The Concordian’s Picks of POP!

Photo courtesy of POP Montreal
Photo courtesy of POP Montreal

POP Montreal is much more than a music festival, it is pure extravaganza.

For five days, Montrealers take their pick of (free!) vintage, art and craft fairs, film screenings, fashion shows, industry panel discussions and live music galore. The number of events POP has managed to pack in this year is overwhelming.

You can examine the entire lineup and build your own festival at But if you want to make the most out of it all, here is what we recommend:


Wednesday, Sept. 19

POP Symposium, the festival’s discussion/educational branch, kicks off with ‘A Radical Re-Imagination of Music In Canada.’ Head to Quartiers POP (3450 St. Urbain) at 4:35 p.m. to listen to Caila Thompson-Hannant (Mozart’s Sister), Tim Hecker and others discuss the immense impact Canadian artists have had on the music industry in the 20th and 21st centuries, and why.

If your wallet is looking limp, go to La Tulipe at 8 p.m. to see Stars, Eight & A Half and Diamond Rings, free of charge. Those with the POP festival wristband or cash to spend should really be at Il Motore by 10 p.m. for Wild Nothing and DIVV. Both bands released two of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. If you’re doing it all, make sure to check out up-and-coming songstress Kandle at La Sala Rossa at 9 p.m.


Thursday, Sept. 20

The real industry dweebs can get an early start at 12:15 p.m. with the ‘Music (Sync) Replacement’ discussion at Quartiers POP. Tony Scudellari, the V.P. of Sony Pictures’ TV Music Creative Group, and other members of the music industry elite will discuss the everyday importance of sync and licensing in their work.

Believe it or not, another free POP show, this time featuring Mozart’s Sister, Born Ruffians, Yacht Club, and a bbq, starts at 1 p.m. at Parc De La Petite-Italie. Those of you with tickets to Grimes and Elite Gymnastics should head to Club Soda by 8 p.m., if not (it is SOLD OUT) make your way to Parlovr and PS I Love You at Le Divan Orange. If you’d rather support some new talent, head to Quai des Brumes at 9:30 p.m. for The Belle Comedians.

If you want to end your night in sweat, head to the Austra and Doldrums DJ set at Balattou at midnight or to Peaches at Salle Little Burgundy.


Friday, Sept. 21

Insomniacs and those who played POP hookey the previous night should be able to get up and take advantage of the POP discussions monopolizing most of Friday’s daylight. At 11:30 a.m. check out ‘Grants and How to Get Them’ at Quartiers POP, at 2 p.m. there is a CKUT Circuit Workshop at Espace POP, and at 5:30 p.m. witness Rolly Pemberton (Cadence Weapon) and Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne discuss the disco movement, again at Quartiers POP.

Things don’t really get complicated until the sun sets. At 8 p.m. you will have to choose between the heavily buzzed Evening with David Byrne and St. Vincent at Eglise St. Jean Baptiste or Gonjasufi at Foufounes Electriques. To spend a little less, try the Sappy Fest showcase with Adam & The Amethysts at Le Divan Orange, or if you want something a little more fast paced (and expensive) head to Club Soda at 9 p.m. for Lil B, Lunice and Cadence Weapon’s DJ set or Theatre Rialto to hear Yamantaka//Sonic Titan’s Polaris shortlisted release live.


Saturday, Sept. 22

With POP spirit running full steam, get out to the POP Montreal Record Fair at the Ukrainian Federation and the Puces POP Craft and DIY Fair at St. Michael Church, both running from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Again, POP Symposium continues with ‘How To Get The Recording You Want’ at Quartiers POP at 11:45 a.m. and ‘How Music Works’ with David Byrne and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler at the Ukrainian Federation at 8 p.m.

At 6 p.m., free of charge, see Montreal’s Elephant Stone at Parc de la Petite-Italie. Witness world known pianist Chilly Gonzales with Kyrie Kristmanson at L’Olympia at 8 p.m., and then it’s time to really get your groove on. Once midnight rolls around, choose between a hypnotizing Rich Aucoin dance party at Le Divan Orange or Mozart’s Sister and Jimmie ‘Bo’ Horne at Salle Little Burgundy.



Sunday, Sept. 23

And it ain’t over yet. Sunday is the final day of POP, but the decisions don’t get any less difficult. If you didn’t check out the Puces POP fair yesterday, today is your last chance, it runs again from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. If you’d like to get in on POP discussions, there is ‘Managing in 2012’ at 12 p.m. and ‘New Media and the Production and Consumption of Music’ at 3 p.m., both at Quartiers POP.

This time around, at 8 p.m., choose between Grizzly Bear and Unknown Mortal Orchestra at L’Olympia, Ben Howard at Metropolis and Purity Ring at La Tulipe.

And to cap off the whole shebang, Nicky Da B and ShayDaKiss, courtesy CJLO, will pump up Salle Little Burgundy at 11 p.m.


Bring on the POP!


  1. Thanks for the layout of the festival.
    This article is helpful in making the difficult choices in which shows to see.

  2. Thank you for the layout of the festival.
    Now the hard part of choosing which route to take.

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