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Feist performs during the Polaris Music Prize gala in Toronto on September 18, 2017. The singer says she's leaving Arcade Fire's "We" tour due to sexual misconduct allegations against lead singer Win Butler.Chris Donovan/The Canadian Press

Canadian musician Leslie Feist says she’s leaving Arcade Fire’s tour due to sexual misconduct allegations against lead singer Win Butler.

Feist had been booked as the opening act on the European leg of the indie rock band’s tour in support of their latest album WE, which kicked off in Dublin on Tuesday. Feist was scheduled to perform with the Montreal band until early October.

The tour went ahead just days after U.S. music publication Pitchfork ran an article containing allegations that the 42-year-old musician had inappropriate sexual interactions with four people from 2015 to 2020.

In an Instagram post, Feist wrote that the allegations have “ignited a conversation that is bigger than me, it’s bigger than my songs and it’s certainly bigger than any rock and roll tour.”

Feist performed the first two shows of the tour, where fans said there was a sign at her merch table noting that she would donate all proceeds from merchandise to Women’s Aid Dublin, an organization that is dedicated to stopping domestic violence across Ireland.

In her Instagram post, Feist writes that she first heard the allegations after rehearsing with her band in Dublin. “This has been incredibly difficult for me and I can’t imagine how much more difficult it’s been for the people who came forward,” she wrote. “More than anything I wish healing to those involved.”

In her lengthy post, Feist also wrote about having conversations with many people since the allegations broke over the weekend. “We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally and sexually assaulted.” She wrote that the best decision for herself, band and family is to leave the tour: “I can’t continue.”

Dozens of female musicians, including Jenny Lewis, Peaches, Gracie Abrams, Land of Talk and Ralph, liked and replied with heart emojis to Feist’s Instagram post.

Other musicians have shared their support for Feist’s decision on social media, including Montreal-based indie rock band Stars’ Torquil Campbell.

Pitchfork reported this weekend that three women allege Mr. Butler engaged in sexual interactions that were inappropriate because of gaps in age and power dynamics, while one gender-fluid person who uses they/them pronouns accused Mr. Butler of sexually assaulting them. The allegations span from 2015 to 2020, and were made by people who were between the ages of 18 and 23 at the time, while Mr. Butler was in his mid-to-late 30s.

In a statement provided to The Globe and Mail by Mr. Butler’s public relations team, he “vehemently” denied any non-consensual behaviour, but apologized to anyone he had hurt. “While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour,” said Mr. Butler in the statement. He also said that while he has long struggled from childhood abuse and depression after a miscarriage in his family, neither was an excuse for his actions.

In wake of the allegations, Canadian radio stations have been pulling Arcade Fire’s music. A representative for CBC says the broadcaster will “pause” playing the band on its CBC Music FM radio station and the Sirius XM channel CBC Radio 3, “until we learn more about the situation.” The alternative music station Indie88 also confirmed they would no longer be playing the band.

The band’s sixth studio album WE was released in May, 2022, and debuted at number six on the US Billboard 200 chart.

- With reports from The Canadian Press

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