Montreal’s Arcade Fire have just announced that they’ll be playing a free show at the Quartier des Spectacles‘ Place des Festivals on September 22, 2011. The show, part of Pop Montreal‘s 10th anniversary festival, is a tip of the cap to their hometown. “Our band couldn’t exist without Montreal,” says the band’s Régine Chassagne. “After having had the chance to tour extensively around the world, we’re very excited to finally come home. And to do so the Montreal way, we hoped to play a free outside show, on the very last day of summer as a big ‘Thank you’ to the beautiful city we love so much…”
“We’re happy to be a part of the 10th anniversary of POP Montreal,” continues Chassagne. “And we’re proud to play a role in the French release of Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains (Soulever les montagnes)- a book that has influenced our lives and our careers. Hoping to see you at the show… we’re crossing our fingers for great weather.” The rumour of this show has been floating around the city for months now and today the details were finally announced on Pop Montreal’s website, with the wonderful news that Montreal’s Karkwa will be opening things up.
I’m not sure that it’s possible to have a better year than Arcade Fire did, winning album of the year awards at The Junos, The Brits and The Grammys for their latest release, The Suburbs. They’ve also continued to prove that they are a band determined to use their success to make a real difference. To accompany the French version of Mountains Beyond Mountains (Soulever les montagnes), which profiles one of the founders of Partners In Health, Paul Farmer, the band is offering this deal: the first 100 people to make a $200+ donation to KANPE (a Montreal-based partner of PIH) will receive 2 passes to the show’s VIP area and a copy of the book. (You can also get VIP access to the show by purchasing a Pop Montreal Super Pass).
Another totally cool part of this event is that it is happening during In Town, Without my Car, which is a celebration of all manners of public transportation, something Montrealers do all year. And, honestly, driving to a concert attended by thousands of other people in the middle of downtown Montreal is a fool’s erand. But you can say you did it for a good cause.
While this is bound to be one of the biggest events of the year in Montreal, the connection to Pop Montreal should not be lost here. Like Arcade Fire, this is a festival with an international reputation that continues to thrive because it is run by great, forward-thinking people with a goal of representing the real Montreal in the most wonderful of ways. Come for the Arcade Fire, but stay for the Pop MTL.
Pop Montreal, September 21-25, 2011
Photo Credit: Anton Corbijn