Controversial tour start for Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire kicked off their tour as planned in Dublin on Tuesday, despite sexual misconduct allegations against singer Win Butler, as a wave of ticket refund requests swept social media.

Posted at 2:16 p.m
Updated at 6:08 p.m

Josee Lapointe

Josee Lapointe
The press

In an article published Sunday, four people told American media pitchfork Being the victim of sexual misconduct by the leader of Arcade Fire. Claims refuted by Win Butler, who says he’s never been in a non-consensual relationship but has apologized for the pain it’s caused by not being “more aware and aware of the effect” he’s on people has.

After the publication of the text of pitchfork, there were numerous calls for the cancellation of the tour. But upon seeing that the group had decided to move on with the shows, several fans said they were unable to applaud them on stage or even cheer them on. Refund requests were rife on Twitter Tuesday, directly challenging the giant Ticketmaster.

However, a few hours before the start of the show, the two concerts in Dublin were still being held up by producer MCD Productions, with no possibility of reimbursement for people who no longer wanted to be there.

At the opening of the evening at 6:30 p.m., the Canadian singer Feist took the stage as planned. Proceeds from the sale of her goods will be donated to Women’s Aid Dublin, says a small poster hanging from her was standing.

Arcade Fire then took the stage at Dublin’s 3Arena to a cheering crowd and some empty seats and started the show without commenting on the situation.

The group, which performed in Osheaga a few weeks ago, is scheduled to do about 40 shows in Europe and the United States this fall. The trip wethe title of their latest album, is scheduled to end on December 3rd at the Bell Center in Montreal.

We asked evenko, who hosts the show, if cancellation would be considered. “We are currently reviewing the situation,” we were told in an email. The same goes for refund requests: “We will review any requests for refunds. »


David Seligman is Artistic Director of Pop Montreal, an event that has been closely associated with Arcade Fire since its inception. It would be very surprising for him if their tour was cancelled. “Millions are being invested there, that’s impossible. Even if the tape cancel himself, he could be prosecuted! »

He understands that fans be angry, but he thinks there are many other ways to make it known. “You can boycott the band, go to the show and yell at them… Look at Feist, she’s going to donate all the money from her merchandise sales to a women’s charity in Dublin. »

He admits it, he too is overwhelmed by the revelations he reads pitchfork. Especially since it was predictable given the culture that reigns in the music industry.

“This rock star lifestyle… You can’t treat people like that, you have to treat them with respect and dignity. The problem is that they are surrounded by people who close their eyes, who cover themselves up, who let things happen, who are afraid to speak up. »

During a 2016 event organized by Pop Montreal, Pop vs Jock, a fundraiser for a basketball organization the group had been involved with for years, Win Butler would have met one of the four people speaking to Pitchfork. Reading this information hurt David Seligman very badly.

“It’s hard to understand that he used his coming to target an 18-year-old young woman. »

This is also the last time Pop Montreal has collaborated with the group that grew up with them – it was the festival that presented their big free show at the Place des Festivals in 2011, following their Grammys win.


Arcade Fire during his big show at Place des Festivals as part of Pop Montreal in 2011.

“We have a long history with that tape, we have achieved great things, says David Seligman. But the last time the relationship was not very good. People didn’t feel comfortable, there was language abuse. That’s not what we want as an organization. We felt like it wasn’t good anymore fit, so we decided not to work with them anymore. »

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