Next Stop: Manchester, UK | 23-27 Oct 2024

Piranha Arts

Piranha Arts

Piranha Arts is a Berlin-based independent creative company up against all kinds of walls. From the very start, musical and cultural diversity have been the driving forces behind crossing borders - be they cultural, political or commercial. It all started officially with the staging of the Berlin premiere of Rufus Thomas and the release of the “Beat! Apartheid” compilation, our first vinyl long player in early 1987.

Today, we are a team of more than 30 Piranhas, inspired by our totem animal, exotic by nature, a swarming creature, fighting back if attacked, and easy to remember in all languages and regions. We operate both locally and globally, and we are active as cultural innovators, tech developers, curators, partners and multipliers.

In Berlin we are now best known for the Karneval der Kulturen, the million strong annual street parade and festival - which since 1996 has grown to become the biggest manifestation of cultural diversity in Germany. With major cultural events like the Heimatklänge Festival, Die Nächte des Ramadan and more we were part of reinventing Berlin as an international cultural capital after the Wall fall in 1989.
We travel Europe with the leading music showcase, conference and expo event WOMEX – Worldwide Music Expo - and Classical:NEXT - the global gathering for all art music professionals. From the world, to the world, we carry new sounds and artists with our own independent record & publishing label Piranha, with a focus on African, Gypsy and Jewish music since the beginning.

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Piranha Records

Piranha Records

Label & Publishing

Piranha is an independent record & publishing label, based in Berlin-Kreuzberg. We have been swimming among the sharks of the music industry since 1987 and now have more than 150 album releases and 1,200 copyrights to our name. Physically and digitally, the Piranha label is distributed internationally as part of the !K7 network while SMV Schacht Musikverlage and its set-up of sub-publishing partners administer and protect the Piranha publishing rights worldwide.

Piranha started as part of the world music movement in the 1980s, with a focus on African, Gypsy and Jewish music - everything the Nazis hated. Since then, we have stayed in tune with our original vision, introducing fresh sounds and artists from the world to the world, mastering the ever changing challenges of the music industry following digitilisation, while remaining a significant player in the global underground music scene.

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"The most important international professional market of world music of every kind. This international fair brings together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music and also includes concerts, conferences and documentary films. It contributes to networking as an effective means of promoting music and culture of all kinds across frontiers."
- UNESCO Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity

Since 1994, WOMEX has been travelling all across Europe, growing on its way into the number one networking platform for diversity in the music sector worldwide, with the prestigious WOMEX Awards for artistic achievement and professional excellence as each edition's final highlight.
Recent stop-overs included Tampere (2019), Digital Edition (2020), Porto (2021), Lisbon (2022).

2023 WOMEX took place in A Coruña, returning for the third time to Galicia, Spain. This year's culturally and musically diverse event concluded with 2750 music professionals (incluing 220 performing artists) from 105 countries, hosted more than 60 artist showcases spread across seven stages, and 18 music-based documentaries. 96 speakers and mentors participated in the conference sessions, and delegates attended the trade fair with 703 exhibiting companies with more than 250 stands and a radio studio on-site.

WOMEX 24 celebrating 30 Years of WOMEX will be hosted in Manchester, UK from 23-27 October 2024.

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Classical:NEXT Logo


The Global Gathering for All Art Music Professionals

"This is not just a conference that happens once a year. This is now a movement" -Anthony Sargent CBE, International Cultural Advisor

Classical:NEXT is the global networking and exchange hub dedicated exclusively to classical and art music. The event was born out of the simple idea to bring the diverse scenes of the genre together to exchange and develop new ideas around classical – or in a wider sense – art music. That was in 2011. Since then, around 6,000 art music professionals representing 3,000 companies from 65 countries have engaged with Classical:NEXT and made it the world's most important and unique classical music meeting, exploring new artistic ideas and developing pioneering solutions – for the love, and the future, of classical music.

2022 Classical:NEXT celebrated its 10th anniversary in a new host city: Hannover, Germany - from 17 to 20 May. With more than 900 professionals from 50 countries attending and representing 550 companies, 190 exhibiting companies from 40 countries on 64 stands - it was an occasion to look at what has been achieved and to reflect on what can be done to take Classical:NEXT to the next level. In 52 conferences, mentoring sessions, meet ups and off C:N presentations, classical and art music professionals discussed and reflected on the most recent developments of the industry, led by 121 speakers, off C:N presenters, mentors and coordinators from 30 countries. The showcase festival featured 66 performing artists from 17 countries.

We're beyond excited to announce that Classical:NEXT, the most important global gathering for the classical and art music sector will be held in the vibrant city of Berlin!

Classical:NEXT 2024 | 14 - 17 May, Berlin, Germany

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Karneval der Kulturen Logo

Karneval der Kulturen

Berlin Street Parade and Fest

Piranha Arts is the operator of Berlin’s Karneval der Kulturen since 2016 – four days full of music, dance and entertainment. The Karneval der Kulturen is an integral part of Berlin's cultural events and reflects the diversity of the city unlike any other. At the street parade on Whitsunday and during the four-day street festival, people from various backgrounds and cultural references have been coming together for 24 years to creatively bring their passion and ideas to the streets sharing them with an open-minded audience.

Since the anniversary year 2020, the event could not be held due to the Corona pandemic. Other social and organisational conditions have also changed in the metropolis of Berlin in a quarter of a century. Therefore, in 2022, the concept for the event from 2023 onwards will be developed in a broad-based participatory process.

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Afropollination Logo


This project aims to encapsulate the process of artistic and social cultural pollination: facilitating the creative encounters between artists, genres, disciplines, identities, ideas, cultures, technologies and communities from various regions of Africa and Germany, taking and giving to and from one another, create new forms of expression and bring new inspirations, works and ideas to light while connecting to new audiences.

Music and dance have always gone hand in hand in Africa, but unfortunately when represented internationally, the two often get disentangled. With this project we want to re-contextualize the music through its dance element, and take it a step further by involving contemporary dancers and choreographers to create new modern interpretations to the music from the project.

The first phase of the project is taking place in Uganda around the Nyege Nyege Festival in September 2022, with residencies before and after the festival as well as artists’ shows and debates at the festival. Further phases will take place in January 2023 in Germany at the CTM festival in Berlin, at MS Stubnitz in Hamburg, at Festsaal Kreuzberg for the closing Afropollination event in June 2023 and with a partnership with Cosmo Radio.

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Afropollination Logo

turn2 Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Afropollination Logo

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien