Insider’s Guide to Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival

The White Stripes. The Flaming Lips. Spoon. Modest Mouse. The Mountain Goats. Sleater-Kinney. Guided By Voices. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. These are only a handful of the hundreds of bands who have performed over the last two decades at San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival.

Many were little known when they first took the Noise Pop stage. Every February, Noise Pop returns giving music fans an opportunity to discover something new.

In 1993, Noise Pop was launched as a one-night event featuring a handful of local acts. It went so well, founders Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland, tried it again in 1994. They tapped punk rock band Jawbreaker to headline. The band had just come off a tour opening for Nirvana and were riding a wave of critical acclaim for their album 24-Hour Revenge Therapy. Not surprisingly, that show also did well, so the duo persisted.

Today, Noise Pop stretches over 10 days at venues in both San Francisco and Oakland. The focus continues to expose your ears to exciting new sounds of noise and pop, but recent years have seen an expansion beyond the aural to also include the visual.

Here’s your Insider’s Guide to Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival 2018.


February 19-25, 2018


This year Noise Pop is building the hype by announcing the lineup in phases. On October 24, the festival dropped the “Phase 1” bands and on November 29 announced “Phase 2.” A third Phase announcement is expected. The bands so far:

Tune-Yards, Built To Spill, Real Estate, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Parquet Courts, San Fermin (feat. The Magik*Magik Orchestra), WHY?, Waxahatchee (solo), The Album Leaf, Ben UFO, Superchunk, Mount Eerie, Alex Cameron, Dengue Fever, Amy Shark, Shamir, The Coathangers, Jeff Rosenstock, The Hoteleir, Rostam, Cuco, Geographer, Bully, Girlpool, Enter Shikari, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som, Gerd Janson, Bahamas, No Age, Bruno Major, Night Beats, Grails, Crooked Colours, Inara George (solo), Palehound, Weaves, The Weather Stations, Summer Twins, Death Valley Girls, Shallou, Sean Rowe, Carla Dal Forno (**first-ever US performance**), Single Mothers, Lemuria, Mom Jeans., Mozhgan, Oso Oso, Joy Again, Milk Teeth, Melkbelly, Dick Stusso, Hand Habits, Bat Fangs, ROAR, Winter, The Flytraps, Feels, ROya, Hazey Eyes…

Check out the schedule.



Not sure who these bands are? Check out the UpOut Noise Pop playlist featuring two of our favorite songs from each artist performing at Noise Pop 2018.



Single show tickets will be released shortly after each Phase is announced.

What more festival? Get a badge. Noise Pop is trying a new experiment with tiered pricing for badges. From the Noise Pop press release:

This year, the festival is introducing a new tiered pricing structure for general badges that will reward those who buy early. Prices will increase as each phase of the lineup is revealed.  Phase 1 general badges will be available for $175 once Early Bird badges are sold out. General badge prices will then go up with the Phase 2 lineup announcement.

All badges grant access to all general admission (non-seated) music concerts, badge-only happy hours, NPHQ and some very special events soon to be announced. Badges are non-transferrable with age-restrictions for some events, and badge-holders must arrive within 60 minutes after club door times to guarantee entrance. New benefits for badge-holders this year includes additional access to all of the film screenings and film-related events throughout the weeklong festival.

In addition, a limited number of Super Fan badges will also go on sale Tuesday, October 24 at 10 a.m. PT for $399 and will not be raised. Super Fan badge-holders will experience the true red carpet treatment at the festival, where they receive guaranteed entry to all festival events, a special merch package, complimentary drink tickets to select events, and a personal Noise Pop concierge available for assistance throughout the weeklong festival.


Venues span both sides of the Bay. San Francisco venues include The Chapel, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Cafe du Nord, The Fillmore, Swedish American Hall, The Independent, Gray Area Art & Technology Theater, Rickshaw Stop, and The Great Northern. Oakland venues include Starline Social Club and Fox Theater.

Previously on UpOut:





  • December 29, 2017