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02nd Sep 2022

Feist announces departure from Arcade Fire tour following Win Butler allegations

Sarah McKenna Barry

“The best way to take care of my band and crew and my family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation.”

Feist has announced her departure as the supporting act on Arcade Fire’s world tour, following four accusations of sexual misconduct made against the band’s lead singer Win Butler.

An article by Pitchfork reported on four accounts from people who claimed that their interactions with Butler were inappropriate due to gaps in age, power dynamics and the “context in which they occurred”. One of the people interviewed claimed that Win sexually assaulted them on two occasions.

Win admitted to having sexual relations with all four people, but claimed that they were all consensual, and not initiated by him.

The Pitchfork article broke just days before Arcade Fire opened their tour with two nights in the 3Arena.

On Tuesday, singer Feist donated her merchandise sales to Women’s Aid, an Irish domestic abuse charity. Last night, she issued a statement announcing her departure from the tour entirely.

In a post on Twitter, she wrote that she learned about the allegations at the same time as everyone else, and she said she hopes for “healing” for those the situation affects.

She wrote: “This has ignited a conversation that is bigger than me, it’s bigger than my songs and it’s certainly bigger than any rock and roll tour. To stay on tour would symbolise I was either defending or ignoring the harm caused by Win Butler and to leave would imply I was the judge and jury.”

She went on to say: “I’m imperfect and I will navigate this decision imperfectly, but what I’m sure of is the best way to take care of my band and crew and my family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation.

“The last two nights on stage, my songs made this decision for me. Hearing them through this lens was incongruous with what I’ve worked to clarify for myself through my whole career.

“I’ve always written songs to name my own subtle differences, aspire to my best self and claim responsibility when I need to. And I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home.”

If you have been affected affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact Women’s Aid 24/7 on 1800 341 900 or the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.