np2016-admat_fullNoise Pop 2016 is quickly approaching, beginning this week, February 19th, and ending nine days later on February 28th. Following San Francisco’s anointment as Super Bowl City on January 30th, the city was the center of the American sports world for nearly 2 weeks. Now, as those ceremonies are winding down, excitement regarding a more local-grown type of entertainment will be ratcheting up. Noise Pop has outdone itself in 2016, bringing one of the boldest and most impressive lineups in its prestigious history.

We were lucky enough to chat with Chad Heimann, the sole talent buyer for Noise Pop, so you’ll find some of what he had to say sprinkled through out this preview. Badges are still available for purchase here.

Reaching out [to potential artists] starts in the fall; once the initial announce is released, more artists come in waves once they see the announcements. Prospecting for performers is a process from early November until the first week of February.” – Chad, sole talent buyer for Noise Pop.

Flight-Facilities-16Flight Facilities at Regency Ballroom, Noise Pop 2015 (Photo by Justin Yee)

In order to understand the position Noise Pop Festival has found itself in as of 2016, fans need a pseudo-history lesson. Noise Pop started as an independent, grassroots effort to promote up-and-coming artists in the city by the bay, culminating in the birth of the Festival in 1993.

Building the festival from scratch is a lengthy process. It’s a mix of reaching out and seeing who is active and touring, as well as building a wish list with the staff. Even if they aren’t touring, certain bands might be interested in joining.” – Chad

LesSins_TheNewParish_022615_JustinYee-11Les Sins aka Toro y Moi at The New Parish, Noise Pop 2015 (Photo by Justin Yee)

In its early iterations, the festival was a modest show, featuring 5 acts in a primarily rock influenced, 1 night setup. Improving on its success, the following year saw its expansion to a 3-day performance, headquartered at Bottom of the Hill. On the ten-year anniversary, the format had expanded to 6 days, 9 venues, and over 100 artists.

Our motto is ‘championing independent culture since 1993’. Regardless of genre we are championing independent music from independent producers. In the last few years especially we have enjoyed not just ‘college rock’ but all independent culture… it’s a self described festival for self described music nerds.” – Chad

DSC_0215Slow Magic at 1015 Folsom, Noise Pop 2015

In its increasing popularity and scope, Noise Pop added both a film and art series – multimedia channels that have not been incorporated by any other local festivals – to its progressive lineup. In making these various exhibits more accessible, Noise Pop attendees receive a badge that allows access to any or all of the events scheduled for the quickly approaching 9-day gala. Serving as a west coast version of the world-renowned SXSW, Noise Pop has become a treat for all of the senses.

From where we are now, in our 24th year, it has been an impressive journey. The first show was 5 bands for $5 for one night only. It has expanded to a festival that champions not only music but also film and art shows from local and international [exhibitionists].” – Chad

Caribou-4Caribou at The Fillmore, Noise Pop 2015 (Photo by Justin Yee)

Operating under the same ownership as Treasure Island Music Festival, Noise Pop prides itself on having a well-rounded lineup that honors its tradition, booking artists approaching their peak instead of relying on the heavily recycled names booked by major mainstream festivals. Using this formula, Noise Pop has become the premier indie music and arts festival of the Bay Area. Enjoy the festive, energetic atmosphere around the city beginning this week, and be sure to check out the venues and artists below.

Must-See Venues & Artists


Sango-Image_6.28.12Sango & Masego @ 1015 Folsom

Date: 2/26 || Tickets

Burgeoning producers Sango (pictured) and Masego possess vastly different sounds–the former combining hip-hop stylings with a distinct Brazilian flavor and latter using his sax skills to create ‘Traphouse Jazz.’ One thing they do share in common, though, is an irresistible bounce that promises to rock the legendary 1015 Folsom.

’Sango – F.L.O.R’

1617264_300Amtrac & Hotel Garuda @ Audio SF

Date: 2/25 || Tickets

I doubt there’s a single Hotel Garuda release from the last couple years that hasn’t been covered here on TMN. The melodic house duo, which consists of Manila Killa & Candle Weather, will be making a stop at Audio during Noise Pop in support of Amtrac (pictured), who just put out an incredible project of his own.

’Amtrac – LONG NIGHTS’

american-football-wAmerican Football & Her Space Holiday @ The Regency Ballroom

Date: 2/27 || Tickets

After a lengthy hiatus, Illinois based indie rock band American Football reunited in 2014 to tour the festival scene. Since that summer, they have found a rejuvenated fan base and toured worldwide. Meanwhile, less heralded opener Her Space Holiday will be performing for the first time in 5 years, and launching a new EP in June

’American Football – Never Meant’

Painted-Palms-600x600Painted Palms @ Rickshaw Stop

Date: 2/26 || Tickets

Bay Area locals Painted Palms create music that’s full of color that you can listen to on a sunny day or a sweaty dance floor. Their appearance at Rickshaw Stop promises to be a memorable one.

’Painted Palms – Refractor’

vince-staples-meredith-truaxVince Staples @ Social Hall SF & The Independent

2/26 at Social Hall (Tickets) || 2/27 at The Independent (Tickets)

Vince Staples’ 2015 debut album Summertime ’06 placed him in the ranks of hip-hop’s elite. His brash and poignant style re-imagines the work of his G-Funk predecessors. We’d definitely recommend trying to make it to the show at The Independent, which should be the a rare opportunity to see an act of his caliber in an intimate setting.

’Flume – Smoke And Retribution feat. Vince Staples & Kučka’

Neon-Indian-950x630Neon Indian @ Mezzanine

Date: 2/27 || Tickets

Chill wave extraordinaire Alan Palomo returns to San Francisco for another trippy showing of his latest album, Vega Intl. Night School. Check out this show at the intimate Mezzanine for an up close and personal encounter with his psychedelic beats and charming dance moves.

’Neon Indian – Slumlord’

cararobbins-astronautsetc-83-4bf7ae609254b5d8614efd4c2abf0021cdf52eba-s900-c85Astronauts, etc. @ The Independent

Date: 2/23 || Tickets

Local and UC Berkeley student Anthony Ferraro will be back at the Independent on Tuesday – this time heading up his own show. Last seen as a member of Toro y Moi’s touring band this summer, Astronauts has been steadily increasing his output and breaking sonic barriers with his releases. Expect to hear a unique take on Elton John’s “Rocket Man” at this show.

’Astronauts Etc feat. Toro Y Moi – Rocket Man’
swedish-american-hallSwedish American Hall (Noise Pop Headquarters)
Constructed in 1907, the Swedish American Hall is currently serving as the headquarters of the annual Noise Pop festivities. Stop by for complimentary drinks, Q&A sessions with artists, and of course to geek out with fellow music aficionados in this unique venue.
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