Passovah is a name that’s been around Montreal’s music scene since 2008, and their namesake summer festival, which starts tonight, is already in its third instalment.
The production group produces shows year-round, setting the stage for Montreal bands usually just starting out. Passovah director Noah Bick, fresh out of university, has been putting together shows in Montreal since he was in high school.
The festival, spanning Aug. 21 to 24 this year, has grown from a single day and night of local curated music to five days of simultaneous events. It showcases bands in the city’s smaller venues like Casa del Popolo and Piccolo Rialto.
Bick says audiences can expect to hear everything from folk singers and solo piano to noise-rock and hip-hop at the shows. Bick is also working with Marché des Possibles, a pilot project by fellow music festival Pop Montreal with a farmers market, food trucks, a bar and music produced by Passovah.
Apart from two ticketed shows on Thursday and Saturday night, shows are pay-what-you-can from $5 to $25. Bick says he’s expecting around $20, but people can also attend for free if they’re really have no money. On average, there are nine groups per show.
“I’m trying to figure out ways to continue to maintain that model, but figuring out how to get the festival to grow in a sustainable way,” says Bick of his pay-what-you-can policy.
“I’m hoping that folk help financially keep everything running smoothly and not just showing up and paying nothing.”
The pay-what-you-can concept was carried over to a downloadable compilation of music from the festival. All of the money raised will go to the Ange-Aimee Memorial Bursary, honouring the late CBC journalist.
Listen to the full interview below.