POP Montréal International Music Festival is approaching

Graphic by JAMES FAY /The Concordian @jamesfaydraws

What to expect at the 22nd edition of the non-profit festival.

Who said music festivals were only for the summertime? Even if the weather isn’t as warm, the music scene in Montreal remains vibrant year-round. POP Montréal will be taking place from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1—the annual event has been encouraging artistic independence since 2002. 

As indicated on their website, POP MTL came to life from the collective eagerness of friends and colleagues to establish a major cultural event at the core of the city. Its 22nd year is kickstarting this week and represents “more than ever an essential event on the Montreal festival circuit and the international music scene,” as the organizers of the event state on the web. Over the last two decades, the event has amassed more than 400 artists and 60,000 festival attendees.

Since the festival is based in Montreal, putting forward local artists is a no-brainer, but the word “International” is in the title for a reason. The team offers a lineup from both emerging artists and renowned names from around the world. The festival’s initiative and impact on the overall art scene also lies in its extensive program, aiming to include diverse art forms as part of its activities, including art exhibitions, film screenings, a sale from local artisans, events for kids, and “long-lasting parties until the end of the night.” 

POP Symposium will be your time if you are into panel discussions, creative workshops, artist talks and networking events. Better yet, it will be free and open to all. 

The panels will tackle the “big questions around music, communities, and the forces that shape our cultural engagement, encouraging new connections between local and international artists, industry and fans” according to the POP Symposium page

Performing artists to check out ~

From its impressive lineup, here are my top picks for you to keep an eye out for. Previously seen at the Jazz Music Festival this summer, Annahstasia is back from California—get ready to get shivers from her powerful and stunning vocals. We can expect the upcoming performance of her folk-rooted album Revival to showcase her renewed love for music, which she shares was found “after a period of uncertainty, and facilitated a potent resurgence of self.” 

Next up is Montreal-born Gayance, who is now based in Amsterdam after spending her time growing up between Bruxelles, São Paulo and Montreal. If you’re into “jazzy-house with Brazilian spices” and you feel like journeying through Black history with flares of Afro-Latin jazz, Caribbean, West-African and electronic music, make sure to not miss this show! 

Interested? You can pick from three kinds of passes. But if you’re looking for a cheaper fare, check out their Student pass, which is available with a valid student ID to encourage student participation. Locals and students wanting to get involved are also welcome to volunteer! In tune with the Montreal music scene, this local event promises a fun and stimulating time.

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