POP Montreal is the North American festival that provides a dynamic introduction to the next generation of musical talent and independent art forms. For it’s 14th edition, it rallies over 400 artists to join the Montreal-made party September 17-21.
This year’s festival is in 45 venues over five nights with headliner acts including local stars The Unicorns, playing their only show in Canada on this tour; a night of hits with Sheryl Crow; ska legend Stranger Cole; California counter cultural genius Ty Segall; a comeback from folk-inspired/powerhouse singer Suzanne Vega; the rocked out blues/folk sounds of Timber Timbre; the strange and wonderful music of Panda Bear; Brooklyn’s captivating Twin Shadow; American punk band Whirr; pop experimentalists Ricky Eat Acid; a rare appearance by Montreal beat maker Dishwasher; the Caribbean tunes of Calypso Rose & Kobo Town; Blues Control’s psych-rock; New Jersey Americana-rock band The Gaslight Anthem; The Cramps former guitarist Kid Congo Powers with his band The Pink Monkey Birds; Montreal songwriter and vocal sensation Mozart’s Sister; Japanese indie-rock diehards Shonen Knife; Toronto’s critically-lauded Trust and lots more!
With spinoffs including Film, Fashion, Art, Kids and Symposium POP, it has grown to include artists and attendees from a wide variety of backgrounds. So if helping a good cause or basketball is your thing Win Butler’s POP vs JOCK III will be playing on court alongside Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Nicolai Fraiture (The Strokes) and coached by Matt Bonner for charity. Or you can catch L.A hippy rapper Schoolboy Q bringing instant hip hop credibility to the festival, Bonsound’s yearly rooftop show with Sarah Neufeld, a super intimate live broadcast show with swoon pop darlings STARS at Breakglass Studio, and the Canadian premiere of Music for Heart and Breath, Richard Reed Parry’s (The Arcade Fire) new classical project, which he will play alongside JUNO Award-winning band, Esmerine. POP Montreal has also programmed shows almost everyday of the fest at its POP quarters, so set aside some quality time to a festival big, different like nothing else out there!
YES there’s more… as part of their Art POP 10th anniversary, world renowned British visual artist Phil Collins will screen his 2007 single-channel video, dunia tak akan mendengar, filmed in Indonesia, depicting fans of the seminal U.K. pop band The Smiths sinking karaoke versions of the group’s hits. And get this, he will also partake in an artist talk with the legendary Damon & Naomi, presented in collaboraton with the POP Symposium. These 3 compelling cultural figures will share stories and perspectives stemming from the past 30 years of their incredible careers. The POP Symposium has assembled 30 events, featuring J.J Fad, Hailu Mergia and Ty Segall in a live recording of Psi Factor and the Cougar.
Film POP has something in store for everyone amongst its seven premieres, sneak peek screenings and retrospective events. How about starting with a documentary on the mythical 90s rapper Nas. Or a film about Fela Kuti by Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney, featuring footage and the new interviews with the Tony Allen and Paul McCartney.
And for the younger generations Kids Pop keeps young music fans active and welcomes local Grammy-award-winning children’s singer Jennifer Gasoi. With music, art, film and more for all ages and a variety of tastes, POP Montreal consistently makes life’s soundtrack a wondrous thing. In the case of ME, I’ll be starting my fest journey on Wednesday at the Fashion POP where six emerging designers will hit the runway and compete to win the Young Designer’s Award, presented by Shopify.
To help build your schedule, download their app with 2 new sections:
- Discover section where you can quickly preview an artist’s music by clicking on their profile image
- Recommend section, artist recommendation tool based on the artist’s you like on Facebook and marked as favourites in the app
Purchase your ticket and view the programming here. Can’t make it? Stay tuned for daily transmissions to keep you up on the action.