This September, Montreal’s premier indie festival Pop Montreal will return for their 11th anniversary, with arguably the biggest and most exciting lineup yet. Dozens of artists, members of the media and fans were packed in the PHI Center on Wednesday morning to attend a press conference to preview this year’s festival.
Pop Montreal will take place Sept. 19 to 23, opening the door for many acts to be discovered and heard. Pop Montreal is not just a music festival, for it also embraces film, art, fashion, music discussions, and even children’s activities.
After host Nick Cabelli warmed up the attendees alongside the enigmatic Donzelle and producer/DJ Kid Koala, Pop Montreal’s creative director Daniel Seligman and the curators and directors spoke about the numerous activities happening this year. The festival has grown immensely with widespread appeal throughout the city, not to mention the increase of general interest among Canadians.
“It’s very nice to see a lot of artists here,” explained Seligman. “I think we’re keeping the spirit of our roots. We’ve always had a grassroots festival and we’re going to follow this mandate for all upcoming editions.”
With over four hundred artists gathering together in a span of five days, this year’s festival could be the most exciting event to hit the city all year. The roster for this year’s edition is
interesting to say the least, as stages will be graced by Lil’ B, Grizzly Bear, Chilly Gonzales, Ariel Pink, Deerhoof, Laetitia Sadier, The Beatnuts, Gotye, K’Naan and even a special evening featuring David Byrne and Annie Clarke, better known as St. Vincent.
There will be more partying than ever as well, with numerous electronic and dance acts like Brooklyn’s Gang Gang Dance, Nicky Da B, Big K.R.I.T., Canada’s own Peaches, Cadence Weapon, A Tribe Called Red, Boogat, and Prison Garde.
The festival excels in delivering some of the best local talent the city has to offer and this year is no exception. The homegrown talent includes Montreal temptress Grimes, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Lunice, TOPS, Parlovr, Sheer Agony, Tim Hecker, Radio Radio, Doldrums and Purity Ring, among countless others.
Art Pop curator Johanna Heldebro spoke on the importance and the direction of art in the festival.
“My goal has been to bring together some of the most exciting and dynamic artists working today,” said Heldebro. She also mentioned that one of the most exciting elements about this year’s art instalment is that it examines “the relationship between the individual and mass-culture, in particular personal relationships.”
One of the most exhilarating things about Pop Montreal is the amount of free shows in the city. This year boasts quite a few mouth-watering freebies, including DAM-Funk, Austra, and Hot Snakes. Montreal darlings Stars will also headline an intimate evening on Sept. 19 at La Tulipe, presented by SiriusXM radio. There will also be plenty of complimentary film screenings, art shows, and fairs.
The anticipation for this year is overwhelming, especially with the announcement of Pop vs. Jock, the charity basketball game that takes place on Saturday, September 22, where proceeds will go to Montreal’s DJ Sports Club, a non-profit organization that offers programs in sports and education to kids aged 7-17. The half-time show will be hosted by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne alongside Kid Koala. The game itself will feature Win, and his brother and fellow Arcade Fire member William, Freaks and Geeks’ Martin Starr, professional basketball player Luke Bonner and Nikolai Fraiture, the bassist for New York rockers The Strokes.
Pick up a Pop booklet or visit POPMontreal.com for more information on all the events and everything that will be happening in the course of the five-day festival.