I first met James when I moved to Fredericton in 2004. He put on all of the shows I wanted to go to. He (along with Zach Atkinson) booked all of my favourite bands and I loved him for it.

Over the years we’ve become good friends. I was so excited to hear earlier this year that he had been named Executive Director of the Halifax Pop Explosion. Again, just the coolest guy booking all of my favourite bands at one of the coolest events on the East Coast.

The Pop Explosion is a little over a week away.

Take a read through this interview with James. Enjoy, and share with your pals!

Tickets are available here. Don’t delay!


Hi James, tell me about yourself and what you do.

My names is James Edward Boyle and I am the new Executive Director of the Halifax Pop Explosion Association.

Tell me about your involvement with the Halifax Pop Explosion.

I took over the position of Executive Director in April of this year (2014). It has been an incredible experience so far! The staff are amazing and it is so exciting to be working on a music festival again. As Executive Director I help lead the organization but honestly it’s a group effort. We make as many decisions as possible together. Executing a music festival is more complicated than many people realize and it is definitely a full time job.

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The Pop Explosion lineup has been released.

Who should I be looking forward to?

I am very enthusiastic about this year’s line up! I personally can’t wait for Danny Brown, Against Me! and Ghostface Killah and Raekwon playing with Bad Bad Not Good. It is very important to me that we program as many all ages shows as possible and presenting Lights and Zeds Dead at the MPC will be a great opportunity for HPX this year.

If you have never experienced Cold Specks live I highly recommend it. She is incredible and brings a great dynamic to the fest.

Operators played their first shows at CMW this year… And I am positive HPX fans are going be blown away by their live show.

There are too many bands to list off but I feel as though I also need to make sure I include Ryan Hemsworth and Tennyson, Single Mothers, Mo Kenny, Kim Harris, Glory Glory, Vogue Dots… My list could go on and on… I I mean it when I say I am thrilled with this year’s line up!


If someone is new to the Pop Explosion, What should they know going in?

Do you have any insider tips?

– Wear comfortable shoes! There are 20 venues and a lot of ground and music to cover.
– Buy a battery case for your phone. You will be on the move for long periods of time and your phone will die before you get a chance to charge it.
– Buy a bracelet. It’s an incredible deal and allows you to flow from venue to venue to see as many bands as possible
– Be open minded and prepare yourself to discover bands you have never heard of. Many bands play HPX before they hit the mainstream. FEIST, Arcade Fire, K’Naan have all played the festival. We have a 22 year history in Halifax and we are dedicated to supporting amazing new music.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Well, meetings and phone calls take up a lot of my days. Same old story I guess… In many ways, producing a music festival is the same as running any business We just get to have a lot fun at our jobs.

Dream day?

I am very lucky to have the job I have. I love working in the music industry and I look forward to going to work everyday. What do they say? If you like what your do, you will never work a day in your life. Something like that. You know what I am saying.

What’s next?

We are about two weeks out from this year’s festival. In the immediate future, we hope to see as many music fans as possible enjoy the event. In the not so distant future, I think you will see even more all ages concerts at the festival, an even more diverse line up, more comedy and a continued commitment to quality, engaging musical events! 

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Remember – Tickets are available here.

I am ecstatic for Twin Shadow, among others. Check out the full lineup.

See you there!!