In 1996, what started out as a house show with friends bringing together bands that were influenced by music from Factory Records, Sarah Records, Labrador Records and the C86 era turned into one of the most popular indie pop events worldwide. Ten years after that house show, those friends reconvened with new friends bringing together some of the best jangling, fuzzy, twee and indie pop bands across four days in New York.
In 2007, the first official NYC Popfest event was established. Together the pop lovers brought in bands not only from the United States but from all over the world. Classic artists such as Pipas, Ballboy and Allen Clapp graced audiences with their nostalgic pop songs. Pelle Carlberg (former Edson ring leader) proved that Swedish Pop can never do wrong. Buzzing new artists such as Human Television, The Secret History and My Teenage Stride added a sense of continuity in the pop world. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, what was once an obscure indie pop fuzz crowd pleaser, is now one of the most well known bands to be projected into the indie rock world. The following year also delivered a mixture of old and new as well. Buzz bands Love Is All rocked a packed Cake Shop. Cats On Fire flamboyantly charmed audiences.
In 2009, the collaboration between Maz (DJ for New York’s premiere indie pop night: MONDO!) and Clyde (Twentyseven Records – Acid House Kings, Pelle Carlberg, Irene, Fireflies, This Is Ivy League, Silver Swans) magnified their focus. With not only their experience but passion for music; they dished out some of the biggest surprises and artists to the event. Sweden’s recluse and now powerhouse indie pop staple The Radio Dept. was brought to New York for the first time ever – for a sold out show at The Bell House. In the same year The Drums broke out with their first ever live show. In 2010, they followed up the next year by bringing Factory and Sarah Records legends The Wake stateside for the first time. Classic K Records band Tender Trap also made an appearance. On top of that Allo Darlin’ made a splash with their reverberating pop that buzzed around the pop community. Both years saw the event not only attract press coverage from the New York Times but also local television.
In 2011, NYC Popfest will be celebrated its 5th year anniversary once again bringing an eclectic line-up to New York. Joining the line-up were Canada’s Go Sailor, old schoolers Fan Modine, Swedish popsters Days, Japanese rockers Caucus, Slumerland Recording artists Gold-Bears and Sealions and many others.
2012 again looks like to be a year filled with a line-up that scours the old and new worlds of pop.