Bandstand Music Videos 2022, #1 – 2022

The music video now has a long, eventful, sometimes ambivalent, but definitely exciting and great history – and it definitely has a future: in 2021, the music festival Bandstand, under the direction of Rosa Müller and Moritz Lobeck, opened up to digital media and presented itself (not entirely voluntarily) exclusively online with numerous new music videos. Following the success of this format, there will also be brand new Bandstand music videos in 2022, in addition to the now tried and tested residency cooperation with Musicboard Berlin and with support from the Musikfonds. From the numerous applications of this year’s Open Call, the Bandstand jury, Stephanie von Beauvais, Sarah Farina and Rosa Müller, selected music projects, bands and solo artists who live and work in Saxony. From March 2022, the brand new videos by AMORE MEOW, Baumarkt, DRONE OPERATØR, EVÎN, H.C. BEHRENDTSEN, Lea Matika, Olicía and The Equipment will be presented on 

Growth thanks to video 

A short digression by Tobi Müller 

The culture of music videos in the eighties had less aesthetic than economic consequences. Beyond gaudy colours, fast cuts and sexualised bodies in the videos, the MTV channel, founded in 1981, introduced a new dramaturgy from 1981 onwards, namely that of infinity. Completely crazy at the time: Music Television broadcasts twenty-four hours on seven days. Those who stay tuned experience a psychedelic flow, to the point of vertigo. It’s a similar effect that the general population will only get to know in the tens of the new millennium on smartphones: the “endless scrolling” in social media, when the timeline knows no end and you can keep scrolling down. We are definitely not supposed to switch off or switch off.  

At the beginning of the eighties, the recording industry was in crisis. Music videos were also a new channel to grow and distribute music more widely. Almost at the same time, another device changed music consumption and shaped the eighties in the same way: the Walkman from Sony and soon from other manufacturers. The radius of movement becomes larger, penetration among teenagers and young adults is high (older people, unlike today, do not wear headphones in public back then). This also leads to listening to music more often and for longer. The same applies to the Walkman as to MTV: consumption is potentially endless, most devices run in auto-reverse mode, there is no need to change sides of the tape cassette – at least as long as the batteries last. Or parents tell you it’s now time to turn off the TV.  

Thanks in part to these technologies and their devices, the crisis in the industry at the beginning of the decade soon seems like nothing more than catching one’s breath before flying high. Between 1980 and 1993, sales of sound recordings in the five strongest territories, the USA, Great Britain, Japan, France and Germany, rose from nine to thirty billion dollars. Global companies, even those outside the music industry, invest in the music market, mergers of major record companies increase market concentration.

But this development was by no means foreseeable. When MTV broadcast its first video on 1 August 1981, the channel could only be received in the USA and via an expensive cable connection. And even though the first video played on the station is always mentioned because the title fits so well, “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles was merely a pious wish. Because radio was not a bit dead, especially not in a car culture like the USA. It is often forgotten today that pop was in short supply in Western Europe.  

People watched what their parents watched, and once a week there was a youth programme. When The Buggles claimed that the time of radio was over, people in Europe scratched their heads: What radio? Because even there, the pop-interested youth had to be content with sporadic special-interest programmes, unless they turned to shortwave and found Luxembourg or British stations. In West Germany, depending on the occupation zone, it was the stations of the British or the US armed forces that brought pop culture into the children’s room. And in the GDR, the first video programme, Elf99, came on the air shortly before the fall of the Wall, and on the radio there was an independent pop station, DT64, from 1986. Video did not kill the radio, which did not yet exist for young people, but rather expanded the market.  

Long before MTV was added to the cable network with a European programme only in 1987, the channel was also a testing ground that already played out much of what could later scale much higher on the internet: The dissolution of boundaries and the splitting of markets into individual target groups. But MTV also joined together: The channel would never have focused so heavily on hip-hop and also black dance music from the mid-eighties onwards if the white suburban kids hadn’t waited for it. The social progress that came with more diversity in the programme simultaneously followed a capitalist logic of growth, in the pop of the expanding network. It’s not for nothing that TV stations are called “networks” in US English. Tobi Müller is a freelance cultural journalist and author in Berlin. He writes and speaks about pop, performing arts and digitality. In autumn 2021, his book “Play Pause Repeat – Was Pop und seine Geräte über uns The music video now has a long, moving, partly tell” was published by Hanser Berlin. 

07. – 13.03.2022  
Bandstand Music Videos 
Bandstand is supported by Musikfonds e.V. with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.