Members of Arcade Fire and The Strokes battle it out on the basketball court for charity

By Allison Rivers

Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler and The Strokes’ bassist Nikolai Fraiture are preparing to battle it out on the basketball court for charity. The second annual POP vs. Jock charity basketball game will take place September 22 at the POP Montreal International Music Festival. Butler will lead Team POP, comprised of musicians and entertainers including Fraiture and actor Martin Starr (“Freaks and Geeks,” “Party Down”) against Team Jock, made up of star basketball players from McGill and Concordia Universities.

Butler’s height (he’s 6’4”) and competitive streak combine with his notorious basketball skills will likely make him a fierce competitor. He takes his basketball seriously and has been known to shoot hoops to relax before shows. During the charity basketball tournament Rock the Court last year, Butler even beat NBA player Matt Bonner in a three-point shooting competition. According to, Butler is a “noted basketball junkie who has long been rumored to have the best game in indie-rock.” That being said, this matchup should be an interesting one.

Butler’s bandmate and wife Régine Chassagne will make a return appearance to provide this year’s organ accompaniment to the basketball competition. David Byrne & Moment Factory will provide the halftime performance.

The event, held at the McGill University Sports Center, will benefit DJ Sports Club, a non-profit youth club focusing on sport, educational, social, and recreation programs for kids in Montreal aged 7-17. Founder and director Dexter O. John grew up in the inner-city himself and understands the urgency of such a program in Montreal. “I knew the [importance] of having a productive place as an alternative to the streets,” he says. “DJ Sports Club is that productive place where hundreds of youth are learning life skills to become effective citizens and leaders.”

Now in its 10th year, POP Montreal International Music Festival takes place September 19 – 23 and is an annual not-for-profit curated cultural event that champions independence in the arts by presenting emerging and celebrated artistic talents from around the world. It will feature symposium discussions, art exhibitions, film screenings and fashion shows, and showcase more than 600 artists this year include Grizzly Bear, Dirty Three, Hot Snakes, Lil B and more.

What’s more, Converse will bring a Rubber Tracks pop-up studio to the festival where local Canadian artists can record at no cost, and will be sponsoring music and skateboarding events at the festival. “Since the studio opened in Brooklyn in July 2011, Converse Rubber Tracks has provided emerging artists the opportunity to record in a state-of-the art studio at no cost,” says Jed Lewis, Converse Music Marketing Director. “Converse created the studio as a means to support and facilitate an artist’s self-expression.”

Tickets for the POP vs JOCK event supporting DJ Sports Club are available here.

Click here more information about POP Montreal and the complete lineup.

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