Cult MTL

POP Montreal + Backxwash

POP Montreal is entering its third decade with signature style and a sense of purpose.

- BY LORRAINE CARPENTER ≥ For more, visit popmontrea­

Last year the festival got lucky, observing all public health restrictio­ns but still providing a sense of continuity and normalcy for the local music scene in the midst of COVID. Within a week, the second lockdown was announced. This year, COVID continues to put a bit of a damper on the usual party vibe that POP prides itself on, but the festival is mounting an impressive lineup regardless, a preview of what promises to be a rager of a 21st anniversar­y edition next year.

Among the exciting mostly-local acts performing from Sept. 22–26 are grandiose rock bands Besnard Lakes and the Dears (the latter with a secret-location acoustic set), fierce rappers Backxwash and Cakes da Killa, heavy experiment­al acts SUUNS and Population II, singer-songwriter­s Safia Nolin, Dorothea Paas, Hanorah, Eve Parker Finley, Thanya Iyer and Fred Fortin, soul singers Chiild and Clerel, alt R&B art Janette King, country/folk faves Li’l Andy, Katie Moore, Sin and Swoon and El Coyote, pop chanteuses Marie-Pierre Arthur and Maryze, dream pop artist Vanille, Atikamekw singer Laura Niquay and electronic acts Wake Island and Dishwasher. POP will also host the debut performanc­e by ALL HANDS / MAKE LIGHT, a new “supergroup” featuring Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Efrim Menuck and Ariel Engle (la Force.)

As always, there’s Film POP, POP Symposium, Puces POP,

Art POP and Kids POP programmin­g to look forward to, along with a parade in Mile End. The hybrid edition of the festival will feature in-person and virtual events, with the Rialto complex, Entrepot77 and Parc St-Viateur serving as event venues. A “health pass” (ie. vaccine passport, ie. the VaxiCode app) will be required for in-person shows as per provincial regulation­s now in effect. And though there are no passes for sale this year, tickets are very reasonably priced — and moving quickly.

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