Each year, Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival turns the Bay Area into a musical playground where badge holders can catch as many Noise Pop-presented concerts as their hearts desire. With shows scattered throughout small venues and renowned concert halls in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, the week-long shebang (which wrapped up on March 3) can be a custom-tailored experience for each attendee.
For its 26th year, Noise Pop featured more than 150 artists, including big-name acts like Beirut, Princess Nokia and Petit Biscuit. It also highlighted underground and local acts. In true Noise Pop tradition, the fest encourages music discovery by pairing acts in a way that allows different types of artists and fanbases to cross-pollinate.
While the headlining acts did not disappoint, this year's opening acts stole the show. Describing herself as an "Afro-Latina, queer songbird," Nicotine delivered a jaw-dropping, colorful performance with lounge-inspired music and spoken word that transported the UC Theatre crowd into a Prohibition-era speakeasy before headliner Yuna took the stage. Helado Negro had the crowd at Oakland's Fox Theater swooning to his Spanish-infused indie pop. Before headliner Beirut took the stage, the audience demanded an Helado Negro encore. And though The She’s were first on the bill the night Albert Hammond Jr. headlined The Independent, an enthusiastic crowd showed up early to catch San Francisco's favorite "all female rock 'n' roll quartet."
With multiple concerts happening on the same night and a plethora of sold-out shows, it’s impossible to catch everything the festival has to offer. Below is a photo recap with this year's highlights.