POP Montreal is a music festival, a visual art exhibit, a film appreciation society and a flea market. It's also a series of free art workshops just for kids. But POP Montreal is above all a celebration of creativity that keeps growing in size and popularity since its first edition in 2002. Presenting roughly 600 acts in the span of five days, the fest is usually held at the end of September. The 11th edition of POP Montreal runs September 19 through September 23, 2012.
POP Montreal: The Music Festival
Perhaps what POP is best known for is its across-the-board musical programming. Case in point: easy listening top 40 king/American Idol guest judge Burt Bacharach shared the 2008 spotlight (on separate stages) with aggressive tech punk noisemaker T. Raumschmiere. And that's part of POP Montreal's beauty: it dares to combine fiercely independent acts with commercial success stories, though in its first years, it was almost completely indie. Past editions featured:
- Arcade Fire
- Tahiti 80
- Evening Hymns
- Serena Maneesh
- Portico Quartet
- Brazilian Girls
- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
- Franz Ferdinand
- Regina Spektor
- Disco Zombie Squad
Featuring films that usually revolve around the theme of music, 2011 spotlights over a dozen flicks including PJ Harvey: Let England Shake, a series of 12 short films accompanying each track of Harvey's latest album by the same name, and Dream Deceivers: The Story of James Vance vs. Judas Priest, which recounts the true story of a young man whose permanent disfigurement from a failed suicide attempt led his family to sue one his favorite bands over lyrics Vance claimed led him to try and take his life.
POP Montreal: Puces POP
Puces is French for fleas, but Puces POP isn't so much a flea market as it is a creative DIY marketplace teeming with over 100 artists, independent record labels and entrepreneurs selling their creations to the public, an initiative which first premiered in 2006. Count on finding jewelry, fashion, cakes, home accessories, music and other handmade practicalities for sale. Puces POP's marketplace event is usually held during the last two days of POP Montreal, which has alway been on the weekend.
POP Montreal: Kids POP
Crafts workshops (origami, sculpture), music workshops (singalongs, instrument making), live shows and more, Kids POP explores the budding creativity in every child. Usually held on the same days as Puces POP.
POP Montreal: Art POP
Showcasing emerging contemporary arts talent alongside established artists from here and abroad, Art POP is a five-day celebration of visual art, open free to the public.
POP Montreal: Fashion POP
Every year, POP Montreal proposes a competition: a fashion show featuring six local emerging talent. The winner is awarded a cash prize and an editorial spread.
POP Montreal: Symposium
A five-day music conference open to artists, industry professionals and everyday music fans, covering a variety of topics.
Visit the POP Montreal website for this year's complete lineup.