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Pop Hopping: A Perspective on Pop Montreal 2012

One of the biggest concerns that a college student faces is money. College is a time where education begins to cost more than you thought, expenses continue to pile, and there never seems to be enough spare cash to go out on Friday night. There are many opportunities, however, which present themselves and offer the sweet satisfaction of saving that extra money you would have spent on your big night out. Pop Montreal, the fall festival of the city, offers such an opportunity.

For a music lover, it is the ultimate exchange: giving up your time to go to shows and see incredible live music all over the city of Montreal. For a student on a budget, it’s a cost effective way to have fun and save your money. The festival brings a wide variety of artists from all over to perform in over thirty venues across the city lines of Montreal. Some of this year’s headliners included rock maverick David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Montreal native Grimes, indie favorites Grizzly Bear, and rapper K’Naan. The variety of artists is incredible! Every genre has some sort of representation either among the headliners or even in the smaller but equally as awesome artists. Pop Montreal is not just a music festival though, it is also an art festival, a film festival, and it’s own flea market. As a volunteer, all of great occasions are not only available to you but also available for almost no cost.

The volunteer process is not just simple, but a real steal. The only requirements are that you attend one training session and must volunteer for a minimum of three shifts. Volunteers are really the heart of the festival. They are a group of friendly people all excited about music and this great city. Being a volunteer entitles you to a few incredible luxuries: a bracelet that gets you into any concert, free drink tickets at your shifts, and a 5-day unlimited Opus card to provide means of transportation. During my volunteering at Pop Montreal, I was able to meet a lot of very friendly people and see a lot of really incredible musicians such as pow-wow DJs A Tribe Called Red, afro-funk orchestra Antibalas, Vancouver hip-hop group Black Panther and the Supafly, and Montreal DJ Prison Garde.

Another great thing about this festival is how easy it is to expand your musical horizons, especially when you can try it for free. Hopping from venue to venue each night meeting new people and hearing new bands is an exciting thing, especially while exploring some of the bars and clubs that you may never had ventured to otherwise. Pop Montreal is an exploratory festival, widening the horizons of the Montreal regular to the great diversity that the city has to offer. Volunteering at the festival was an amazing experience that I cannot wait to have again. Pop Montreal 2013, I will be seeing you next year.
 
Photo Credit: http://popmontreal.tumblr.com/

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