Leslie Feist (best known to fans as Feist) has made the decision to relinquish her role as the support act for Arcade Fire on their current European tour. This news comes less than a week after four people came forward to accuse the group’s lead vocalist, Win Butler, of repeated sexual misconduct.
Feist announced her decision via a post on Instagram, explaining that she first learned of the allegations against Butler while rehearsing with her band in Dublin for the current leg of Arcade Fire’s tour. “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 said. “More than anything I wish healing to those involved.”
Feist has explained her decision to depart the current Arcade Fire tour:
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As she continued, Feist noted that the news had “ignited a conversation that is bigger than me”, leaving her forced to weigh up what message her actions would convey. “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,” she said. “I was never here to stand for or with Arcade Fire.”
Feist said she understands that her decision to either stay or depart the Arcade Fire tour would not offer resolution for anyone involved, but she wanted to make the best decision for herself, her family, and her crew.
“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 said. “The last two nights on stage, my songs made this decision for me.
“Hearing them through this lens was incongrucus [sic] 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.”
The allegations against Butler came to light over the weekend, with a report from Pitchfork revealing that three women and one gender noncomforming person had claimed to have had sexual interactions with Butler that were allegedly “inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred.”
Butler responded to Pitchfork’s investigation, admitting through a spokesperson that the encounters did occur, but arguing that the relationships were all consensual. Both Butler and his wife, Arcade Fire co-leader and multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne, shared statements in regards to the allegations.
Pitchfork’s complete investigation can be read on the publication’s website.