Halifax Pop Explosion announces Ghostface Killah, Danny Brown, Lights as headliners

Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - For the first time ever, the Halifax Forum will host multiple shows as an official Pop Explosion venue this October, including headliners Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan, rapper Danny Brown and BADBADNOTGOOD.

On Tuesday, new executive director James Boyle announced most of the lineup for the Oct. 21-25 festival, saying the team “couldn’t be more excited” about presenting one of largest list of performers the Pop Explosion’s ever had.

“We’re really excited that we have a proper all-ages venue,” Boyle said about the Forum after the announcement.

“[It] is key to all of us, because we want to make sure we’re doing a lot for the community.”

Ghostface Killah’s fellow Wu-Tang Clan member, Raekwon, also joins the lineup as well as punk rockers Against Me!, Whitehorse, Juno-winning electro-pop star Lights, and Tokyo Police Club.

Boyle said landing Detroit’s Danny Brown late Monday evening was “a huge win for us,” and a relief after going back and forth for weeks before confirming the show.

Having Against Me! sign on was also exciting because Boyle said they weren’t sure whether there would be any time in between touring stops to come to Halifax.

Boyle said a highlight is sure to be the Forum show featuring Toronto’s jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD backing Ghostface Killah and Raekwon.

He also said the Operators show will be exciting since the group recently formed from members of Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade, performing their first shows at Canadian Music Week this year so not many people have seen them live.

Since the festival launched in 1993, Boyle said the Pop Explosion is still one of the only events bringing new music to Halifax for the 19 to 35-year-old demographic.

“We’re the foundation for that music community growing up and coming through and people supporting us, so we’re really excited,” Boyle said.

Boyle said a full schedule and more acts will be announced at the end of August.

Wristbands and passes for the festival go on sale Friday at halifaxpopexplosion.com.

Other performers include Chad VanGaalen, The Wooden Sky, Twin Shadow, Cousins, Kevin Drew, comedian Jen Kirkman of Drunk History, Swearin,’ Austra, SonReal, Ill Gates, Thugli, The Flatliners, Bry Webb, P.S. I Love You, Solids, Single Mothers, Mike Boyd, Petra, Teenage Kicks, Astral Swans, and City Natives.

Organizations: Tokyo Police Club, Canadian Music Week

Geographic location: Halifax, Detroit, Toronto

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