Three days after the start of the Arcade Fire tour, for which she provided the opening act, Canadian musician Leslie Feist has withdrawn amid sexual misconduct allegations against singer Win Butler. She says she has to “take [s]Distances from this tour, not from this conversation”.
Updated yesterday at 3:52pm.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Feist said she learned of the allegations after a rehearsal while she and her band were already in Dublin, where Arcade Fire’s tour kicked off on Tuesday. The news obviously came as a shock to her. “We haven’t had time to prepare for what’s to come, let alone decide not to cross the ocean into the eye of the storm. »
However, she reacted promptly: from the very first concert she decided to donate the profits from the sale of her promotional items to the Irish organization Women’s Aid, which helps women who have been victims of violence. However, she says she was caught in a major dilemma: “Continuing the tour would have symbolized that I defended Win Butler or that I was unaware of the harm he caused and to withdraw implied that I was both judge and jury. »
The allegations sparked “a conversation bigger than me, bigger than my songs, and certainly bigger than any rock ‘n’ roll tour,” she continued. Feist states in his post that he, like everyone else, has had experiences that “fall on the spectrum from toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny” and that can extend to physical, psychological, emotional, or sexual aggression. That the road to recovery from abuse is strewn with loneliness. “I can’t solve this by walking [la tournée], I can’t fix this by staying. But it can’t go on like this,” she said.
“I am imperfect and I will be navigating this decision imperfectly, but I am certain that the best way to take care of my band, team and family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation.” she writes again.
Feist opened Arcade Fire’s two concerts in Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hearing his own songs in this context seemed completely incoherent to him. “I’ve always written songs that address my own struggles, strived to be the best possible version of myself and take responsibility when necessary,” she concludes. I take responsibility and go home. »
Feist’s withdrawal comes just days after the publication of the US magazine pitchfork an investigation that included allegations that Win Butler, 42, had inappropriate relationships with four people. The singer didn’t deny the relationship, but assured that they are all amicable.
The publication of the survey pitchfork sparked calls for the cancellation of the Arcade Fire tour, which is scheduled to end December 3 in Montreal. Nothing at the moment indicates that the group or the organizers are questioning this. Boycott calls have also been launched in the past few days. Most notably, CBC Music announced on Tuesday that it would stop broadcasting the group’s songs.