Noise Pop 2022: How to Navigate the Indie Music Festival

The electronic music duo Smerz is one of the headliners of the Noise Pop festival. Photo: Powerline Agency

For a happy week in February, the Bay Area will be swarmed with over 150 independent-minded musicians as the Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival returns after an unscheduled pandemic hiatus.

The last major event to take place in the Bay Area before the coronavirus pandemic caused venues to close across the region in early 2020, the one-of-a-kind urban music party is set to make a comeback. from Monday, February 21, with a pre-festival launch party this week.

The 29th edition of the festival will bring more than 150 touring and local artists to the San Francisco and East Bay stages, with an eclectic lineup of headliners that includes Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy in a solo, rapper Azealia Banks, the indie rock singer-songwriter Alex G, Norwegian electronic music duo Smerz and East Bay metal band King Woman.

“For us, with everything the music and arts community in the Bay Area has been through over the past two years, it’s really nice to be able to do this.said the co-owner of Noise Pop Industries and co-founder of the festival Jordan Kurland. “It’s a good opportunity to get out and reconnect with live music and concert halls.

Noise Pop will also once again feature a comprehensive roster of up-and-coming bands that music fans can catch in tiny clubs long before they start filling arenas like old Noise Pop artists such as the White Stripes, Death Taxi for CutieFlaming Lips, Vince Staples and Carly Rae Jepsen.

“It’s always been a labor of love,” Kurland said. “No one gets rich off Noise Pop. It’s for the community. Hopefully it brings some normalcy.

Here’s an insider’s guide on how to get the most out of Noise Pop 2022.

Rapper Azealia Banks is one of the headliners of Noise Pop. Photo: Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic 2019

Who is playing Noise Pop 2022?

In addition to the headliners, the lineup includes several can’t-miss shows, including the Microphones doing their first Bay Area performance in two decades, and the Drums performing their 2011 album “Portamento” in its entirety. But the festival went far beyond the distorted, melodic rock of its early years.

“It’s always been more about ethos and spirit than gender for us,” Kurland said.

Other touring musicians and local artists on the bill include Alice Phoebe Lou, Tommy Guerrero, Titus Andronicus, Dorian Electra, VTSS, Arooj Aftab, Buzzed Lightbeer, Vegyn, Damani Rhodes, Quasi, William Basinski, Makaya McCraven, Hand Habits , Moor Mother, Lastlings, Sega Bodega, Bali Baby, Tomberlin, John Carroll Kirby, Charlotte Dos Santos, Hunny, India Jordan, Lil Mariko, Partiboi69, Chuck Gunn, Mark Eitzel, Papercuts, Valerie Troutt and DJ Aaron Axelsen.

“This year’s festival is all about getting back to our roots – celebrating local undercharts alongside indie rock favorites while pushing the boundaries of traditional genre norms and creating truly special shows that fans wouldn’t expect. never and hopefully never will forget,” Stacy Horne, president of Noise Pop Industries, said in a statement.

Click on here to know the complete program of the Noise Pop festival 2022.

Singer-songwriter Alex G will perform at the Noise Pop festival. Photo: Dominos

Where are the shows?

In the spirit of city-wide festivals like South by Southwest, Noise Pop shows are spread across multiple Bay Area venues throughout the week.

In the East Bay, the New Parish will host a handful of shows, while a slew of venues in San Francisco will come alive for the festival, including Northern Coffee and the Swedish American Hall, both of which have remained in obscurity since the pandemic began.

Other places you can catch shows this year include Alamo Drafthouse, Bender’s Bar-grill, bottom of the hill, California Academy of Sciences, the new parish, the Fillmoregray area, august room, the chapel, Rickshaw stop, SF Jazz CenterDNA Fair, Public Works, Great American Music Hallthe Warfield and more – plus a warehouse party with Partiboi69 and DJ Dials at a “secret location”.

It’s a great way for music fans to see shows in more intimate settings, without having to deal with portable toilets and overpriced festival food. The only issues are that the most coveted gigs are hard to get to and you have to keep moving to catch it all.

Musician Kamaal Williams is part of the alternative Noise Pop lineup. Photo: Blip Agency

What else is going on?

In addition to music, Noise Pop will again offer alternative programming around the festival.

There’s a pre-party at the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday, February 17, featuring Kamaal Williams. Throughout the festival, there are also happy hour nights at Bender’s Bar and Grill, with multi-band bills.

Among this year’s Noise Pop Film Festival are screenings of “This Is Gwar,” “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” “Radio On” and “Juice” at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Fans can either purchase a single-show ticket or a festival badge, which ranges from $139 to $399, to attend all of the general admission shows in the lineup.

Drums Jonny Pierce Photo: Nicholas Moore

How to navigate in the festival?

With up to a dozen gigs at various Bay Area venues each weeknight, a little planning never hurts, so Noise Pop website offers a planning tool.

Prioritize the acts you want to see each night, plan out the venues, and give yourself plenty of wiggle room.

Thanks to ride-sharing services, widened bike lanes, and bike and scooter rentals, it’s now much easier to get around town than it was when the festival started in 1993. And if you miss a show or two, it’s there’s always the next night.

What are the COVID-19 safety protocols?

All Noise Pop 2022 events require attendees to have at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some sites also require proof of complete vaccination plus an up-to-date booster shoot if eligible, received at least seven days prior to participation, or proof of a negative coronavirus test.

Although the State of California has relaxed its indoor mask requirements for those vaccinated, some sites may require tight-fitting, non-ventilated face coverings.

Pop noise music and arts festival: February 21-27. Tickets to individual shows and events are available, some free. Festival badges $139 to $399. Various locations in San Francisco and East Bay.


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