- 31 Aug 22
The first of Arcade Fire's two nights in Dublin kicked off last night.
Despite frontman Win Butler facing four allegations of sexual misconduct (which he has denied), it seems Arcade Fire are continuing with their UK and Ireland tour as planned.
The WE Tour started out in Dublin last night, August 30, with opening act Feist.
Twitter was aglow with discourse around the tour, so when user @KevFreeburn posted a picture of the Canadian singer's merch stand, where a notice informing customers that all proceeds from merch sold would be donated to Women's Aid was hung, naturally, it was noticed.
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
The Canadian singer-songwriter has yet to publicly acknowledge the decision or speak about the accusations against Butler – it is also unclear if this will be continued across the tour, or if she will even complete the tour. This is unsurprising, however, as the singer has been absent from social media altogether since early May.
Reactions to this have been mixed across social media, with some praising the action, and others thinking this wasn't enough from the singer. Pop-culture journalist Jill Krajewski posted on Twitter, saying: “Yikes at Feist still opening for Arcade Fire. Business as usual after a red-hot sexual assault and misconduct investigation? Not very twee of you.”
There's been speculation as to whether Feist's tour contract prevents her from backing out of the tour, with many fans saying they must now call on Arcade Fire to release her from her contract. Alheli Picazo wrote: "Those in the music industry will know/understand better than anyone else the constraints Feist finds herself in.
"If anything, I think people should call on Arcade Fire to proactively release Feist from any contractual obligations. She can then make a free choice."
This is an interesting dilemma: Feist is contractually obligated to open for Arcade Fire.
In the wake of the allegations/revelations about sexual misconduct by Win Butler, what can or should she reasonably be expected to do? https://t.co/2F7BtnhPwW
— Alheli Picazo (@a_picazo) August 30, 2022
Reports of Butler’s alleged sexual misconduct emerged when Pitchfork published an investigation on Saturday, disclosing accusations of "inappropriate" actions by the frontman to four people. The Arcade Fire lead singer replied to the allegations in a lengthy statement, saying he was "very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour" but maintaining that “these relationships were all consensual."
Ticket holders have called on Ticketmaster to issue refunds for the bands UK and Ireland tour unsuccessfully. Some fans of the band have attended the shows anyway, given the cost of tickets and hotel stays. One such fan, Olivia Chau, decided to live tweet the show, which gained a lot of online traction. One of Chau's tweets said: "Trying to process the whole gig. I really thought more people would be protesting, not showing up to the show, etc. My only though is that a lot of people didn't see the article like we did. Maybe they don't follow Pitchfork or are even on Twitter, etc."
She moves on to say: "I tried to put the news out of my head because I love the band so much, but found it really hard to switch off. I was sad during the show cos I know I won't see them again. Like a lot of people, we came because we weren't going to get refunds."
Decided to come to Arcade Fire. We are in Dublin anyway. It’s fairly empty. It’s still early. Will report more.
— Olivia Chau (@olliechau) August 30, 2022
In response to Chau's thread, another fan chimed in saying: "I found it really strange. Felt like I was saying goodbye to them or something. The mood was tense. They were very good to be fair. Just couldn't see 90 euro go to waste."
There were mixed reactions to the crowds who attended regardless of the news, with some claiming that the allegations are just the life of a rock star, and some unable to bring themselves to attend the show, and of course, some in between.
This would have been my 10th Arcade Fire show. I’ve seen them play in various cities around the world, but tonight I just couldn’t be arsed going and trying to enjoy it. I think there are a lot of people who didn’t know about the allegations.
— James Mc C (@mccreesj) August 30, 2022
A notable tweet to mention was posted by Helen Cullen, who said: "It really annoys me that there is so much focus on why Feist hasn’t pulled out of the Arcade Fire shows. Apart from the fact that it’s probably contractually very difficult, Win is the problem, not Leslie so can we stop always pivoting to punishing women for the failings of men?
"I understand all the arguments about enabling/supporting but we have no idea what is going on behind the scenes in terms of Feist so the ire directed at her seems really misplaced to me! I’m sure it will all come out in the wash - it usually always does!"
Arcade Fire also set to play to play the 3Arena, Dublin tonight, August 31.