POP Montreal Kicks Off 15th Edition This Week

A Guide to the Weeklong Music Festival

  • Graphic Ocean DeRouchie

Festival season in Montreal seemingly never ends.

This city is buzzing in a constant cycle of predrinking, partying and passing out—almost on repeat. Maybe that’s the beauty of it. But what better way to start the first weeks of school than with a weeklong, citywide festival like POP Montreal?

60,000 attendees. Over 250 events—nearly half of them free—spread between more than 50 venues. POP Montreal offers up a hefty load of musical and artistic experiences, but where to start with such a slew of opportunity?

Dan Seligman, POP Co-founder and Director of Programming, suggests that newbies head over to the POP Quarters to start their adventure. If you’re just curious to see what is going on and want more information, it’s the best place to start—and it’s open everyday, he says.

The organization’s headquarters will begin each day of the festival with a barbeque and live music. “It’s the best place to hang out and get a sense of the festival, and meet people from all over the world,” Seligman says.

With that said, do what you need to do, kid. We offer you this not-quite-exhaustive guide to the festival, in hopes that you will discover new music, new places and new friends.

Dan Seligman, POP Co-founder and Director of Programming, suggests that newbies head over to the POP Quarters to start their adventure.

If you’re just curious to see what is going on and want more information, it’s the best place to start—and it’s open everyday, he says.

The organization’s headquarters will begin each day of the festival with a barbeque and live music. “It’s the best place to hang out and get a sense of the festival, and meet people from all over the world,” Seligman says.

With that said, do what you need to do, kid. We offer you this not-quite-exhaustive guide to the festival, in hopes that you will discover new music, new places and new friends.

Cool Stuff

Puces Pop // Sept. 23 to 25 // Laurier Metro // Free entry

A tri-annual tradition, Puces POP Fair is a cute ‘lil fair that will make your crafty heart swell with joy. A rotating showcase of creators will be present to showcase their work of many mediums. If you’re into that DIY vibe, this designer and artist fair is for you.

John Cale // Sept. 23 // 5 p.m. // Musee des Beaux Arts // $15

POP symposiums are unique keynote conferences that invite creative minds to the stage to share their voices. This year, legend in the flesh John Cale—you know, founder of The Velvet Underground—will be speaking at the Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit. In addition to his talk, Cale is also a main headliner of this year’s lineup. Even cooler, he’s basically just here for POP. “[Cale’s] not playing anywhere else, or playing in New York or Ottawa or Boston. He’s coming in for this specific show and conference—we are very lucky to have him. It’s going to be a unique experience and opportunity,” quipped POP director Dan Seligman about seeing the iconic musician.

[Cale’s] not playing anywhere else, or playing in New York or Ottawa or Boston. He’s coming in for this specific show and conference—we are very lucky to have him. It’s going to be a unique experience and opportunity.” —Dan Seligman, POP Montreal Program Director

Must Sees

The Kills // Sept. 21 // 8 p.m. // Metropolis // $32

Fan-favourite indie rock band The Kills released their fifth studio album this year entitled Ash and Ice. The record has proven that the duo still know how to put together a solid project after years of working together.

Angel Olsen // Sept. 21 // 9 p.m. // Rialto Theatre // $25

Angel Olsen just released her beautifully luscious album My Woman at the beginning of this month. She’ll be gracing the stage with new cuts from her latest record, which has undoubtedly garnered high praise from music critics and fans alike. If you’re looking to have a tranquil Friday night in Montreal then you should let Angel Olsen serenade you into comfort.

Un Blonde // Sept. 22 // 8:30 p.m. // Casa Del Popolo // $10

Montreal based artist Un Blonde will headline Casa Del Popolo with his sentimental style of music with guest performers Cindy Lee, Whitney K, The Submissives and Carla Sagan. Judging by the lineup it’s worth showing up early to secure a cozy spot.

Real-life legend John Cale of the Velvet Underground will make two appearances during POP.

John Cale // Sept. 22 // 8 p.m. // Rialto Theatre // $40

If you’re willing to throw down some money on a show, then go see legendary musician John Cale, founding member of the highly influential New York art-rock band, The Velvet Underground. Cale will be performing material from his latest LP _M:FANS_—which dropped at the beginning of this year.

Holy F*ck // Sept. 22 // 9:30 p.m. // Fairmount Theatre // $17

Toronto punk band Holy F*ck will stop by to perform new songs off their latest smash record Congrats. The band infuses the influence of punk rock with elements of house music to create a distinct sound that fans have become familiar with since their formation in 2004. Fake Palms and New Fries will accompany Holy F*ck to hype the crowd up for what is sure to be a funky night of dancing.

Free Cake For Every Creature // Sept. 24 // 9 p.m. // Bar Le “Ritz” // $13

Flowery soft vocals are laden on Katie P. Bennett’s musical project, Free Cake for Every Creature. If you like Frankie Cosmos, the Juno soundtrack, or generally cute music, you’ll probably dig this show.

Free Stuff

You don’t have to be rich to be my girl. If you’re not feeling like burning cash out at the shows, you’re in luck—POP Montreal hosts a ton of free events—from conferences, to gigs, to local designer and craft shows.

Opening Party // Sept. 21 // 6 p.m. // POP Quarters

Kick off the first few days of festivities by getting to meet some fun and cool people at the opening party. Located at the POP headquarters it’s a great way to engage with new people and figure out your plans as to which artists to check out in the coming days. Bring some friends or make new ones and dance to some mixes provided by dj flugvél og geimskip and Hoan.

Producing Change from Inside the Studio // Sept. 23 // 1 p.m. // POP Box

A feminist approach to the whirlwind that is the music industry, this panel discussion will seek to address the realities of women in the biz. Intersecting issues such as access, inclusivity and tokenism are on the agenda. Canadian musicians Foxtrott and A Pigeon will lead the talk around creating spaces for women and fostering participation in existing areas of the industry.

CJLO BBQ // Sept. 22 // 2 p.m. // Quartiers POP

Featuring Wiklow, No Aloha, Joyce N’sana and Guy Madonna, Concordia’s very own radio station will be hosting a little party with some little treats. Come enjoy food and music with students and radio enthusiasts alike.

Fashion POP // Sept. 21 // 8 p.m. // Rialto Theatre

Celebrating its tenth year, Fashion POP will hook up one lucky winner of a design contest with a live photo shoot at an after party that will be held at the Rialto Theatre. The contest will be judged by nine industry peeps. You can look forward to seeing all kinds of creative fashion designs that will please the judges and crowd alike.

Free Food // Sept. 21 // 7 p.m. // Le Clubhouse POP

Local DJ Frankie Teardrop will be spinning records late into the night at Le Clubhouse POP. There’s no rush to make it to the show since it’ll be a continuous set with many guest DJs hopping on and off the booth. You should bring some extra cash with you to the show—there’ll be a guest chef serving up grub like mac and cheese, chicken and plantain skewers and a veggie sandwich packed with avocado, mushrooms, caramelized onion and tomatoes.

Vernissage // Sept. 21 // 6:30 p.m. // POP Quarters

A photo exhibition surrounding the idea of how food has been incorporated into young contemporary photography within the past decade will be available to attend at the POP HQ. A number of photographers will contribute their own work to the exhibition and will be available to chat with during and after the show.

By commenting on this page you agree to the terms of our Comments Policy.