Interview: Ralph Christoph, SPOT is the place for networking and improving

Even though the sound of the pins falling at times are deafening, and emotions get the best of some the attendees at this year’s social mixer and bowling brunch, we sit down to have a talk with Ralph Christoph, co-founder of the c/o pop festival in Cologne, among many other titles.

By Mikkel Wenzel Andreasen, Photo: Allan Høgholm

It has that bowling alley smell: Feet, shellac lacquering of the alley lane floors and a brunch buffet. But everyone is having a great time on the Saturday morning of SPOT where MXD has invited the international as well as Danish music business delegates to spend a few hours mingling, bowl a few pins and get ready for the second and last day of SPOT+.

On the heels of a very close bowling match, Ralph Christoph takes the time to have a chat with us about why he keeps coming back to SPOT and what he thinks is great about the Danish music showcase and seminar.


Ralph H. Christoph, co-founder and program director of c/o pop festival in Cologne, Germany. Photo: Mikkel Wenzel Andreasen

Why are you at SPOT?

“This year I’m honored to have been invited to come speak here at one the seminars; I haven’t been to SPOT in a couple of years, but I’m glad to be back.”

What’s so appealing about coming to SPOT?

“Everything is so close together: Hotels, markets, the music and the people. And there are a lot of people I know, so it’s very social, which I think is important to a successful festival. A good conference is 30-40 percent mingling and socializing with the others. I’ve already heard a lot of the seminars before, so to me it’s the people I meet that makes it all a success. And meeting the people face to face, who I’ve talked to, but never meet. In this day and age, we rely on e-mails and maybe an occasional Skype-call. The personal meetings are so very important, and I think SPOT is great at facilitating that.”


What’s difficult about SPOT?

“The thing you have to realize before even showing up is, that you can’t be everywhere all the time. Don’t try to fool yourself. This year I’ve prioritized networking and that means I haven’t really had time to listen to any of the music. I saw maybe two bands yesterday, but that’s about it. It’s a shame, really. I am the co-founder of the c/o pop festival in Cologne, which is similar to SPOT in having both seminars and upcoming music. So of course, I want to experience both music and seminars here to get inspiration and see, if there’re any interesting acts for our festival.”

Is the music different at SPOT?

“I’ve known MXD for many years, and I first attended SPOT on Denmark many years ago, and Scandinavian artists are very good. Along with the music infrastructure in Denmark, it makes it easy to get to work with the artists.”

“There are differences, though, the Norwegian or Finnish artists differ from the Danish artists. Danish artists have the advantage, that English is like a second or even first language to them, so that makes them very marketable as opposed to the purely German or French speaking bands. Danish artists are also very easy to work with. It’s like they have perhaps three parts Scandinavian in them, but they also have some British, some German, they just have a lot of appeal to everyone. Just look at the size of the country and how many internationally known artists. I don’t know what it is, but music from Denmark works.”

What’s on the agenda now?

“I have to get ready for my seminar in about an hour, and I think I have to try and make it very entertaining. Everyone has already had a day and a half of seminars, so everyone is a little tired by now. After that, I think I need to check out the app, see what’s happening and experience as much as I can of the remaining festival before I leave tomorrow.”