Kicking off February 27 with a performance by Beulah and closing out March 4 with the Bay Area return of Grandaddy, the festival will feature the usual plethora of local and emerging bands plus a film festival and educational panels.

Thanks to the number of bands participating this year, organizers are for the first time scheduling concurrent shows among the festival’s many club venues. But founder Kevin Arnold believes that shouldn’t force any painful choices for music fans.

“In the past we’ve been somewhat reluctant to do this so that people wouldn’t have to choose between two shows. But as the festival has grown in size and styles, it’s made more and more sense,” Arnold said.

“Our goal is to make these shows as different as possible so that choosing which one to see doesn’t present too much of a dilemma for the fans. But I have to admit, I’m going to have a hard time choosing myself,” Arnold admitted.

Among the acts already confirmed are Superchunk, Mark Eitzel, Girls Against Boys, Creeper Lagoon, Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, 764-HERO, Pedro the Lion, Zen Guerrilla, and for the ninth straight year, The Fastbacks.

In addition to the music, it will mark the second year for the Noise Pop Film Festival, which will feature music-themed documentaries, shorts and feature films. There will also be a schedule of forums March 4 – called the Noise Pop Educational Series – where fans and budding artists have the chance to quiz musicians and industry types for advice and pointers.

Clubs participating in this year’s festival include Bimbo’s 365 Club, the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Bottom of the Hill and CafĂ© du Nord.

If you can’t get to San Francisco for Noise Pop, not to worry – Chicago is making preparations for its second annual version, running May 9 – 13.