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Talking with Noise Pop's Jordan Kurland about 25 years celebrating indie music at Noise Pop Festival - Magnetic Magazine
We talk with Noise Pop co-owner Jordan Kurland about 2017's Noise Pop Festival and what it takes to pull of such a successful celebration of indie music, art & film over 25 years.

Noise Pop in San Francisco is in full swing across the Bay Area at an impressive 22 venues. From February 17th to the 27th, all 22 venues are booked to the brim with an impressive assortment of emerging and independent artists. For the uninformed, Noise Pop Festival is a celebration of indie music, arts and film, and in its 25th year, it's staying as true to its core integrity of exposing emerging artist in the Bay Area and beyond. 

Now, the lineup is stacked, check it out here, but beyond being in awe of its booking glory, we had the good fortune to talk all things Noise Pop festival with co-owner Jordan Kurland.

So, 25 years, a quarter of a century - that's a lot of music festival-ing! What is this year's Noise Pop Festival going to be like?

I don't think it's going to be drastically different from the past Noise Pop Festivals. I think it's going to be a week plus of great shows. We're not really introducing any new initiatives for this year's festival. Being the 25th year, it's really just about celebrating, as you said, the quarter century and what we've been doing.

Since so much talent will be spread across all the venues of San Francisco, what's your best advice for those trying to get the most out of the festival?

Plan wisely. I think getting the most out of the festival is different for different people. But I think it definitely causes distress for me at times, not being able to see all the bands I want to see. My only advice is to plan wisely, and also not to try to bite off too much. Sometimes if you're running around to see specific bands, you're going to miss some really great part of something you're not familiar with.

When it comes to curating talent, how much of it is an art and how much is a science?

I do think it's more of an art because we're booking artists that we think our fans are going to connect with. I think we have a pretty good sense of what our audience is at this point. Maybe you could look at it as a science in that way, but really it's tough to word. We're excited about it and we think people who come to the festival are excited about it.

In your own words, what is the Noise Pop Festival all about? 

It's really just a celebration of an independent music. We definitely lean more towards Indie Rock, but over the history of the festival, it's certainly become more diverse in what we present. I think the common thread is the spirit of the artists. More of an industrious or independent type of artist that performs. I'm not saying independently signed artists only, but it's more about their approach to their craft.

More broadly, what does it take to put on a successful music festival like Noise Pop Festival? 

I think with anything it just comes down to the programming. Obviously there is more to that, but you're to live and die based on who is playing your festival. That's it. I think the first you need is good artists and an act for presenting good timely artists and for what we do with Noise Pop, also finding a bunch of up and coming artists. 

We still really try to keep 50% of the lineup local. It's important for the celebration of the local music community, so that's certainly part of what we're doing. 

I think overall, as far as programming a festival, and I say this a lot when I get asked about just bigger outdoor festivals too, it's really important to have a point of view. Noise Pop has always had a point of view with its programming and that hasn't changed. Our booking is more diverse, but overall it's the same, philisophically it's still very much what started in 1993. 

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