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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jenna Campbell

Arcade Fire support act drops out of tour ahead of Manchester show after allegations against frontman Win Butler

Singer-songwriter Feist has announced that she will no longer fulfil the support slot on Arcade Fire's world tour, after the band's frontman was accused of sexual misconduct.

Win Butler has faced allegations of inappropriate sexual interactions days before the indie-rockers embarked on their world tour. An investigation by American music website Pitchfork alleged the singer behaved inappropriately and sent unwanted sexual messages to four people between 2015 and 2020.

Butler has vehemently denied anything non-consensual took place, adding he was ‘very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour’. He insists any suggestion of wrongdoing is ‘deeply revisionist and frankly just wrong for anyone to suggest otherwise’.

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Feist, who's full name is Leslie Feist, played the first two dates of the world tour in Dublin earlier this week, before deciding to "go home". In a statement shared to social media she said she learned of the allegations at the same time as everyone else and that the best way to take care of herself, her band, crew and family was to "distance" herself.

She wrote: "I read the same headline as you did, We didn't have any time to prepare for what was coming let alone a chance to decide not to fly across the ocean into the belly of the situation. This has been incredibly difficult for me and I can only imagine how much more difficult it's been for the people who came forward. More than anything I wish healing to those involved."

The singer, who has been nominated for multiple music awards over the years, said that the allegations have "ignited a conversation that is bigger than me" , and has been trying to assess her responsibility and role. She continued: "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."

Feist was due to open for Arcade Fire at their gig at Manchester Arena this Saturday. In her statement, she then went on to explain her decision to remove herself and her band from the world tour. "The last two nights on stage, my songs made the decision for me. Hearing them through the lens was incongruous with what I've worked to clarify myself though my whole career.

"I've always written songs to name my own subtle difficulties, aspire to be my best self and claim responsibility when I need to. And I am claiming my responsibility now and going home."

Since the allegations were made, Arcade Fire have faced calls to scrap their tour, but have so far continued to play, with a date in Manchester scheduled for this Saturday. Beck is due to support the band's American leg of the tour, and has thus far not responded to the situation.

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