https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2022/08/29/fans-call-on-arcade-fire-to-cancel-tour-following-sexual-misconduct-allegations-against-win-butler.html

Win Butler, the frontman for the beloved Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple people.

The bombshell report, published by Pitchfork on Saturday, rocked the music world over the weekend, and raised questions about the status of the band’s upcoming stadium tour, which includes two dates at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto in December this year.

The Grammy-winning band, which formed in Montreal over two decades ago, last performed at Osheaga Festival in their hometown in July. According to their website, the band’s world tour is set to begin on Tuesday in Dublin, Ireland.

The three-month tour, which concludes at the Bell Centre in Montreal, will proceed as planned.

Three women allege Butler’s sexual misconduct occurred between 2016 and 2020, when they were between the ages of 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. A fourth accuser, who identifies as gender-fluid and uses they/them pronouns, alleges that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, when they were 21 and he was 34.

Butler, who has been married to fellow Arcade Fire member Regine Chassagne since 2003, denied the allegations, saying that he had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage,” according to statements he provided to Pitchfork.

“As I look to the future, I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and working hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of,” Butler said in the statement, which was sent by the New York-based crisis public relations expert Risa Heller.

Butler provided a second statement to Pitchfork, in which he said he was dealing with drinking and depression.

“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse. In my 30s, I started drinking as I dealt with the heaviest depression of my life after our family experienced a miscarriage. None of this is intended to excuse my behaviour, but I do want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around this time.”

Chassagne also released a statement through a PR expert supporting Butler’s perspective.

On Twitter, many fans inquired about potential refunds for the upcoming tour.

Others expressed their disappointment in Butler’s alleged behaviour and his response to the Pitchfork report.

Arcade Fire rose to prominence in the 2000s, starting with the seminal album “Funeral” in 2004. They have since released five additional studio albums, including “WE” from earlier this year.

In 2011, the band’s third album “The Suburbs” won the Album of the Year at both the Grammys and the Junos.

In March, Win Butler’s brother Will left Arcade Fire, stating that “the band are still my friends and family.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

Richie Assaly is a Toronto-based digital producer for the Star. Reach him via email: rassaly@thestar.ca