In my POP Montreal preview, I went deep with the all-you-can-eat buffet imagery: such variety, copious quantities. In hindsight, the metaphor holds: I worked up an appetite, planned some faves, and went home feeling sleepy with gravy on my shirt. Or, something like that.
The short story is that I discovered a couple of acts I wasn’t likely to come across elsewhere, and now I intend to follow them as they grow to the heights they rightly deserve. I only saw one show that I’d planned on seeing, and had to leave early because it went later than expected on a school night, and made a bad call when I decided that the Bran Van 3000 show was too obvious a choice, and opted for a whole genre I’d never heard of in the name of experimentation. Suffice to say I should’ve seen Bran Van.
While I feel like I failed at covering the artistic spectrum that is Pop Montreal, I did learn a lot about how to do it better next time.
Take the time off
I’ve been holding a few PTO days close, and next year I plan to take the days off. There were so many daytime events, I shot myself in the foot by limiting my options and sacrificing too much sleep.
Plan, But Stay Flexible
I had grand plans, and thought I would get to more places than I did. It seems Montreal is back to its standard showtimes, which is to say later than anticipated.
Additionally, being a truly indie festival, tear down between bands was done by the performers themselves and only a couple of extra helpers, meaning the shows went long too. All that to say, it’s tricky to attend shows timed closely together, so be like water and let the flow take you.
It’s So Much More Than Music
While it’s billed as an International Music Festival, there’s so much more than that. There are talks, films, performance art, visual art, even artisanal goodies to buy. Next year I plan on going to more than just concerts.
Get The Hardcopy
I only got my hands on the hardcopy program late Sunday afternoon. I didn’t realize it was a thing, and I’d been leaning on the website. While the net is perfect for navigating to venues, the program has a great calendar to visualize what’s going on any given day, and a map that shows the venues in relation to one another for all your multi-event needs.
And the hardcopy led me to the app! I’d found a POP Montreal app, but it was from a previous season, and didn’t seem updated. Seems I missed the memo, because there’s a full page QR code in the program that I wish I’d seen sooner.
Study the Playlist
POP planned ahead with a wonderfully curated playlist that I’d been listening to for a bit, just trying to catch flavors and vibes and see what stuck. I should’ve reversed this process, and started with the calendar: it would have been wiser to cut out the bands I knew I couldn’t see due to scheduling, and used the playlist to decide between bands that had conflicting time slots. That would’ve also saved some heartache, as I got hyped for a few artists on the playlist before realizing I couldn’t make their shows.
If all this sounds like a lot of nerdy work, I assure you that it’s my favorite form of overthinking, but you don’t have to be so weird about it. The POP Montreal playlist is still right here so the exploration continues. And, as promised in the headline, here are some of the photos I took: