Pop Montreal and Montreal

Posted on August 31st, 2009 by .

In a city flush with festivals, Pop Montreal is, by a long shot, my favourite. Not simply because the music they’ve bringing to the city since 2002 is right up my alley (one year I caught almost 40 different acts ), but because they continue to expose people to some of Montreal’s best-kept secrets…

Over the years, Pop MTL has brought an incredibly diverse range of music to Montreal and created a reputation as one of the best, most enjoyable music festivals in the world. They’ve managed to do this while remaining one of the least pretentious, least “industry-oriented” (see: pretentious) events out there. Alongside up-and-coming acts of every genre, they’ve attracted legends like Beck, Roky Erickson, Patti Smith, Fred Wesley and Burt Bacharach, to randomly pick just a few. They’ve also shown a keen insight into the city in which they promote shows all year. For this reason, the music fest has expanded to include art (Art Pop), film (Film Pop), arts & crafts (Puces Pop), kids programming (Kids Pop) and the always well-curated Symposium, a conference packed with keynote speakers and workshops.

But one of the most interesting things they do is find and promote shows in venues that are often new even to local Montrealers. They’ve had shows in churches, like The Dears in St. James United church and Gonzales playing the organ in Eglise St. Jean-Baptiste. They’ve had shows in Cinema L’Amour, the deliciously seedy “adult” theatre with a long, rich history. They hold Puces Pop in an armoury. And they’ve helped make some places, like the Ukrainian Federation and Parc des Ameriques, some of the favourite musical destinations of locals and tourists alike.

Since I’m so clearly crazy for Pop Montreal, which runs from from September 30th to October 4th, there will be tons of coverage on this blog. For now, check out the Pop MTL website and stay tuned for more coverage, including what exactly goes into those other “Pops”…

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