Feist announces departure from Arcade Fire tour over Win Butler sexual misconduct allegations

·2-min read

Feist will no longer support Arcade Fire on the Canadian band’s current tour.

Leslie Feist – who performs under her surname – shared the news on Twitter on Thursday (1 September), citing sexual misconduct allegations faced by Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler as the reason behind her decision.

Butler denies the allegations but has apologised “to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour”.

Feist opened for Arcade Fire’s first two concerts in Dublin, which took place 30 and 31 August (three days after the allegations broke) at the 3Arena, donating all proceeds from merch sales to Women’s Aid Dublin, an organisation dedicated to stopping domestic violence across Ireland.

In a lengthy statement, Feist wrote that she had read the news of the allegations facing Butler after rehearsing in the Irish capital.

“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,” the Canadian singer-songwriter wrote.

 (Feist/Twitter)
(Feist/Twitter)

“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.”

She continued: “To stay on tour would symbolize I was either defending or ignoring the harm caused by Win Butler and to leave would imply I was the judge and jury.

“[...] 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.”

Feist concluded: “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.”

Leslie Feist of the band Feist performs during Day 2 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)
Leslie Feist of the band Feist performs during Day 2 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

In a statement of their own, Arcade Fire responded to the Feist’s decision saying: “We are very sorry to see Leslie go home, but completely understand and respect her decision.”

Feist was scheduled to tour with Arcade Fire through the rest of September in Europe.

Speaking to Pitchfork, four people accused Butler of “inappropriate” actions between 2015 and 2020.

All fans of the band, they allege that they had sexual interactions with Butler when they were aged between 18 and 23. Butler at the time was between 36 and 39.

In a statement to the publication, Butler said that while he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour... these relationships were all consensual”.

“I f***ed up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences,” he said.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here