By Annie Reuter
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –The traveling music festival known as the International Pop Overthrow (IPO) is in New York City this week, as a number of bands take the stage on the Lower East Side for a massive showcase of up-and-coming talent.
Festival founder David Bash conceived the idea - to introduce bands from all over the world to the masses and have them play together under one platform - in 1997, and a year later, the first edition was held in Los Angeles, Calif., where 120 bands performing throughout 10 days.
Three years later it became a traveling festival when New York and later Chicago and Liverpool got added to the bill. Today, IPO is held in 16 cities throughout the US and Canada. A major success in Los Angeles, Bash said it took convincing from bands who continually played the festival before it went on the road.
"It was really more just urging of bands, who I think didn't want to travel as far and thought it would be cool to have it at a place where they lived," he said. "I'm glad they did that. It was immediately fun and successful."
This year marks the eleventh year IPO will be held in New York. It kicked off on Nov. 1 and will last until Nov. 6. Local and international bands perform nightly at Local 269 at 269 East Houston Street.
"Each of the festivals becomes a little bit more regional where a significant portion of bands playing in that city are from that city," Bash explained. "There are always bands from elsewhere so we always do keep that international flavor."
Bash says festival-goers will hear many worthy unsigned bands.
"Anybody that likes melodic pop music with strong hooks and melodies that stick in your head are going to be very pleased that they come to the shows. I think they'll leave loving at least two, if not more of the bands on the [nightly] bill," he said. "My goal with IPO is to keep doing it as long as I can until this music gets into the hearts and minds of the mainstream public because it really deserves to be there."
Having grown up on melodic music, Bash explained its timeless quality.
"It's important for people of all ages to be exposed to this kind of music because I truly believe it's something they want to hear and that would resonate well with them. It's important to keep the tradition of melodic music as long as I can," he said. "There will always be an audience, it's just a matter of getting to them and that's what I keep trying to do."
International Pop Overthrow will be held at Local 269 at 269 East Houston Street, New York, NY. For more, visit Facebook.
Annie Reuter is a freelance writer and the founder of YouSingIWrite.com.
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