Our research team

The POPLIVE team consists of a number dedicated researchers and promotors. Below please find an overview of the involved team members.

Erik Hitters (project leader) is Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He has co-founded and is managing director of ERMeCC, the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Erik’s research interests lie in the broad field of transformations in the media and creative industries. He is PL of the multidisciplinary NWO funded research projects ‘Cultures of Innovation in the Creative Industries’ (CICI) and ‘Staging Popular Music’ (POPLIVE).




Pauwke Berkers is Full Professor in Sociology of Popular Music, specifically in relation to Inclusion, Well-Being, and Resilience, and head of department in the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He is author of Gender Inequality in Metal Music Production (2018, with Julian Schaap) and published widely on gender as well as race/ethnicity in popular music in Gender & Society, Consumption Markets & Culture, Journal of Gender Studies and IASPM@Journal. He is PI of the HERA project FestiVersities: European music festivals, public spaces and cultural diversity and NWO project Staging popular music (POPLIVE).




Paul Rutten is Research Professor Creative Business at Creating 010 (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences). His research focuses on the intersections between the creative industries, digitalisation and innovation. He has published widely on the contributions of the creative industries to society and the economy. He is member of the programme council of CLICKNL, the Topconsortium for Knowledge and Innovation in the Dutch creative industries.




Martijn Mulder is a Senior Lecturer in live music, leisure and events at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. His research focuses on how local live music ecologies can contribute to value creation in the position of music venues and festivals, and how to optimise the value of live music experiences. He also has expertise in the fields of leisure, events, consumer experience and the attractiveness of cities. Martijn is author of the books Leisure! (2019) and I was There! (2023).




Rick Everts is a PhD candidate in the sociology of arts and culture at the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Rick’s PhD research focuses on the position of pop musicians in the Dutch live music ecology. He is interested in careers of musicians, how they navigate the demands of the precariousness of creative work and how pop musicians, live venues and music education can contribute to a ‘healthy’ live music ecology.




Arno van der Hoeven is a researcher in the POPLIVE project and an advisor to the Rotterdam Council for Arts and Culture. His research focuses on the contributions of media and culture to urban development. In particular, he is interested in the ways in which cultural forms such as popular music foster social relationships and meaningful engagements between people and their local environment.


Our partners

The following bodies have partnered up with our research project.