The Future Of The Music Industry: Are you the Jack of all Trades?

Jack of All Trades, Master of Plenty? Professionals in the music business often diversify beyond just one field of activity. This panel will discuss the necessity to invest into more than one business or if it is really a good idea to bet onto more than one horse instead of focusing on just one activity. Booking legend Merle Doering, managing director of Black Harbour Entertainment and the owners of leading independent labels Prophecy Productions, Martin Koller and Season of Mist, Michael Berberian will give insights on how to stick out.

Friday 23. April 03:45 PM


Mod: Gunnar Sauermann / SPKR (DE)


Gunnar Sauermann is best known in the hard music scene as a freelance writer for the German edition of Metal Hammer since 2001. His focus has been on Norwegian and other Scandinavian bands, but also on black metal acts elsewhere. Gunnar joined Season of Mist in 2008 and worked 8 years from France and 2 more from the Netherlands as head of promotion for this renowned label. In 2018 Gunnar Sauermann was offered a position as senior press officer for the Wacken Open Air and moved to Hamburg. Two years later, he returned to promotion, heading the department of the acclaimed German label Prophecy Productions

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Michael Berberian (Season Of Mist, FR)

While completing his scholarships in “International Economics Sciences”, Michael S. Berberian created Season of Mist in 1996. Now the label has become a full-time job for Michael and in 2002 Season of Mist also started out as a distributor for the French territory. As a label, Season of Mist is well known in the Metal circles for being an innovative, wide spectrum label, always interested in exploring and developing new paths. Season of Mist leads the Metal Hordes towards creative horizons with bands like WATAIN, MAYHEM, MORBID ANGEL, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, ROTTING CHRIST and CARPATHIAN FOREST. They have two offices which are based in France and  USA. All releases are well promoted with reviews, interviews, advertisements & co-ops, samplers, giveaways, merchandise, touring, etc. Besides its activities as a record company, Season of Mist is distributing records from its own label and about 90 other labels.

Michael Berberian also has his hands in other companies dealing in other fields of the music industry, like publishing, distribution, mailorder, booking etc.


Martin Köller / Prophecy Productions (DE)

Prophecy Productions is an international label and were originally founded by their owner Martin Koller in Germany in 1996. From the beginning, the label has the declared aims of providing a dedicated home for dark stirring music and to offer long-term collaborations to artists signing into the family. This concept has generated a roster displaying a stylistic emphasis on dark music from different genres such as metal and rock, alternative, and folk. Signees on the label are generally characterised by a strong artistic vision, which is reflected in premium physical products. Prophecy Productions is best known for artists such as Empyrium, Alcest, Arcturus, Tenhi, Dool, and The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices feat. Lisa Gerrard. Prophecy Productions are a part of the independent media group SPKR.


Merle Doering / Black Harbour (DE)

Merle Doering is the co-founder and Managing Director of Black Harbour Entertainment, a young agency that not only is booking shows all over the world, but also offers bands assistance in management, merchandising and ticketing.

Merle began working in the live music industry as a booking agent in 2010 and from there also worked as tour manager and artist manager. Over the years she has worked with bands such as Death Angel, Sonata Arctica, Finntroll, Skálmöld, Stam1na, Coroner, Pain Of Salvation , Twilight Force, and more.