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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Rachael Davies

Feist quits Arcade Fire tour amid sexual misconduct allegations against Win Butler

Singer-songwriter Feist has quit as the supporting act for Arcade Fire’s world tour, after misconduct allegations against singer Win Butler emerged on Saturday August 27.

Butler has denied the claims of four people that allege he touched them without consent and sent them unwanted texts of a sexual nature.

The allegations emerged just before the world tour began of which Feist had played the first two dates.

On September 1, the singer announced she would be leaving the tour and returning home.

Feist started off her post by confirming that she found out about the allegations at the same time as the public and that her decision is “the best way to take care of my band and crew and my family”.

Music publication Pitchfork first broke the news about the allegations against Butler, where three women and one gender-fluid person accused the singer of incidents between 2015 and 2020, when Butler was between 34 and 39 years old.

Win Butler has denied all allegations against him (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to Pitchfork, Butler denied all allegations and said all sexual interactions with these individuals were consensual. He also apologised “to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour”.

In a statement shared across social media platforms, Feist said that the last few days had been “incredibly difficult” and she said she is looking to “distance myself from this tour, not this conversation”.

“I read the same headline you did,” wrote the singer. “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 this 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.”

Canadian musician Feist has dropped out of her supporting slot on the Arcade Fire tour, following allegations of sexual misconduct against the band’s singer, Win Butler (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

The multi-Grammy award nominee explained that the allegations had left her with an ethical dilemma.

“To stay on tour would symbolise I was defending Win Butler and to leave would imply I was the judge and jury,” she said.

For the opening dates of Arcade Fire’s tour in Dublin, Feist donated her proceeds to the local chapter of Women’s Aid, which helps victims of domestic abuse.

“The last two nights on stage, my songs made this decision [to leave] for me,” she wrote. “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.”

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