Ghost of Pop celebrates 10th anniversary

For the past decade, Ghost of Pop has focused on the often overlooked pop-rock community and serves as an early holiday gathering of musical friends and family.

This holiday season, Richmond will be visited by the ghost of local bands past.

Ghost of Pop, an annual music festival that features the best collection of indie-pop bands in the city, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, December 6th. According to founder and organizer Prabir Mehta, this year’s event will be full of magic. Lots and lots and lots of magic.

“No really,” he insists. “It’ll be a room filled with Richmond’s finest, and this event has turned into a holiday season kickoff. In a sense, that could be considered magic, really.”

For the past decade, Ghost of Pop has focused on the often overlooked pop-rock community and serves as an early holiday gathering of musical friends and family. New bands are allowed to shine while other installments serve as a band’s farewell. A personal favorite was when Prabir and the Substitutes set their instruments on fire and trashed the stage before breaking up in 2009.

The lineup for the 10th anniversary of Ghost of Pop includes Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover band Full Moon Fever. “Ghost of Pop 10 takes place on a full moon, so the choice of Full Moon Fever was a no brainer!” Mehta says.

Also playing are the original lineup for Andrew Leahey and the Homestead, Long Arms, the reunited members of The Animal Beat, and Adam Eubank.

“The idea is to get people from the music community to share the stage with one another in a capacity they may not have in the past, and I feel pretty good with this year’s line up in terms of that goal.”

Ghost of Pop 10 will once again be a benefit for HomeAgain, a local non-profit emergency shelter provider and homeless services agency. Mehta has worked closely with HomeAgain for the past 10 years and sees firsthand the good it does for the homeless community.

“HomeAgain is a fantastic organization that does one of the hardest jobs imaginable with no intention of accolades or acknowledgments. They do it because the work must be done,” he says. “A very dedicated group of individuals are hard at work around the clock all year long making sure that those in need from emergencies to long term health conditions don’t have to feel left out in the cold.”

Mehta says he never expected Ghost of Pop to last more than a year, let alone ten years. He says it never would have become anything without the support of the community.

“[I’m] always humbled and honored to be putting these on with such great people that are willing to give their time and energy to support a great cause which in turn helps make our world a better place to share with one another,” he says. “I’m thrilled to see this in its 10th year, and I’m hoping that this one will be the best one ever.”

With nine years of Ghost of Pop under his belt, Mehta is looking forward to this year’s milestone.

“Ten years! I don’t think it’s quite hit me just yet. I’m sure it will after the show when I get a moment to collect myself at Bamboo.”

Ghost of Pop 10 takes place at Gallery 5 on Saturday, December 6th. A $5 donation to HomeAgain gets you in. More info here.

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Andrew Cothern

Andrew Cothern is the founder and editor of RVA Playlist, a music site that showcases events, concerts, album, show reviews, and opinion pieces that focus on the vibrant local music scene in Richmond.

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