDS Agency teaching, learning and professionalisation context.

The BigBand Award Gala with its award winners and laudators was valuable for Young Professionals for at least three reasons: Firstly, it brought together various players who were valuable for the professional orientation of Young Professionals on one stage, who thus got to know them in the sequence of performances, video clips, laudations, words of thanks, etc. ahead of the Agency Art Labs of the next days in which they participated. Secondly, each of the Awards and what was happening on stage around their presentation oriented what is currently worthy of an Award in terms of support from Young Professionals in the city and country. This surrounding the awards' provided valuable guidance. Further, the Awards Gala illustrated HYPE&FRIENDS' claim to be a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation for all Young Professionals in Music on stage, off stage and backstage. The festival kick-off with this festive event created more visibility for the HYPE&FRIENDS Agency-Festival as a 'future lab' for music in city and country and culture, economy and society! The claim articulated in the welcoming speech that evening, to be a future laboratory not only for Young Professionals, was realized on that very evening and over the next few days. And this was done by all participants, headstrong through their active personal participation and networking, which admittedly cannot be illustrated here. Come and experience for yourself what is possible at HYPE&FRIENDS in the context of its agency formats for Young Professionals, but also what is possible for you.

Within the framework of the HYPE&FRIENDS BigBand Award Gala, several players were given awards - and through these awards - also agency, for helping Young Professionals to achieve agency, more power to act, visibility, audibility, networking, events, and so on. (At this point it should not be concealed that the presentation of the awards and their winners and their prominent laudators in turn help HYPE&FRIENDS and thus again Young Professionals to more agency).

The agency activities of the BigBand Award Gala started after the welcome with an impulse on structural advantages of music cities for Young Professionals by Dr. Matthias Rauch, Chief Innovation Officer of Mannheim (also UNESCO City of Music city) and i.a. former manager of the Cluster Musikwirtschaft Mannheim & Region. We were pleased to see that he not only highlighted the quality of the big band arrangements on the evening, but also on Instagram, and was delighted to present the HYPE&FRIENDS YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT AWARD to Band Support Mannheim ( After BV-Pop President Olaf Kretschmar emphasized in his laudation the importance of continuity of local and regional institutions for the support of Young Professionals, Dr. Matthias Rauch accepted the award on behalf of Beril Yilmam-Kohl, director of Band Support Mannheim, who was unfortunately ill. Young Professionals gained insight into the support of Young Professional Nachwuchs and its integration into Mannheim's four-pillar strategic support structure consisting of Band Support Mannheim, Pop Academy, a music start-up center and cluster management, which Rauch and Kretschmar highlighted as a key success factor of Mannheim's work with Young Professionals.

Photo Credit: HMTMH

In addition to structures such as Band Support Mannheim, which provide early support, media support is important for the development of professional careers. The media play an important role in organizing and orienting the perception of young art and artists* and their professional development. This was demonstrated by Prof. Christian Krebs, Director of The State Media Authority of Lower Saxony, in his laudatory speech for the HYPE&FRIENDS YOUNG PROFESSIONAL MEDIA COMMUNICATION AWARD, presented to the campus radio station and accepted by its directors Christoph Heide and Carlotta Schlomann. Krebs particularly highlighted's commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the station held an online festival for Young Professionals that not only gave them a stage digitally, but also allowed them to gain their first valuable experience with journalistic media and media formats.

Photo Credit: HMTMH


As shown above in the reconstruction of the background for the development of a new agency festival for Young Professionals, festivals with formats that provide them with agency are important for Young Professionals and their professionalisation. Therefore, it was clear that an agency music festival for Young Professionals should award a HYPE&FRIENDS AGENCY MUSIC FESTIVAL SUPPORT AWARD. Exemplary for such a support is the ListenToBerlin Award Ceremony within the MOST WANTED: MUSIC. This event, which has been successful for years, combines a Listen-To-Berlin CD, which has been providing audible information about Young Professionals in Berlin in particular, with an award event in which not only music artists are honoured. In her laudation Christine Preitauer from kreHtiv Hannover e.V. explained why and how the ListenToBerlin Awards like no other event in Berlin show how the most diverse players enrich the city of Berlin creatively and artistically with projects and initiatives. Layla Müller accepted the award on behalf of the MW:M team together with Olaf Kretschmar, CEO of BMC, who organizes the Listen-To-Berlin Award Ceremony.

At the beginning of the careers of Young Professionals, networks play an important role in addition to support from funding institutions, media presence and visibility at important events. In the people business of music, personal networking in particular plays a greater role than ever before in the networking age. This has already been stated above, as has the fact that this networking depends first and foremost on networking opportunities. In networks they increasingly depend on new network co-organizers, on people who network others. A HYPE&FRIENDS NETWORKING FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSIC AWARD was overdue. It was awarded to Gunnar Gessner of the Musikzentrum Hannover, who supports Young Professionals in networking in Hannover, Lower Saxony, throughout Germany and beyond. He has really earned it, as Holger Maack illustrated in his personal laudation. Because despite a long and close good cooperation with Gunnar Gessner, as he explained, it is not possible for him to illustrate the intensity and scope of Gunnar Gessner's networking and networking work for the common time or even the future in Hanover, in Lower Saxony and in the world, because he always helps to connect everyone everywhere.

Photo Credit: HMTMH


Against this backdrop of support revolutions, which Carsten Winter's laudation guided, once again brought a new support revolution to the centre of attention with Operation Ton, the first festival by artists for artists, one that she had been instrumental in developing. See for yourself: Andrea Rothaug gladly accepted the HYPE&FRIENDS Award and initiated a collaboration between our festivals.

Against this backdrop of support revolutions, which Carsten Winter cited in his laudatory speech, the Opertion Ton, the first festival by artists for artists, was once again the focus of a new support revolution that she played a key role in developing. See for yourself: Andrea Rothaug gladly accepted the HYPE&FRIENDS Award and initiated a collaboration between our festivals.

The HYPE&FRIENDS Music Agency Big Band Award Gala significantly expanded the curricular teaching and learning in the study programs of all participating Young Professionals. It provided personal insight into their fields of professionalisation and, through new constellations of teachers from their programs in new contexts with players relevant to their professionalisation, new opportunities to understand them and to plan and launch their own activities in a more personally informed way.

The new HYPE&FRIENDS Agency Art Labs for Young Professionals on 09.06.2022 as a teaching, learning, professionalisation innovation 

After the welcome, day two started with the lecture Festivals and the Career Development of Young Professionals by Dr. Eric Hitters from Erasmus University Rotterdam, which had been agreed upon at the first HYPE&FIRENDS. Building on festival data from his poplive project (see for details), his talk delved into opportunities that emerge through and at festivals, as well as requirements that arise for Young Professionals in a live music economy that is a superstar economy. Looking at this economy, where only superstars manage to make a sustainable living (over a period of ten or more years) from music, Hitters challenges faculty and students to think about how to better deal with this realization. According to Hitter's findings, show case festivals are arguably the most relevant career and professionalisation experiences by and for Young Professionals.

The subsequent first Agency Art Lab (AAL) Agency for Young Professional in Music, organized in collaboration with BV-Pop, followed on from the opening lecture. Based on preliminary work with selected Young Professionals in Music, their individual strengths and weaknesses (which they had self-assessed in advance) became their agency theme in AALs developed for them. The AAL format, which was newly developed especially for them, was intended to facilitate an agency situation. For this purpose, the AALs were prepared by Young Professionals in Music Business and led by four curators on an equal footing: A Young Professional in Music Art, a Young Professional in Music Business as moderator and one representative each from music practice and music research and teaching). The BV-Pop-HYPE-Agency-Art-Wheel, which was developed for BV-Pop in advance and with which the Young Professionals in music who appeared at HYPE&FRIENDS were asked to assess the degree of their current professionalisation on a five-point scale with regard to career planning, soft skills, distribution, music creation and their own organizational perception, allowed a good introduction to the Lab. It allowed to understand the different perspectives of the participants on professionalisation and to systematically reflect on the status and perspectives in professionalisation in the discussion. The Wheel proved to be an instrument for reflecting on one's own professionalisation and upcoming professionalisation steps and facilitated references to the opening lecture and one's own individual career goals. At this point, we would like to thank Finn Löw, who developed the Wheel, BV-Pop and its president Olaf Kretschmar and his predecessor Andrea Rothaug for their great commitment. The chance to get to know representatives from support structures was a benefit for everyone.

Afterwards, the second AAL Chancen des Miterleben und Co-Kreierens von Musik-Städten für Young Professionals (Opportunities for Young Professionals to Experience and Co-Create Music Cities), prepared in collaboration with Johannes Everke from the Board of the Music Cities Network and Alice Moser from the UNESCO City of Music Hannover, took place. Like the first AAL, it was organized by four curators and moderated at each table by one or more Young Professionals in music business. It became clear that the potential that Young Professionals have for co-creating the future of music cities is underutilized. Apparently, the structures of their supporters open up too few idiosyncratic opportunities for them, while on the other hand, they under-utilize the existing opportunities. All Young Professionals found the opportunities to establish personal relationships with music city leaders at HYPE&FIRENDS valuable. In the future, they would like to have more independent and autonomous opportunities in music cities to contribute to their own careers, especially in music cities. The present representatives not only from Hanover, but also from Berlin (Olaf Kretschmar, Layla Müller - both BMC, LTB, MW:M etc.), Hamburg (among others Andrea Rothaug from Rock City e.V. and Music Woman Germany and Johannes Everke, who brought in knowledge from the Music City Network and as the person responsible for international city marketing) and from Osnabrück (Jakob Lübke, as night mayor or Prof. Dr. Barbara Hornberger as head of the pop studies program) agreed that better collaborations will be developed in the future for mutual benefit. The HYPE&FRIENDS team is excited, happy to contribute, and says thank you for the collaborations and the personal commitment of all involved in these future labs for music cities!

After a lunch break, the legendary GMM Future Heads Walk from the first HYPE&FRIENDS, developed by students Marit Damke and Merle Grabowski, was repeated with great success on new routes and new "competitions". The Walk again worked wonderfully as a low-threshold networking format. As a music district, the Nordstadt came up with new attractions and special features. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Dr. Barbara Hornberger from the GMM for the once again great collaboration.

The GMM Future Heads Walk took participants to Weidendamm 8 to the JRP Institute's new space and the courtyard it shares with Club Weltspiele. The Institute hosted the Educators Agency Lab Futures of Examinations and Insprections in Music Education at 4pm. It was prepared by Alina Hilfer and Prof. Michael Gudenkauf, who introduced the Lab with an impulse. Due to the external and international guests, many things were discussed and imagined that could hardly be discussed so creatively, openly and productively at a university. There were many suggestions and examples of how teaching and learning can succeed better with and without grades. Many thanks to Prof. Michael Gudenkauf for the collaboration, to HMTMH Vice President Research and Teaching Prof. Guido Heidloff-Herzig and to our international guests for their input!

Like the first one, the second HYPE&FRIENDS Agency Festival evening ended in a new location, Hanover's Rampe with 'Rampe-Feeling', accompanied by great music from the show cases of IVANA, TOBA, Lunar X, Little London and Lázuli in an even more personal atmosphere.

Agency By HYPE&FRIENDS 2022 as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation 3: Agency for Young Professional Agency on 10.06.2022

On the third day HYPE&FRIENDS started in the third, new festival location, the Club Weltspiele, with the art exhibition The Art of Digital Music Distribution by Jonas Schroeter. His presentation of unusual forms of music distribution via exhibition objects in an Agency Art Club Lab setting was very well received, as was his introduction and welcome. HYPE&FRIENDS says thank you for this format innovation.

Photo Credit: Mareike Sperzel


After the exhibition opening, the cooperation organized by students started with the seminar Organisiert Euch! (Organize Yourselves) by Dr. Aljoscha Paulus (IJK/HMTMH) and Sina Mareike Schulte from Musikland Niedersachsen. Under this title, a panel curated by Finn Löw and Tymon Napp-Molinski addressed the degree and the chances of independent organization of working interests in music by the players themselves. The panel, consisting of the two Young Professionals in Music IVANA and Marisa Gruna, put this important topic of organizing one's own working interests at eye level, which is rarely discussed in teaching, on the agenda of the Young Professionals present in an exciting and open and, above all, orienting way. In the future, they will be able to use their new knowledge to think about how they want to represent their work interests in the future, or how they want to be represented.

Afterwards, the Walk format, which is popular among Young Professionals, was once again offered in conjunction with a midday snack. In collaboration with kreHtiv Hannover e.V. and the Verband der niedersächsischen Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft e.V. (VNKK), it was held for the first time as kreHtiv Social Innovation Future Walk . In collaboration with Christine Preitauer, CEO of kreHtiv e.V., the Walk introduced the Nordstadt as a place of social innovators with Social-Stopps unknown to many Young Professionals. At the end of this Walk, there was a guided tour at Bremer Damm, which introduced the dimensions and challenges of social green urban development and repeatedly referred to music activities in this context. HYPE&FRIENDS says thank you for the idea and collaboration. They were a good example of how agency music festivals can go beyond music to address challenges of the future for and with Young Professionals and make them more tangible.

After the return, Italian ice cream and afternoon networking opportunities awaited in the courtyard of Weidendamm 8, as well as a collaboration with campus radio When those responsible learned that they would be honoured with the HYPE&FRIENDS Media Award in particular for their online festival for Young Professionals in the pandemic, they immediately proposed a panel on the future of music journalism. Their panel Journalism for the Future of Music Agency was moderated by Young Professionals in Music Media Charlotta Schlomann and Rabea Adam from They had invited IVANA, who had given a show case concert at the Rampe the day before, and Darian Tabatabaei, who had performed as the singer of the BigBand during the HYPE&FRIENDS Award Gala, as Young Professionals in Music, from Bauhaus University in Weimar Jun.-Prof. Dr. Christopher Buschow, expert for new forms of organization of and for journalism, and from NDR the music journalist Matthias Köppinghoff, who researches and tests forms and formats of music journalism.

New formats in particular were the focus of the discussion regarding Young Professionals in music. And, as quickly became clear, not only as formats for listeners. After it was more or less stated that in the era after music magazines, MTV and radio formats, new, collaborative, open journalistic formats are needed that can open up possibilities for independent and responsible participation. This could be witnessed live. It was an event to see how exactly this obvious demand of participants in a festival whose goal it is, to create agency for all, above all by enabling everyone to meet at eye level, was put into practice, resulting in format rules getting mixed up. The form planned as a moderated discussion with invited guests was abandoned because an increasing number of participants got involved in the discussion about journalism for the future of music as a matter of course and so a moderated panel turned into a moderated Agency Art Lab. Big thanks to the moderators and their "panel guests" for organizing this transformation effortlessly and confidently "on the fly." It became clear why journalistic forms are becoming more open in the age of their digitalization and democratization - and also that it is possible to deal with this productively. We hope for a continuation of this Young Professional Music and Media Agency collaboration.

Like the first and second, the third HYPE&FRIENDS Agency festival evening ended with great music, this time with show cases by Calvin Zarnack, Janne Surma, Serpentin, Ottolien and KAHRO in this time at Club Weltspiele in a club atmosphere that was once again completely new for the festival.

Establishment as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and research innovation

HYPE, HYPE ... The second HYPE&FRIENDS was the first HYPE&FRIENDS that Young Professionals significantly planned, implemented and evaluated themselves. They established HYPE&FRIENDS as a teaching, learning and professionalisation innovation by reflecting on the research, as a result of which new agency formats were developed, and in the environment of HYPE&FRIENDS 22 in the research seminar on new ways to make HYPE&FRIENDS more valuable as a teaching, learning, professionalisation and as a research innovation, thus also establishing it as a research innovation. How valuable HYPE&FRIENDS is as an innovation for the professionalisation of Young Professionals in music is admittedly only inadequately described in one text. It is the interplay of the development and advancement of formats with their implementation and evaluation, as well as the experience of a newly possible quality of self-efficacy in shaping one's own musical future and that of music in its most diverse contexts with players who do this professionally, who are new in this form, and who can all be individually valuable in different ways.

Continuous development of the HYPE&FRIENDS Agency music festival

After the festival is before the festival - as with any other festival. After the submission of the student research reports from the project seminar, the IJK started again with developments and planning in winter 2022/23, as in the previous year in the master seminar Current Developments in Media and Music Business. First, the seminar introduced the basic idea of this new agency festival based on the available student research. The HYPE&FRIENDS 2023 should now also open up agency for their professionalisation!

Once again, a field trip to MOST WANTED: MUSIC in Berlin was conducted before work began on selected HYPE&FRIENDS festival formats. For the first time, this work was done in collaboration with older students who had been in their situation the previous year and later co-organized the festival. Their sharing of their experience combined with their interpretations of the recommendations from their research is intended to make the festival even more their festival, hosted for them, i.e. for Young Professionals, and for Educators.

The evaluation of HYPE&FRENDS 2022 resulted in the clear recommendation that the festival should become more valuable for Young Professionals above all by improving the quality of collaboration with the Friends, the external collaboration partners.

Therefore, the quality of the collaboration with committed Friends or collaboration partners of HYPE&FRIENDS should be developed. This is seen as the best prerequisite for Young Professionals to establish new personal relationships in their future professional field and thus expand their own network to include players who are valuable for them and their careers.

In addition to the further development of the quality of collaboration with the involvement of students as early as possible, the special strengths of HYPE&FRIENDS, which were assessed by students as particularly valuable for them, should be developed. Es soll gezeigt werden, dass es Award würdige Beispiele für die Förderung von Young Professionals gibt (1), das die entwickelten Agency Art LabFormate für Young Professionals wertvolle Agency-Erfahrungen auf Augenhöhe erlauben (2), wie Young Professionals in Music zur intelligenten, inkludierenden und nachhaltigen Entwicklung von Musikstädten beitragen, die sie besser als andere als Modelle für Zukunftsstädte herausstellen können (3). Weiter soll gezeigt werden, dass die HYPE&FRIENDS Show Cases in einer neuen Qualität ‚Show Case Ready‘ machen (4), dass das HYPE&FRIENDS weiterhin ein Agency-Festival für Educators ist (5), dass die Kollaborationenmit seinen ‚FRIENDS‘ für sie und Young Professionals noch wertvoller gemacht werden können (6) und – last but not least – das HYPE&FRIENDS als Lehr-, Lern-, Professionalisierungs- und Forschungsinnovation weiter überraschen kann: Im Detail sowie mit Blick auf unsere Ansprüche an Diversität, Nachhaltigkeit, Gender Equality, Greening und Beiträge zur Zukunft von Stadt und Land, Europa und der Welt, Leben und Arbeiten, Musikwirtschaft und Musikkultur … Lassen SIE sich überraschen!

4. (Even) More Agency for Young Professionals in Music in 2023 through an even better HYPE&FRIENDS collaboration quality

Planning for HYPE&FRIENDS 2023, which will take place May 23-25, is provisional to some extent, as it is every year, until the research seminar at the IJK takes over planning and responsibility in the summer semester. The following arrangements have already been made with collaboration partners to be able to host HYPE&FRIENDS where students want to host it. The reflection of HYPE&FRIENDS with the 2022 project team and the term papers have unanimously voted for keeping the newly developed formats and three days as festival period. Also desired would be a return to the Musikzentrum as a show case location next to the Rampe and to moving the gala to the end of the festival as a celebratory finale with a conclusion and outlook. In addition, enough time should be planned for networking and enough time in the AALs so that they can become a space for experimentation and creation together with our guests.

5. HYPE&FRIENDS 24 for intelligent, inclusive and sustainable developments of music ecosystems for young professionals

HYPE&FRIENDS will be further developed in 2024 primarily as a research innovation. To this end, HYPE&FRIENDS is hosting the 15th International Music Business Research Days of the International Music Business Research Assoziation, 22 in Vienna, 23 in Norway in Kristiansand and 25 in the USA in Nashville, together with GMM e.V. for the first time in Germany.

The topic of the congress, which will start overlapping with HYPE&FRIENDS, will be the opportunities and challenges of music ecosystem research and furthermore the development of music ecostrategies.

HYPE&FRIENDS wird am 04. – 07. Juni 2024 stattfinden, während die 15. International Music Business Research Days überlappend mit dem Young Scholars Research Day am Vortrag – wohl am Mittwoch des HYPE & FRIENDS starten. Die International Music Business Research Days beginnen offiziell am Donnerstagmittag und sollen am Samstagmittag enden.

Bis zum 15. Mai können noch wissenschaftliche Papers für die Young Scholars Research Days & die International Music Buisness Research Days angenommen! Weitere Informationen zu den International Music Buisness Research Days gibt es hier!