Singer-songwriter Feist announced on Thursday that she is leaving Arcade Fire's tour in light of allegations that Win Butler, the band's lead vocalist and instrumentalist, sexually abused three women and assaulted a nonbinary person.
Leslie Feist, who performs under her last name, opened for the indie rock group to kick off their We tour in Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday. In a message posted on her website and social media, she wrote that she learned about the allegations the same way the rest of the world did: through a story published on Saturday by Pitchfork detailing the allegations.
"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 online music news site reported that Butler allegedly made unwanted sexual advances and demands toward three women who were Arcade Fire fans between 2016 and 2020. A fourth person claimed that Butler sexually assaulted them in a car and at their home in 2015 when they were 21 and he was 34.
Butler has denied the accusations, saying that his interactions with the four people were consensual.
A representative for Butler did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment regarding Feist's departure.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Arcade Fire said they were "very sorry to see Leslie go home," but added that they "completely understand and respect her decision."
Though some fans wrote on social media about skipping the show in Dublin, others who attended told the Irish Times they were either unaware of the allegations or put them out of mind in order to enjoy the concert. Meanwhile, radio stations in the band's home country of Canada said they would stop playing Arcade Fire's music for the time being.
The group is set to continue their tour on Friday with a show in Birmingham, England.
Feist said that since the story broke she's been trying to get her "bearings" and figure out her "responsibility in this situation," saying that the conversation around the allegations is "bigger than any rock and roll tour."
"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 wrote.
The 46-year-old Canadian musician said she could relate to the experiences reported on by Pitchfork. "We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally or sexually assaulted," Feist wrote.
"There isn't a singular path to heal when you’ve endured any version of the above, nor a singular path to rehabilitate the perpetrators," she added. "It can be a lonely road to make sense of ill treatment. I can't solve that by quitting, and I can't solve it by staying. But I can't continue."
Performing in Dublin made the decision for her, she said, writing that hearing her songs "through this lens was incongruous" with what she's worked toward throughout her career.
"I’ve always written songs to name my own subtle difficulties, aspire to my best self and claim responsibility when I need to," she said. "And I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home."