It’s hard to deny the grassroots appeal of an event which began life as an indie-pop house party in 1996 before going full-on festival in 2007 with the very first NYC Popfest. The event has since featured an early performance by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the first ever live show by the Drums, the first NYC performance of Sweden’s Radio Dept. and shows by a bevy of pure pop bands stretching back into the glory days of the C86 scene.
The 2012 incarnation is set to swarm the city from Thursday, May 17 (last night) through Sunday, May 20, with good vibes all across the city and bands from all over the world. On Friday night, the party happens at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, with a show headlined by Saturday Looks Good to Me, with support from Catnaps, Orca Team, Cola Jet Set and Wild Moccasins. Nearby, Cameo Gallery will host the after party.
Saturday is something of an all-day affair, beginning with a free show at Spike Hill headlined by Habibi, with support from Pale Lights, Outerhope and Lisa Bouvier. Later at Public Assembly, Comet Gain headline a show with Seapony, two Swedish acts — Pushy Parents and the Electric Pop Group — and the triumphant U.S. return of the Pooh Sticks.
On Sunday, the final show is something of a marathon at Littlefield, with Swearin’ opening the proceedings at 4 pm and Allo’ Darlin hitting the stage later at 10. In the middle are performances by Sleuth, Dot Dash, the Holiday Crowd, White Town, the Wave Pictures and the Ladybug Transistor.
Shows are $15 in advance, $18 at the door and feature DJ sets and dance parties on top of all the live music. For more info, visit www.nycpopfest.org.