After four people stepped forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Win Butler, Feist has announced she has dropped out of Arcade Fire’s upcoming tour.
Feist released a statement on her social media platforms sharing how they came to the decision, telling fans she learned of the allegations after rehearsing in Dublin. “We didn’t have 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,” she said.
Feist opened for Arcade Fire during their first two shows in Dublin, taking place Aug. 30-31 at 3Arena. Feist donated all her merchandise proceeds to Women’s Aid in Dublin, which is dedicated to helping stop domestic violence across Ireland. She was to open for the band throughout the entirety of their European tour before dropping out.
“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,” her statement read. “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 be my best self and claim responsibility when I need to. And I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home.”
News of the allegations against Butler broke last weekend with an Aug. 27 report from Pitchfork in which 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.” Pitchfork also reported that a “fourth person, who is gender-fluid and uses they/them pronouns, claims that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, when they were 21 and he was 34.”
Butler responded to the allegations with a statement provided to Pitchfork claiming the relations were consensual, writing, “While these relations were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior. Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else’s pain.” The full statement can be read here.
New York-based crisis public relations expert Risa Heller also sent Pitchfork a written statement from Butler’s wife and bandmate, singer and multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne, in which she defended Butler.
Read Feist’s full statement below.