Despite the allegations of sexual misconduct that surfaced against Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler last weekend, the band is still continuing with their 2022 tour as scheduled, beginning on Tuesday in Dublin, Ireland. Opening act Feist is still joining them, but she’ll be donating proceeds from her merch sales to Women’s Aid Dublin.
At the time of publishing this article, Feist hasn’t posted about her donation plans on any of her social media, but photos of her merch table were posted on Twitter, indicating that all proceeds from her merch sold that night would be going to Women’s Aid, which provides a number of resources to domestic abuse survivors in and around Dublin.
On August 27th, Pitchfork published a detailed report about the accusations against Butler. The alleged misconduct took place between 2015 and 2020, when the victims ranged in age between 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. Pitchfork viewed screenshots of messages shared between Butler and the victims, and also spoke to friends and family members who recalled being told about the incidents.
In a written statement to Pitchfork, Butler said that while he did have relationships with the four individuals, they were entirely consensual. “I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false. I vehemently deny any suggestion that I forced myself on a woman or demanded sexual favors. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened,” he said.
Butler contended each allegation with his own recollection of the events. “While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior,” he went on. “Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else’s pain.”
Butler also cited his declining mental health and reliance on alcohol over the period of time the allegations took place. “In my 30s, I started drinking as I dealt with the heaviest depression of my life after our family experienced a miscarriage,” he added. “None of this is intended to excuse my behavior, but I do want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around this time. I no longer recognized myself or the person I had become.”
Butler’s wife and Arcade Fire bandmate Régine Chassagne also issued a statement, writing: “I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did. He has lost his way and he has found his way back. I love him and love the life we have created together,” she said.
Arcade Fire’s extensive tour is in support of their recent album WE. Scheduled to conclude December 1st, Beck also serves as an opening act alongside Feist.
Feist is donating proceeds from the merch at the Arcade Fire show tonight to Women’s Aid Dublin pic.twitter.com/36Q3lyYXSL
— kevin freeburn (@KevFreeburn) August 30, 2022