San Francisco's 16th annual Noise Pop festival, set to hit approximately 15 venues from Feb. 26 through March 2, will boast performances from the Magnetic Fields, the Mountain Goats, MSTRKRFT, Cursive, Stellastarr*, the Walkmen, Helio Sequence, Quasi, She & Him, Fu Manchu, Tilly & the Wall and
Blitzen Trapper, among others.

Jordan Kurland, who co-produces the festival alongside founder Kevin Arnold, is also owner of Zeitgeist Artist Management, which represents such acts as Death Cab For Cutie, Postal Service, Feist, Rogue Wave, Matt Nathanson and Bob Mould. Leading up to this year's Noise Pop, Kurland spoke with Billboard.biz about booking the festival, artist benefits and Noise Pop's connection with 2007's inaugural Treasure Island Music Festival, scheduled this year for Sept. 20-21 on a man-made island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

Explain your basic approach to booking Noise Pop?
Because of how touring is in general now, we have to start a little bit earlier every year to get things done. We put the pedal to the metal in September. We try to create the festival so that roughly 50% of the bands are local. We look at local bands that are potential headliners, and book national bands based on what records are coming out -- or bands that haven't played the festival before. We try not to repeat too often, unless there's a reason to.

What benefits do artists see from playing Noise Pop?
On a local level, it's an opportunity for them to play with national acts or in a room they wouldn't normally be able to play -- like the Great American Music Hall or the Fillmore. For a national act coming through town, the added value is the street promotion, radio and other press that comes out of it. We've seen lots of bands over the years that use Noise Pop as the springboard to jump to a 300- to 600-seater, because they can sell those extra tickets.

How do artists get paid?
The way we cut our deals is very different from every other festival. We pay bands market value, essentially. We take a slight fee off the top when we're renting a room, or the percentage might go down a little bit so we can cover the expenses. It's not like a South by Southwest or a CMJ where [the act is] getting paid $125 or $175. If a band comes in here and sells out Slim's, they're going to get paid like they sold out Slim's.

Does playing Noise Pop hurt a touring act's next play in the S.F. market?
It depends on how it happens. Since managing bands is my day job, I think it depends on how you build it. When we did the Flaming Lips show, they had a record coming out that week. They knew they were returning in the summer to play the Greek Theatre, a venue literally 10 times the size of where they were playing. So doing an under-play didn't hurt; it actually enhanced it.

If you're the main draw at the festival, you're probably not going back to that market three months later to play your own show. But since Noise Pop's motto has been, "Intimate shows in intimate settings," we encourage under-plays for bands that want to be in the market three months later.

In 2000 and 2001, you presented Noise Pop Chicago with booking agency the Billions Corporation. What happened with that?
Oh, man. It's a regret we didn't keep going with it. We did it in 2000 and it was fun. We actually made some money on it. Then we did it in 2001 and lost some money. In 2002, we were really burnt out. We were intending to do it again in 2003 but it never got off the ground. Chicago is a very difficult market to be a carpetbagger in. The focus now is building it [in San Francisco].

Noise Pop co-produced last year's inaugural two-day Treasure Island Music
Festival with Bay Area-based Another Planet Entertainment. Did the event
meet your expectations?

I think it exceeded everyone's expectations. We were fortunate to have an amazing weekend of weather -- the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. But the big wildcard was transportation, because we bussed everyone to the island. It went incredibly smoothly. We couldn't do the fairy, because the fairy dock wasn't handicap accessible. That's something we're working on for next time.

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