Canadian musician Feist has announced that she will be dropping out of her supporting slot on Arcade Fire’s current tour, following on from the allegations of sexual misconduct against Win Butler, the band’s frontman.
Feist, whose full name is Leslie Feist, had opened for Arcade Fire on their recently launched European tour on 30 and 31 August.
The musician said that the decision had been an “incredibly difficult” one, but ultimately the best thing for herself, band, crew and family, would be to “distance myself from this tour [but] not this conversation”.
This is everything you need to know.
What did Feist say?
Feist shared a statement on her Twitter account on Thursday evening making the announcement that she would be leaving the world tour.
She said that the situation has been “incredibly difficult for me and I can only imagine how much more difficult it’s been for the people who came forward”.
Feist said: “As I tried to get my bearings and figure out my responsibility in this situation, I received dozens of messages from the people around me, expressing sympathy for the dichotomy I have been pushed into.
“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 goes on to say: “We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally or sexually assaulted.
“This situation touches each of our lives and speaks to us in a language unique to each of our processing. There isn’t a singular path to heal when you’ve endured any version of the above, nor a singular path to rehabilitate the perpetrators.
“It can be a lonely road to make sense of ill treatment. I can’t solve that by quitting, and I can’t solve it by staying. But I can’t continue.”
Fiest ended the statement by sharing: “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 difficulties, aspire to my best self and claim responsibility when I need to.
“And I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home.”
What are the allegations against Win Butler?
A number of allegations against Butler have recently surfaced, however his wife, and fellow bandmate, Régine Chassagne has said that she supports him and will stand by him.
On Saturday 27 August, an investigation carried out by Pitchfork revealed four people who made accusations against the singer.
The publication reported: “Three women made allegations of sexual interactions with Butler that they came to feel were inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred.
“All three women were devoted Arcade Fire fans between the ages of 18 and 23 at the start of their interactions with Butler, which took place during overlapping periods from 2016 to 2020, when he was between 36 and 39.”
Pitchfork also revealed that a fourth person, who is gender fluid and uses they/them pronouns, had claimed that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, when they were 21 and Butler was 34.
They said that they were assaulted once whilst in a car with Butler, and again when he turned up at their flat despite being told not to.
How has Win Butler responded to the allegations?
When Pitchfork reached out to Butler regarding the accusations, he responded through the New York based crisis public relations expert Risa Heller.
He has released two written statements to Pitchfork - in the first, Butler acknowledged having sexual interactions with the four individuals making the allegations, however maintained that they were all consensual and they had not originally been initiated by him.
In a second, lengthy statement to the outlet, Butler addresses the allegations and apologises numerous times.
He explained that he had had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage” and that his relationship with Chassagne had “in the past, been more unconventional than some”.
“While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour,” Butler continued.
“Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else’s pain.”
At the end of his statement, Butler said: “As I look to the future, I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and working hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of.
“I say to you all my friends, family, to anyone I have hurt and to the people who love my music and are shocked and disappointed by this report: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the pain I caused - I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware and tuned in to the effect I have on people - I f**ked up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences.
“I can do better and I will do better.”
What has Régine Chassagne said?
At the end of one of Butler’s statements provided to Pitchfork, Chassagne also included a passage of support for her husband.
It said: “Win is my soulmate, my songwriting partner, my husband, the father of my beautiful boy. He has been my partner in life and in music for 20 years. And for all of the love in our lives, I have also watched him suffer through immense pain.
“I have stood by him because I know he is a good man who cares about this world, our band, his fans, friends, and our family. I’ve known Win since before we were “famous,” when we were just ordinary college students.
“I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did.
“He has lost his way and he has found his way back. I love him and love the life we have created together.”
Are Arcade Fire going to keep touring?
Despite mounting calls for the band to cancel their current European tour, Arcade Fire have not yet made any indication that they will end their tour early.
If the tour continues to go ahead as planned, the band will visit cities like Glasgow, Manchester and London before embarking on the rest of Europe.
The schedule for their European tour goes as follows:
- 2 September, Utilita Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
- 3 September, AO Arena, Manchester
- 5 September, OVO Hydro, Glasgow
- 8 September, The O2, London
- 11 September, Zenith Arena de Lille, Lille, France
- 12 September, Sportpaleis Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium
- 14 September, LANXESS Arena, Cologne, Germany
- 15 September, AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France
- 17 September, Mediolanum Forum, Assago, Italy
- 18 September, Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany
- 21 September, WiZink Center, Madrid, Spain
- 22 and 23 September, Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal
- 25 September, Arkea Arena, Floirac, France
- 26 September, Zenith Nantes Metropole, Nantes, France
- 28 September, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 29 September, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
- 1 October, Torwar, Warsaw, Poland
After their Poland gig, Arcade Fire are then scheduled to tour the US in November.