Arcade Fire started the UK leg of their "WE" tour in Dublin last night (August 30), despite frontman Win Butler being the subject of sexual misconduct allegations, all of which he has denied.
Feist opened for the show as planned, but has committed to donating all proceeds earned from her merch sales to the local chapter of Women’s Aid.
As shown in a photo making the rounds on social media, Feist’s merchandise stall was adorned with a flyer that read: “All proceeds from Feist merchandise will be donated to Women’s Aid Dublin." The Canadian singer-songwriter has yet to publicly acknowledge the move—or the accusations levelled against Butler. However, she has been absent from social media altogether since early May.
Reactions online have been mixed. On Twitter, writer Adam Grimord-Isham described Feist’s decision to donate her earnings from the show – as opposed to removing herself from the tour altogether – as “a shitshow”, while pop-culture journalist Jill Krajewski wrote: “Business as usual after a red-hot sexual assault and misconduct investigation? Not very nice of you. "
As replies to Krajewski’s tweet have pointed out, though, Feist may not be able to remove herself from the tour (or speak out on the situation with Butler) due to contractual obligations. Fellow journalist Alheli Picazo has opined that “people should call on Arcade Fire to proactively release” the artist from her contract, raising the question on the issue: “What can or should she reasonably be expected to do?”
Arcade Fire’s "WE" tour continues tonight (August 31) with a second show in Dublin, which Feist is also scheduled to open. It’s unknown at the time of writing if she plans to also donate tonight’s merchandise earnings to Women’s Aid, or if she’ll be doing the same across the entirety of the tour (which is slated to run until the start of October). NME has reached out to representatives of Feist for clarification and comment.
As per the organisation’s website, Women’s Aid is “a leading national organisation that has been working in Ireland to stop domestic violence against women and children since 1974”.
Reports of Butler’s alleged sexual misconduct emerged last Saturday, when Pitchfork published an investigation wherein four people accused the frontman of “inappropriate” actions. Butler replied to the allegations in a lengthy statement of his own, claiming he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour” but maintaining that “these relationships were all consensual”.